Readers are reacting to the antics of a guy who leafletted cars and multiple surfaces with anti-semitic/anti-Italian/anti-Canadian/anti-cop literature overnight and people are understandably quite upset.
The language, mostly stream-of-unconsciousness hate speak attacking various religious groups but also naming some local people in an uncomfortable way, attracted the attention and derision of residents who realized it wasn’t a coupon for takeaway at a downtown restaurant, and who would like to see something done about it.
The Leafleteer, reportedly wearing a not-exactly-under-the-radar Santa Claus cap, was spotted at work and approached by at least one local who asked him to cease and desist. As so often happens when these people are approached logically, the guy’s eyes began to spin and some threats were made and another bundle of leaflets was retrieved and plastered.
So today people are uncomfortable and skittish and the Mad Hatter is safe and warm behind the First Amendment (we like the First Amendment, so we guess we’re partly to blame for all this) as public agencies wash their hands and say there is nothing they can do about a person exercising his or her right to free speech.
We’ve heard that before, encountering people of this ilk on a couple of occasions now and drawing from the experience. And while these people are uniformly unpleasant to deal with and while it may be disconcerting to realize law enforcement or the boy scouts or local 4H’ers aren’t going to rise up and do something about them there are ways to to – gently – let them know we’re not happy with them or their handiwork.
If you see any more leaflets out at Lafayette BART let us know, we’d be happy to join any interested parties in a cleanup effort to remove this blight, just as we’d remove the work of graffiti taggers, or someone smearing a swastika on a wall in the middle of the night.
Because while it may be their right to spread their disease and threaten people, it’s within our rights to make sure we don’t have to see it.