Life as We Know It, or More Incitement to Riot
And now for an opportunity for Northeastern conservatives to nod in a knowing fashion:
… just before the election, [14-year-old Illinois student] Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:
“I was just really curious how they’d react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters,” Catherine told us. “I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be.”
Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain’s name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.
“People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn’t be wearing it,” Catherine said.
Then it got worse.
“One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed,” Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.
But students weren’t the only ones surprised that she wore a shirt supporting McCain.
“In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain,” Catherine said. …
One student suggested that she be put up on a cross for her political beliefs.
“He said, ‘You should be crucifixed.’ It was kind of funny because, I was like, don’t you mean ‘crucified?’ ” Catherine said.
Other entries in her notebook involved suggestions by classmates that she be “burned with her shirt on” for “being a filthy-rich Republican.”
Of course, there were moments with which we visible blue-state right-wingers are all too familiar:
Only a few times did anyone say anything remotely positive about her McCain shirt. One girl pulled her aside in a corner, out of earshot of other students, and whispered, “I really like your shirt.”
The next day, Catherine wore a blue-ink “Obama Girl” shirt, and the reaction was unsurprisingly different. Personally, I think the experiment would have been more telling if she’d wore the shirts in reverse order. Odds are that her Obama shirt would have gone largely without remark — support for that candidate being the default for conformity.