Responding to those who support Vandalizing in Protest
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Politics

To The People Who Support The Man Who Vandalized Trump's Holywood Walk Of Fame Star

Sometimes you need illegal actions to get the message out, but this wasn't one of those times.

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To The People Who Support The Man Who Vandalized Trump's Holywood Walk Of Fame Star
Original Photo by Sadie Betting

Last week, a fantastically written article was published by a fellow Odyssey writer Quinn Nichols about the July 25th, 2018 destruction of President Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you haven't read Quinn's article yet, I highly recommend it.

Quinn focused on a discussion of what might have motivated the vandal to destroy the star – which has been vandalized in the past – but I would like to respond to Quinn's article by taking a broader look at the issue of civil disobedience and when breaking the law is justified.

Quinn points out that the actions of the vandal are undeniably illegal and even points out that the man quickly turned himself into the police. I think we can all agree, then, that the act of vandalism was a political statement and not something the man believed he stood to gain anything personally out of. Quinn states that "Sometimes you need illegal actions to get the message out".

Beginning with the Boston Tea Party, the protests that have shaped our nation have been "illegal". Rosa Parks was breaking the law when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. The protests of the Civil Rights Movement were "illegal". The Vietnam war protests, in which drafted men burned their draft cards, were "illegal". So Quinn's statement about needing illegal actions absolutely has merit.

I believe there is a fundamental difference between these great historical acts of civil disobedience and the vandalism of Trump's star on the Walk of Fame, however.

All of these incredibly significant protests share the quality that they went directly against the rules of the entity under protest. The colonists destroyed the property of the British empire, Rosa Parks was in violation of Montgomery city laws that established segregation on public buses, and thousands of drafted men refused the mandatory draft. These protests broke the laws that they were protesting (or in the case of the Boston Tea Party, the law-breaking was required to refuse a different law being protested).

However, the Walk of Fame vandalism is different to me because it does not break the law that it is protesting nor did that law against vandalism need to be broken in order to make the point. While it is still reasonable for people to agree with the man's statement about the president, I do not personally feel that I can support his act of vandalism.

Just because he was protesting something about the government – and subsequently broke the government's law against the destruction of property – does not necessarily equate to the same kind of justified illegality of those other acts of civil disobedience which are undeniably great. Rosa Parks was jailed because she broke a law that should not have existed. I can't say the same about the man who vandalized the star.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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