Remove the Idaho Mural Depicting a Lynching of a Native American

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A law school and a former courthouse represent the lifeblood of justice.  A mural in the old Ada Courthouse and soon-to-be campus for the University of Idaho's "Law Learning Center" depicts the horrific lynching of a native American.  It is not only not true to regional history, but is grossly insensitive and offensive.

In 1964, United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was one of the Justices called to decide whether a particular piece of pornography was protected speech or not. He said, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."

There are hallmarks of the past which carry with them far more emotionally damaging, harmful and insulting images than were seen by those Justices weighing pornography. A swastika, a relic of the holocaust or certain depictions of Adolf Hitler likely carry with it the need to weigh its obscenity or appropriateness. The same goes for a noose or the burning cross of a Klansman.

The torture and genocide of Native Americans certainly has become something that has finally become something our nation scrutinizes such that even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recently cancelled the federal registrations for the NFL’s “Redskins” trademarks.

The depiction of the actual lynching of a race of people who were so callously stereotyped to justify their pillage, rape and slaughter is not justice.  Justice is weighed by a jury of one's peers.  That is what these students will learn.  Not one will face a noose or even suspension without due process.  Let's free this nameless native American from the lynching by destruction of this mural. If someone wants it saved, let them purchase the removal.



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