Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)

NPR claims that people get teary-eyed viewing this supposedly viral sign in front of houses across the country. I’ve only seen two in my neighborhood, thank goodness, and they irritate me no end. Why? The sign is dishonest, unfair and divisive. It is also political, while pretending not to be.

First, the sign is not what it represents itself as being. It is not written for an actual neighbor. If it were, the sign would be remote and rude. I welcome new neighbors personally, not by putting garish signs on my lawn.  The sign is blatant virtue-signalling, telling the neighborhood that this household is in favor of diversity, love, and immigration…as if lots of other people are not. If it is not a public sign designed to rebuke those people, whoever they are, then why the sign? If everyone in the neighborhood welcomes Americans of all colors and origins—and I know of no Klan chapter in Northern Virginia—then the sign is a straw man. I’m sure, however, that Hispanic-Americans or Muslim-Americans who see these signs on lawns might be moved to think: Wait, does this mean that many people in this community DON’T welcome us as neighbors? How are we to recognize them?

That’s not a healthy or welcoming message, but hey, if it makes the homeowner seem enlightened and virtuous, it’s a net win.

Of course, the sign is really a tacit insult to those who a) think that our immigration laws should be enforced, and b) those who think people who pledge fealty to Islam and Sharia are a little bit more risky to have in the neighborhood than the average Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or Presbyterian—which, in fact, they are. Neither of these concerns mean that such citizens object to neighbors based on “where they are from,” but rather according to whether they broke laws to get here and are breaking laws by staying here, and whether they are waiting for their chance to kill us because their cultish religion tells them to. Framing these legitimate and fact-based concern as irrational xenophobia and bigotry is intentionally misleading, and meant to stifle dissent using the political correctness dictates of the Democratic party as a club.

The message is also irresponsible, slathering back-patting virtue-signalling to obscure legitimate issue that should be considered without emotional static.  The signs first appeared in December when the main strategy of the anti-Trump resistance was to frighten people, especially legal immigrants, with rumors of interment camps and nascent fascism coming from the monster who dared to call (some, all, what’s the difference?) illegal immigrants (illegal immigrants, immigrants, what’s the difference?) rapists and murderers, and who suggested that the current vetting of Muslim refugees might not be sufficient to protect Americans from, say (just a wild hypothetical) terrorists slamming a truck into a crowd and then stabbing everyone in sight. So they are also “Don’t blame me, I voted for Hillary!” signs, a “Not-my-President” signs, and  “You’re the bad neighbors, Republicans!” signs.

No wonder NPR loves them.

On a less important note, the signs are also the current equivalent of those smug, obnoxious “Baby on Board” signs.

Yeccch.

69 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Race, Religion and Philosophy

69 responses to “Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)

  1. mrsmilleratl

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } I hope I never see any of these signs.  I’m sure I would in grant park, etc. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  2. I saw the headline and before even opening the article I was gonna drive by a neighborhood that had equally obnoxious signs and send you a pic. Then the article opened and I saw it was this exact sign.

  3. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    My Saudi friend says the Arabic portion of the sign says: “Meetings Thursday 8:00 pm. Our basement.”

  4. Arthur in Maine

    On a less important note, the signs are also the current equivalent of those smug, obnoxious “Baby on Board” signs.

    …which don’t hold a candle to the ones that say “Caution: Show Dogs. Do Not Tailgate.”

    Now, I’ve never had a show dog, but I’ve had several that probably could’ve been, and I assure you that none of ’em could’ve given a shit about tailgaters.

    I suppose it’s possible that if I HAD started showing these dogs, they might have somehow gotten word from the next grooming bench that tailgaters are something to be feared greatly.

    I also suppose it’s possible that, on the heels of yesterday’s testimony, the Democratic Party will say “Whoops! Our bad. So sorry, and carry on, Mr. Trump!”

  5. Son of Maimonides

    Mr. Marshall,

    Is holding an opinion unethical?

  6. I was always partial to the bumper sticker: “Ex-Wife/Husband In Trunk.”

    • Then, there’s this take on the Serenity Prayer:

      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
      Courage to change the things I can,
      And weaponry to make the difference.

      Only in Texas. Only in Texas.

      jvb

      • THIS.

        Such a sign in my area would be considered rude, crude, and objectionable. Then again, we live with the illegals every day and know of the damage they cause.

  7. I see . . . erm . . . read that the signs are in Spanish (on top), English (in the middle), and Arabic (on the bottom). That is insulting and exclusionary. Why should it only contain 3 languages? Aren’t people who speak Tagalog not welcome? How about Urdu? What about Dutch? Hindi? Farsi? Russian? Shouldn’t we be glad that those people are our neighbors, too?

    jvb

  8. fattymoon

    Drove by our previous house that sold last December and new owners posted this sign which I took a photo of to show my wife. I consider it to be, well, not a good idea. Showboating, maybe?
    https://mobile.twitter.com/farkleup/status/873244905824428032

    • Well, it’s better than the other one.

      It translates as “I embrace all Democratic/progressive cant, and am thus a good person: Police are out to kill blacks (and all shootings of blacks are presumptively murder; abortion on demand should be a right and what fetus?; boarders should be open, and laws don’t count when they stop likely Democratic voting block members; climate change and everything about it being said by alarmists is true and worth spending billions and forfeiting jobs for speculative solutions; same sex marriage, teacher student affairs, incest and man-boy sex are all swell, and if you oppose mass income transfer by the government, you’re a monster. This shows the idiocy of defining yourself by the mob and slogans, but at least it’s honest.

      It also warns me that the person inside has the critical thinking ability of a mollusk.

      • “I embrace all Democratic/progressive cant, and am thus a good person: Police are out to kill blacks (and all shootings of blacks are presumptively murder; abortion on demand should be a right and what fetus?; boarders should be open, and laws don’t count when they stop likely Democratic voting block members; climate change and everything about it being said by alarmists is true and worth spending billions and forfeiting jobs for speculative solutions; same sex marriage, teacher student affairs, incest and man-boy sex are all swell, and if you oppose mass income transfer by the government, you’re a monster.”

        Jack; that would be PERFECT on one of those little laminated note-cards (like the ones that say “You took up two parking places, ASSHOLE) that one might affix to the yard sign.

        A “Freedom of Expression” thingey with which Lefties (most, not all) might balk?

        • dragin_dragon

          Not to throw cold water on your plan, Paul, but affixing that card to the sign would require trespassing which is both illegal, and unethical.

          • Up this way, yer land needs to be posted, the no-borders “Seventy Seven Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality” (Madison, WI) notwithstanding.

            Heck, folks regularly breach our perimeter to waft the fragrant smells du jour, which include but aren’t limited to: daffodils, daylillies, tulips, Cherry/Peach tree blossoms, irises, lilacs, peonies, and Oriental Lillies.

            Ah yes Oriental Lillies; if there is a Heaven, it’ll have the intoxicating olfactory (and visual) sensation of Stargazer Lillies in abundance.

            Anywho, that land is posted, I stand down.

            • dragin_dragon

              Down here, it doesn’t need to be posted, though that’d help. Cross on to somebodies property, and you are subject to being shot. Most people won’t of course, because many folks are not aware that Texas has no ‘public lands’…no ‘Free Range’ so to speak. All of ur land is owned either by the Fed, the State or privately.

      • Isaac

        -Science is Real
        -Fetuses Aren’t People
        -Gender is a Social Construct
        -You Know What, Never Mind That First One

      • E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

        What are these people high on? None of these statements have any substance whatsoever. “All you need is love” is fine, but only as a song lyric.

    • dragin_dragon

      “Water is life?” Frank Herbert wrote the sign?

  9. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I’ve never used bumper stickers. Even the most benign ones, like for a sports team, can be an invitation to getting keyed or worse if you park in the wrong place. Your house is supposed to be your family’s last safe refuge, and that isn’t well-served by posting a sign that might attract trouble.

    Garish signs like that are not invisible to all except the like-minded, and the otherwise-minded do occasionally pass through your neighborhood. Most folks just drive on and go about their business, I will grant. However, do you want your house to be the one in however many that some otherwise-minded person passes by when he’s drunk, or angry, or maybe just not too bright, and tags with graffiti, or smashes your mailbox, or throws a brick through your window? Is virtue signaling worth compromising your family’s safety or peace of mind?

    The real world isn’t an episode of “Touched By an Angel” or “Promised Land,” where obviously good people always win in 42 minutes just because they ARE obviously good and quite often the bad are just misguided and easily brought back to the right path with a little glow and a reminder that God Loves You. (I could quite easily see Della Reese as Tess admonishing a decent but cynical mortal that “honey, love ALWAYS trumps hate,” or Roma Downey as Monica mewing to a faltering big-hearted liberal “love always wins, because God is love.”) There are enough real concerns and real problems that don’t just go away that it’s unethical and poor stewardship to create more for the questionable return of showing off our own virtue.

    • Isaac

      People with lots of bumper stickers are more aggressive and dangerous on the road, according to one study. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/15/AR2008061501963.html?sid=ST2008061600110

      They have a lot of possible explanations, but I think the simplest one is that most people who smear their angry political opinions all over their cars (and that’s most likely what you see on a car with 20 stickers) are likely to be kinda jerks.

      • dragin_dragon

        I don’t have any research to back this but I suspect they are more interested in marking their territory and then defending it. May or may not be jerks but ARE more aggressive. I’d like to see a study correlating number of bumper stickers, messages ON the bumper stickers and aggressive driving. Might be interesting…especially the message. Should fold ‘road rage’ incidents in there, somehow.

        • Arthur in Maine

          Well, the beautiful thing is that multi-sticker cars tend to be lightweight ecomentalist vehicles like the Toyota Priapism – er, I mean, the Prius.

          They can be as aggressive as they want. Their cars lack the power and the mass to make that aggression effective against a real car.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        “My other car is a broom”

        “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”

        “If men had babies abortion would be a sacrament”

        “GOP= Greedy Old People”

        “(elephant) Symbol of the American Bigot”

        “I’m not anti-Republican, just anti-stupid”

        Nah, whoever put up these stickers isn’t an obnoxious jerk.

        • Chris

          What’s wrong with that first one? It’s a silly joke, but there’s nothing divisive or even political about it. Most of the others are divisive and insulting, though, and I can see the argument that they’re unethical.

      • Jerks, and bigoted against the “right” kind of people to hate.

  10. Alex

    I’d stop by that house, introduce myself, mention that I just got here running away from a TB epidemic and start coughing like crazy. They’re just happy I’m their neighbor, right?

  11. Mrs. Q

    https://www.nwgsdpdx.org/signs-more

    This yard sign is just about everywhere in the city including businesses, churches, schools, and city offices.

    This one is also popular. I love how the “Science is real” part is in green.

    Black Lives Matters signs often accompany the 2 above. Also on businesses, schools, etc.

    This one is mostly on businesses/community centers but some residents have this sign taped to their living room windows.

    What’s most interesting is that all the problems this town suddenly has with “hate” came after the anti-Trumpers started putting these signs up. I told a (former) friend that I thought these signs were virtue signaling & decisive & smug I I didn’t appreciate that every day every where an average citizen can’t take a walk or go to the gym without knowing the political opinions of the home/business/agency owners.

    She promptly quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s “No one can make you feel inferior” mantra. Funny enough she’s white, I’m not, and instead of actually listening to me, you know as a special downtrodden minority, she dismissed my concerns altogether about how such signs may negatively effect a community (and then she cut me out of her life. Yep, so tolerant).

    White liberals (not all obviously) dismissing minority concerns about virtue signaling has come up quite a bit amongst some of the more conservative minorities I know here lately. All talk but not much walk, as in actually listening to minorities who may disagree with the In Our America narrative.

    Months ago I emailed a taco place whose white owners put a BLM sign in their window. I let them know that it made me feel more on display regarding race, not less, and that eating there now feels as if I’m making a statement like “hey I’m brown & down w/ the cause.” I asked him to consider just being an excellent business with an excellent product & excellent customer service. That such efforts would go far to make all people comfortable. He talked to his community “advisors” about my concerns & said that “they” said the sign stays.

    Now his business is on a list for cultural appropriation & minorities are advised not to eat there.

    Living in Portland is like Vaclav Havel’s Green Grocer has come to life, ubiquitous in the city, and unrelenting in preconditioned smug virtue.

    • Comment of the Day. Nice.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      So glad I DON’T live on the Left Coast.

      • Son’t you live on the EAST coast? Serious question, Steve: how is it different?

        I have been to both, but that was 20 years ago, before the Left lost the freakin’ minds.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          How is it different? Here on the East Coast we still have a few enclaves of sanity, especially as you move south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Heck, NYC had a Republican mayor for 20 years. The Left Coast is nothing but far left from Seattle to San Diego, with minimal hope of things ever changing. We’re also somewhat more practical, no one talks of anything like a “Calexit” here. What’s more, no one talks about burying Columbus Day here, because we Italians would kick their asses.

    • That business sign says, “We welcome all countries of origin.” What does that mean? China is welcome? Brazil is welcome? That must be ‘UGE business fit all countries of origin. But, which countries of origin? Burma or Myanmar? Las Islas Malvinas or The Falklands? How about, . . . Well you get the point.

      jvb

  12. dragin_dragon

    And Sand Worms…er, uh that was before. Sorry.

  13. Chris

    First, the sign is not what it represents itself as being. It is not written for an actual neighbor.

    I don’t think anyone reading it thinks that it is, so I don’t think you can claim the sign is deceptive.

    The sign is blatant virtue-signalling, telling the neighborhood that this household is in favor of diversity, love, and immigration…as if lots of other people are not.

    Well…lots of people are not. Acknowledging that is not divisive. This seems a lot like the argument that goes something like “recognizing that bigotry exists is bigotry.”

    I’m sure, however, that Hispanic-Americans or Muslim-Americans who see these signs on lawns might be moved to think: Wait, does this mean that many people in this community DON’T welcome us as neighbors? How are we to recognize them?

    …And without signs like these, Hispanic-Americans and Muslim-Americans would never have to wonder or worry about bigotry at all!

    • It’s not an either/or equation. The signs increase anxiety and distrust.

      • Chris

        How can you know that?

        • Which neighborhood is going to make you more wary, one with no signs, or one with signs that say, “Don’t worry! You’re safe here!”

          • (With the added inference “oh yeah, the guys without virtue signaling signs…watch out for them!”)

          • It’s a good thing the sign wasn’t translated into pedophilese, as I suspect those people wouldn’t be welcome by the virtue signallers.

          • Most amusing-

            Other people may experience otherwise but for the most part I’ve only seen these signs in relatively affluent neighborhoods. So the sign may as well have a parenthetical translated into all languages that says: “(because if you can afford to live here, odds are you have your act together behavior-wise)”

          • Chris

            It would be stupid to make any sort of judgment about the neighborhood as a whole by seeing this sign on anyone’s front lawn. It tells us absolutely nothing about the neighborhood in general, and only tells us something about the specific individuals in that residence. You’re right that it doesn’t really do anything except identify the members of that residence as Democrats. So what? That isn’t unethical.

            • …except identify the members of that residence as Democrats. So what? That isn’t unethical.

              …unless you believe that one can no longer BE a Democrat and be ethical…
              /snark

              The same assertion could fairly be made about Republicans, from a conservative point of view.

        • E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

          I think the answer is pretty intuitive. If one put up a sign that said “No KKK in our neighborhood!” wouldn’t make some people wonder which nearby neighborhoods are full of KKK? Making a statement about welcoming a limited number of particular ethnic/religious groups one DOES welcome will also raise the question about why those were singled out, if indeed there were “neighbors” who did not share that stated representation, and as important, which groups are NOT in fact welcomed.

          • Chris

            But the reasons why Spanish and Arabic were used are obvious. Who is going to see that sign and not know the political issues surrounding Mexicans and Muslims these days? It’s a statement about the country, and of the individual residents’ views of that country, and not a subtle one; I feel like one would have to be willfully obtuse to not get it.

  14. Kara Sandberg

    Does anyone know about the proceed info for these signs?? I’ve been digging for more info about it after seeing this little detail on amazon…

    Description
    This sign, which has received national publicity, leaves no doubt as to where you stand on immigration and asylum. Proceeds benefit Derechos Humanos and Southern Arizona BDS (Southern Arizona Boycott/Divestment/Sanction Network). Thanks to members of Immanuel Mennonite for putting this design into the public domain with a Creative Commons license. Text of the sign reads “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in three languages (Spanish, English and Arabic). Double-sided printing; with H-stake for mounting.

    So after researching who this group was, I became even more irritated with these ridiculous signs plastered all over my neighborhood. But I was unable to find more details on just how many are sold in support of them. They seem to be primarily, privately sold through various virtue signaling groups…so curious as to how that money could be followed, given they don’t explicitly state it like amazon is.

    Help! 🙂

    • Thanks for this. Let’s see if we can turn up anything.

      The signs, of course, as I suggested, don’t clarify anything, and in fact are designed to muddle the distinction between illegal and legal immigrants, which is Tactic #1 for virtue-signaling pro-illegal progressives who want to demonize anyone who supports sovereignty and the rule of law.

      • Kara Sandberg

        Oh I’m well aware of that tactic, this latest amazon discovery turned my standard disgust into outrage though. I’ve already contacted amazon and posted warnings on each buying option.

        Thank you for the help!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s