Flashback: “Law, Citizenship, and the Right to be a Jackass”

Wrong country, same gesture.

[The principal in this tale from a post early in Ethics Alarms’ existence just dicsovered it, and sent some additional detail in a comment.  I am fairly certain that almost nobody read the original post, and I had completely forgotten about it myself. Its central point is still valid, however, and since it involves  an ethics conflict that has frequently re-appeared here—the duty to respect law enforcement officials versus the right not to, and the proper handling of a citizen who is rude, abusive, or worse—I thought I’d revive it.

Much thanks is due to David Hackbart for his considerate comment.]

Three springs ago on the streets of Pittsburgh, David Hackbart was starting to parallel park when a car pulled up behind him. Don’t you hate that? Hackbart did too, and presented his flip-off finger to the anonymous driver in silent protest. “Don’t flip him off!” came a shouted edict from someone outside his car, and Hackbart, not in the mood for officious intermeddling, gave the anonymous civility referee The Finger as well. Continue reading

Law, Citizenship, and the Right to be a Jackass

Three springs ago on the streets of Pittsburgh, David Hackbart was starting to parallel park when a car pulled up behind him. Don’t you hate that? Hackbart did too, and presented his flip-off finger to the anonymous driver in silent protest. “Don’t flip him off!” came a shouted edict from someone outside his car, and Hackbart, not in the mood for officious intermeddling, gave the anonymous civility referee The Finger as well. Continue reading