When do you confront offensive people?

Today’s moral dilemma:

For the second time in about a week, I saw a car that had a plethora of bumper stickers ranging from the innocuous (Support Our Troops, Pittsburgh Steelers) to a few pointed attacks on Obama.

Here’s where it goes over the top. She has a COEXIST sticker. Underneath it, in the same blue color, she has “MY ASS.”

I was out of my car, anyway, and I considered writing a note and leaving it under her windshield wiper. I wouldn’t want to respond to hate with hate, so it would be something along the lines of “This is a nice, friendly town with educated people who recognize that this country was built on religious freedom and pluralism. Please reconsider your bumper sticker.” (Yes, I briefly considered inviting her to take the advice on another bumper sticker and leave the country if she didn’t like its core values, but that would be mean.)

I didn’t do it, and I’m not sure it’s a good idea. But at some point, are we supposed to tell people when they’re making asses of themselves? 

If someone walked by a school at dismissal time with the F-word on a T-shirt, I’d be inclined to say something, and I think I’d be in the right. (Please don’t cry “censorship.” F-word T-shirt Guy would have the legal right to wear the shirt. I’d have the legal right to say the community doesn’t appreciate it.)

So does this woman’s bigoted bumper sticker rise to that level? What do you think?

(Link goes to the Coexist Foundation.)

When do you confront offensive people?


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