Still, it's an easy way to judge a person, these shallow messages worn with pride. So on the way to work this morning I found myself behind a car with a Speak English and a Confederate Flag bumper sticker. No big deal. If you're a racist and proud of it, fine.
No, what set me off was what was next to them.
Not that the third bumper sticker was provocative, by itself. Rather, it was the association of that third bumper sticker with the first two that I found particularly distasteful.
It was a US Marines bumper sticker.
I shy away from jingoistic rhetoric when it comes to our armed forces. I do not put our people in uniform on a pedestal. They're people, nothing more and nothing less. People who have taken a bit of themselves and served our country - but still mere humans. Still, although the men in uniform run the gamut, the corps means something. The organization is more than its parts ever could be.
One thing it is not, however, is racist.
I find the juxtaposition inexcusable. The blond, middle-aged woman behind the wheel of the dilapidated car most certainly enjoys a double-digit IQ - but idiocy is a poor excuse for lumping the Marines with racism. Such a person, I would argue, doesn't deserve to display the US Marine emblem.