MLK Day and Other Political Stuff

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

January 22, 2008

2 Min Read
MLK Day and Other Political Stuff

So, yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and by pure coincidence, my husband and I watched Talk to Me over the weekend, a movie about Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene. Petey was a controversial radio and TV talk-show host who, after recovering from drug addiction and imprisonment for armed robbery, became one of Washington, D.C.'s most prominent media personalities. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in calming the capital's distressed residents after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Although Petey referred to himself as "just a con," he was a powerful voice on issues of race, politics and human nature.

I'm not a film critic, but I greatly enjoyed this one. I relish any movie that leaves me feeling charged up and hopeful about Mankind; it's a feeling I so rarely experience. After it ended, I made a comment to my husband, something about how inspiring it was to see a film that promotes the positive influence of media and tells the story of a man who rose from being a "miscreant" to a compelling voice of the nation. At which point, he made a joke about me being a voice for self-storage. I just had to laugh. You can't be a real voice for anybody let alone an entire industry when you have to employ the polite PC filter, as we in trade media must always do. I probably shouldn't even have said that.

Anyway ... if you haven't already seen the film, toss it on your Netflix list. Don Cheadle is brilliant in it.

On a somewhat related note, have you seen the news story about the Hollywood Self Storage facilty in Evans, Ga., with the divisive billboard? According to local news, the sign is creating quite a stir. It reads, "Today's special... Republicans half price... Democrats pay double." That's a bold move; but at least the facility operator isn't afraid to make his feelings known.

Some residents in town have complained that the sign is offensive. And maybe it is. But I say, if you don't like it, don't look at it. And that has nothing to do with my feelings in regard to one political party or another; it has to do with free speech and press. I ask myself, "What would Petey do?" He certainly wouldn't whine about an offensive sign. And he wouldn't shy away from posting his opinions for the world to see. So, Mr. Hollywood Storage ... I may not agree with your sentiments; I also don't feel it's appropriate to mix politics with your marketing; but I respect your right to be heard.

What do YOU think about it, blog readers? Is it unprofessional to use your business as a platform to air political sentiment? Or do you feel your business is an extension of yourself and should, therefore, reflect your system of beliefs? Let me hear you!

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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