Wednesday, June 21, 2006


It's not exactly an invasion of free speech, but it's unnerving that security at the Battlefield Mall felt a 10-year-old girl's bandanna, sprinkled with flowers, smiley-faces and... gasp... peace signs, was disturbing.

The Springfield News-Leader covered the story pretty well, including a puzzling response from the mall's management: "The code of conduct is pretty clear and, you know, I think common sense should prevail," Christine Moses, director of mall marketing, told the SNL.

Um, the Mailbox disagrees. If, according to the code, shoppers are barred from "wearing apparel which is likely to provoke a disturbance," that could be anything, from too-revealing tops to Oakland Raiders jerseys. Was a rent-a-cop threatened by a peace sign? The Mailbox shudders to think what would happen to mall dress codes if a Wal-Mart ever moved into the mall. If it weren't for Auntie Anne's and Fastbreak Sports, the Mailbox would stage a boycott.

Another chilling thought: The Mailbox has a sneaking suspicion that the mother of the child is a former News-Leader reporter. The Mailbox welcomes correction if incorrect. But if it's right, then the mother no doubt has the understanding of what the incident meant and wisely contacted the newspaper. How many times, and how many other places, has this happened to people who don't think that it's a big deal?

Yeah, I've heard that Oakland Raider's shirts are cause enough to incite riots in certain circles....

All jokes aside, you are correct, it is disturbing that peace signs are disrupting society. Can I still use my first two fingers held up and outward in the "V" without incident?
Perhaps the mall management would prefer everyone show up naked?
Can't get that peace-sign tattoo you always wanted, then.
It IS true that some bandanas can be related to gangs--a bigger deal in cities up here--but Battlefield Mall security needs to use a little common sense in their selection of people to pick on.
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