Free Speech Isn’t
There’s always a price, and in France, thanks to the efforts of the religion of whirled peas and their glittery hoo haa’d social justice warrior enablers a dozen people have paid that price (frankly, worshiping whirled peas would make more sense than that religion – but that’s my personal opinion and others are free to disagree. At least the peas have nutritional value).
It’s up to us – as individuals, as authors, as whoever and whatever we are – to decide where we stand. One the side of whirled peas, anything that isn’t mandatory is forbidden and subject to the death penalty as delivered by its most rabid frothing followers – something the social justice warrior set only wish they could do. This may be why they cheer the whirled peas on, or possibly the social justice whiners checked in their brains for the duration and are thinking with their glittery parts.
On the other – where we oddlings live – is the principle enshrined in the US Constitution’s First Amendment – of free speech and free association as an absolute right. That’s why the US allows openly hateful groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, the Black Panthers, and the KKK to make asses of themselves in public as long as they’re not telling people to go out there and kill whoever their chosen pariah happens to be. Funnily enough, only the ones that the social justice hoo haas believe are too precious to have the ugly truth told about them have any kind of mainstream acceptance. Must be a coincidence… oh damn. I keep forgetting my natural level of sarcasm is illegal in twenty states and breaks things in all the others.
Anyway. The point here is that there’s two ways to deal with groups that insist something must never be done/said/whatever. One is the obvious: give them what they want and they’ll make nice – or at least make somewhat less nasty. The other – and much better – is to give them the metaphorical finger of defiance raised high and talk about whatever they don’t want spoken as often as as loudly as possible. The more people that do it, the less likely it is that the hushers won’t be able to target you specifically.
And that is the price of free speech. It’s the knowledge that not everybody out there is a mature adult who is capable of thinking, “that’s offensive” and even saying as much without feeling the need to go and kill whoever offended them. It’s a price that needs to be paid.
I have some sympathy for those whose culture has turned them into mindless drones for a poisonous ideology, but that sympathy ends when they try to restrict what I may say, think, write, or draw (this although my drawing sucks). I don’t care what religion they follow, be it Islam or Post-modern Feminism or Environmentalism or Communism. I don’t care how much melanin their skin contains. If they wish to silence me they are my enemies, and since the written word is my weapon I will satirize them all the more often and all the more viciously.
Everyone here, as a writer or a reader, needs to do the same. Not because I think you all agree with me – I’d guarantee in this crowd that saying “The sky is blue” would start an argument – but because the community here is one that is capable of sensible, mature-adult-style disagreement where we can say (and mean it), “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Like all things, caving to the hushers will simply embolden them. This time it’s cartoons satirizing their sacred figure. A while back it was historical fact. Next time it could be simply someone who doesn’t worship in a mosque.
Silencing the artists is how that sort create the illusion that their view is unopposed. If we let the hushers succeed, we might have peace, but it’s the peace of slavery or the grave. Me, to quote someone who is much greater than I will ever be: “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Frankly, there are no other options.