Friday, January 16, 2015



Obviously my blog Je Suis Charlie raised some eyebrows.

You know folks - I didn't say that the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo deserved to die... they didn't.  The same way the innocent Jewish shoppers didn't deserve to be taken hostage or to die. 

I appreciate your comments Keth and Anonymous trying to make me see the situation in a different light.  

Unfortunately I still believe 
1) in the need for taking responsibility for things we say and do
2) in freedom of speech and the press

And I believe in the right to agree to disagree


  1. no, I know you didn't say that they deserved to die. But so much before with terrorist attacks we've heard "its terrible, but..." with the implication that somehow, just somehow, the terrorists have a perspective that makes them right. With IRA attacks: "its terrible, but if the British would just get out of Northern Ireland...". You get the idea. Yes, people are angry, because they're realising that - to quote someone from the Washington Post "everything before the but is bullshit". ( If I'm calling you on anything, its that. No, you didn't overtly say that they deserved to die, or even to be attacked, any more than the people in the supermarket did - but you did call on them to accept responsibility. By saying that, you're saying that they are at least partially to blame for what happened to them. They aren't. The only ones who are to blame are the terrorists themselves.

  2. I wasn't going to reply to your post the other day (because my response was essentially just, "hell yes" - which maybe means I should have commented!), but other people's responses upset me (and the comments on your blog aren't the only place I've seen this attitude, unfortunately). Unless you see the world in terrifying black and white, it is perfectly possible - and even preferable - to be able to hold in your mind at the same time both the idea that 1) What happened in Paris was terrible, awful, unforgivable, and inexcusable and 2) that the "comics" put out by Charlie Hebdo are frequently needlessly offensive, racist/xenophobic, and (maybe most importantly in my mind) not, in fact, good satire. As they say, good satire punches up, not down. Perhaps it's a benefit of being raised Canadian (which takes a very middle ground on free speech, from the legal perspective, between the US and British approaches), but I firmly believe in limits to free speech - limits on speech that incites hatred (also, I'd just like to remind everyone that the actual principles of free speech apply to your right to criticize your government, not your desire to publicly shit on vulnerable minorities.) Those who defend free speech unequivocally, in my experience, generally do so from a place of privilege, be it gender, class, or race. Moreover, it is perfectly ok to say that what they said published was shitty, while still admitting their right to publish it. Just MY two cents.
    Big hugggggs to you, Morningstar.


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