It did not take long. Less than 24 hours. The bodies were not even cold.
While civilized people the world over mourned and protested the murders of editors, cartoonists, police officers, and others in Paris, the victim blaming has started.
Uncivilized savages are blaming and shaming the victims.
"Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him." (William Donohue/Catholic League)
According to Mr. Donohue, Stephane Charbonnier committed suicide by terrorist. Bill Donohue is a blowhard on the scale of Ed Schultz and Rush Limbaugh. He is loud, brash, and nonsensical. It is painful to listen to him, even in the few instances when you might agree with his spittle spewing bombast.
Donohue's Catholic League invokes the First Amendment while vigorously trying to shut down the First Amendment. Freedom of religion does not trump freedom of speech, except in the eyes of Mr. Donohue.
Religious fanatics of all stripes try to shut down criticism, satire, and anti-religious speech and expression under the guise of freedom of religion and speech.
Others in the news media and punditry are playing the blame game while shedding alligator tears of sympathy. It is the big lie of giving up rights in the name of security.
Stay silent, stay safe. Do nothing, say nothing, express nothing in the name of security. These people advocate the coward's way. The The Tao of Quisling. They are envious because they do not have the courage to stand up, stand out, and be different. They perceive themselves as intelligent and erudite. Worse, their readers and viewers think they are intelligent and erudite.
Hordes of low information people confuse Constitutional rights with socially acceptable behavior- whatever that is. They believe that creativity and provocativeness should be stifled in the name of safety. They believe anything that offends or is distasteful- again, whatever those mean- should be banned. Their motto is, "Don't make the baby cry."
It it were up to these dullard masses, the image at the top of the page would be the only acceptable expression allowed. A blank space devoid of color. It is perfectly inoffensive. They would bring us back to the Dark Ages. Their glorious era of intellectual and creative darkness.
Freedom of speech, expression, and religion are being wiped out by the very advocates of those freedoms and their praetorian guards of tolerance. They are assassins who move to stifle all opposition. They are in the news and entertainment media, academia, government, pulpits, and corporate suites. They are the dangerous ignorant ones. More dangerous than murderous fanatics.
These assassins blame and shame victims to silence people.
Freedom is messy. It is not and was never intended to be pretty, idyllic, tidy, Utopian, or safe. Freedom is an unfettered dangerous mess. We do not always have to like or agree with it. We do have to accept it. If you seek safety, lock yourself in the basement and never leave. Take the key to your mind and toss it out.
Freedom of speech, expression, the press, and association are the most important rights we have. When people are victimized, banned, or shut down, their predators become victims as well. It could happen to them. Times change. What is acceptable today may be offensive in the future and vice versa.
We all have the right to offend and be offended. We all have the right to speak out and express ourselves. What we do not have the right to do is stop others from offending or being offensive. Just like we do not have the right to demand all expression be in good taste.The people at Charlie Hebdo were murdered in cold blood. They did not kill themselves. They are not responsible for their deaths or the deaths of others. Their provocation did not kill them. Islam did not kill them.
They were murdered by fanatics who did not have the intelligence, talent and creativity to fight back with the pen, pencil, or other media.
They were murdered because fanatics are ignorant and intolerant. They were murdered because fanatics are uncivilized savages.
"l' audace, l'audace, toujurs l' audace." The statement is attributed to Georges Danton, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and quoted by General George S. Patton.
Audacity, audacity, always audacity. That should be the rallying cry and memorial for the Charlie Hebdo murder victims. It should be the motto for all of us.
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