Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.
The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.
Satire must always accompany any free society. It is an absolute necessity. Even in the most repressive medieval kingdoms, they understood the need for the court jester, the one soul allowed to tell the truth through laughter.
It is, in many ways, the most powerful form of free speech because it is aimed at those in power, or those whose ideas would spread hate. It is the canary in the coalmine, a cultural thermometer, and it always has to push, push, push the boundaries of society to see how much it’s grown. As Randazzo points out, Wednesday’s attack — if it was the work of religious extremists, which is not yet confirmed — actually proves that Charlie Hebdo’s satire worked. He wrote, “It so threatened its target, cut so deeply at the truth, that it resorted to the most cowardly, most offensive and despicable form of lashing out.”
-Joe Randozzo, former editor of The Onion and German Lopez, Vox
When we blog, we exercise our freedom of speech. We have the right to voice our opinions, even those that may differ from others. It’s a right most of us hold dear.
I’m wrapped in disbelief and sadness at the cruel and unfathomable hatred that lead to the Charlie Hebdo attack. Sending love and support to the people of France, and to upholders of free speech everywhere. I extend my hand and heart as well to those who’ve yet to understand or live the very freedoms we take for granted.
Of possible interest:
12 powerful political cartoons responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Zietung Region: A brief history of freedom of speech