Censorship

'Je Suis Charlie' Now? Of Course

To those of us who have a genuine commitment to freedom of speech, it's not only nice stuff that should be publishable.

|

Abode of Chaos/Flickr

Charlie Hebdo is under attack again. Mercifully not by gun-toting Islamists this time, but rather by the unarmed but nonetheless nasty professional offence-takers that are legion in modern Europe. 

The scurrilous mag's crime? It dared to publish two cartoons about the refugee crisis engulfing Europe. The cartoons aren't remotely anti-refugee. In fact, they're critical of Europe, not the foreigners trying to get here. One is a drawing of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian kid who washed up on a beach in Turkey. The cartoon shows his dead body alongside the caption "So close to his goal…" and a sign on the beach that says: "Promotion! Two children's menus for the price of one." To my eyes, this looks like a (pretty lame) criticism of European consumerism, the kind of lazy lefty platitude that Charlie Hebdo often indulges in. Big deal.

The second cartoon is more provocative, and better. It shows Christ walking on water next to the words: "Proof that Europe is Christian. Christians walk on water—Muslim children sink." Only the most literally-minded could consider this an attack on Muslims. It's quite obviously a stinging criticism of those hard right-wingers who insist Europe must remain a Christian continent and who might just think that drowned Muslim kids around our watery borders are a price worth paying to keep it so.

But none of this matters to the offence-taking set, because their aim is not to understand, far less be tolerant—it is to take offence. Like vampires in desperate need of blood, the offencerati has an insatiable urge to feed its inner outrage machine, to devour some giver of grievance and spit him out the other end as a chastised, apologetic shadow of his former self.

So the British tabloid the Daily Mirror thundered about Charlie Hebdo "mocking dead Aylan Kurdi." The Los Angeles Times wrung its hands over this latest "Charlie Hebdo furor," reporting the always angry Twitterati's decision that no one could possibly still "want to declare 'Je Suis Charlie'" after this. Russia Today asked "Je Suis Charlie now?" In its link to the offending cartoons, Russia Today put a trigger warning that even some campus authoritarians might consider a bit much: "YOU MAY FIND LINKED CONTENT OFFENSIVE, READER DISCRETION ADVISED," in all capital letters. 

Tweeters declared Charlie Hebdo racist, disgusting, etc. One, quoted in media reports, said: "There's free speech, hate speech and simply disgusting & distasteful vitriol. These #CharlieHebdo [cartoons] are the latter." Yet to those of us who have a genuine commitment to freedom speech, it isn't only nice stuff that should be publishable—so should the hateful and disgusting.

After the media fury came the threats of legal action. Britain's Society of Black Lawyers described Charlie Hebdo as "racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt." The Society said it was considering reporting the publications to the International Criminal Court on the grounds that its cartoons were an "incitement to hate crime and persecution." It hasn't done that yet, but it might—the Society has censorious form. Earlier this year it reported a columnist for The Sun to the police, claiming an anti-migrant column she wrote was an incitement to racial hatred. The police are investigating. Seriously. A British police force in 2015 is investigating a woman on suspicion of expressing herself.

The fact-lite fury over these latest cartoons tells us two important things about the sorry state of free speech in the West today.

First, it exposes the shallowness of that eruption of "Je Suis Charlie" following the massacre at the mag's offices in January. Back then, politicians, most of the media, and the Twitterati rallied behind the publication, declaring no one should be shot simply for mocking Muhammad. But that edifice of liberal solidarity soon started to corrode, with liberal columnists wondering if maybe Charlie should tone down its "Islamophobia," followed by various novelists having a hissy fit when PEN America gave Charlie a courage award. Now, in the instinctive tut-tutting and threats hurled at Charlie for publishing cartoons of refugees, we can see that "Je Suis Charlie" was most likely an emotional outburst against an act of barbarism rather than a deep defence of the freedom to say and draw anything we want.

The second thing this latest controversy reveals is that, like charity, censorship begins at home. After the massacre, too many commentators internationalized the crisis of free speech, presenting its demise as something brought about by an alien strain, in this case Islamists with guns. But the offence-taking culture is awesomely powerful within Europe itself, in our capitals, our academies, political circles, and everywhere.

Indeed, it's worth remembering that before Charlie Hebdo was shot up, it had already been taken to court by people offended by its rabble-rousing—because France, like every other European country, has actual laws against being overly offensive about religious groups. It had also been upbraided by, among others, President Obama. The Western culture of "You Can't Say That!" had found Charlie Hebdo guilty of crimes against politically correct sensibilities long before those killers summarily executed its staff for speech crimes against Muhammad. Having been brought up on a continent that  chastises gratuitous offensiveness against Islam and other ideologies, those killers can be seen as the armed wing of the offence-taking lobby.

Charlie Hebdo, and others, will get flak so long as Western society values individuals' and group self-esteem over freedom of speech. It's this homegrown warped priority that we need to fix. Say it loud, say it clear: Je Suis Charlie, whether it's punching up, punching down, ridiculing Muhammad, upsetting the right-on, or whatever.

NEXT: South Park's 19th Season Debuted on Wednesday. Here Are 3 Reasons All Kids Should Be FORCED Watch It.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “””””So close to his goal…” and a sign on the beach that says: “Promotion! Two children’s menus for the price of one.””””‘

    Sounds like a criticism of Turkey and the father since that is where the body washed ashore and getting to a big consumer society is what the father risked the lives of his wife and children to get.

    Any word on the father being charged with reckless endangerment or manslaughter of his wife and children?

    1. “Any word on the father being charged with reckless endangerment or manslaughter of his wife and children?”

      Damn right. Instead of leading a cryfest that sonofabitch should spend 12 hours a day in the stocks on a well populated public square.

      1. Why should the man be charged with a crime? He used only a teeny weeny little boat, not words ? which, as everyone knows, are a far more potent and harmful weapon. In this regard, Mr. O’Neill should be aware that many of us here in the United States (especially those of my academic colleagues who have to deal with this kind of thing almost on a daily basis) are even more fundamentally opposed to the Charlie Hebdo “philosophy.”

        Indeed, the entire idea that uncivil or offensive mockery should somehow deserve legal protection or be “publishable” begs the question. Would Mr. O’Neill argue that special First Amendment protection should be accorded to email “parodies” that portray a distinguished academic department chairman as admitting to something that everyone knows he never did? That was the view of only one liberal judge. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

        http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        and in particular, see the list of similar instances of abusive mockery at:

        http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpr…..rsonation/

        Clearly, all such “speech” is illegal and should be aggressively suppressed, particularly in an academic environment where professors and students need to be able to focus on their work without enduring this sort of unwanted emotional pressure. Mr. O’Neill should really give this some thought, before indulging in any more “defense of satire” nonsense.

        1. Golb was impersonating people whose opinions the email recipients would take seriously, and he is thus guilty of fraud, not merely offensive speech. Very different things.

          1. I see, we are to understand that the distinguished New York University faculty members who received the criminalized emails were meant to “take seriously” such statements as the following:

            “This is simply the politics of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. If I had given credit to this man I would have been banned from conferences around the world.”

            In other words, everyone knows, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there is absolutely no satirical intent in a purported justification of plagiarism on the grounds that the alleged plagiarist needed to steal someone else’s ideas to avoid being “banned from conferences around the world.” This statement about being “banned from conferences around the world” is clearly meant to be “taken seriously” by a group of highly astute academics, and hence constitutes “fraud,” rather than an offensively provocative parody.

            That is a very sophisticated and convincing analysis indeed, which, for example, quite thoroughly refutes the discussion of this issue on the Simple Justice website, and makes mincemeat of the assertion by the (liberal) AACDL that the criminalized emails were “speech with academic value.” To say nothing of the dissenting liberal judge’s statement about an “an atavism at odds with the First Amendment and the free and uninhibited exchange of ideas it is meant to foster.”

            1. Indeed, all of these people were of course fools not to see that this case involves “fraud, not merely offensive speech.” And that, of course, should be a great relief to Mr. O’Neill, because of the great consistency it reveals in this thinking about such matters.

              1. P.s. I meant, of course, “in his thinking” (not “this” thinking).

    2. My understanding is the father was driving the boat. Now whether he was a smuggler, worked for the smugglers, drove the boat for a discount, or was forced to drive the boat is unknown.

  2. This article nails it. Story after story prove that progressive outrage is only skin deep (literally). They focus so much on the skin color of the actors in these events its becoming clear not just to libertarians that they are being willfully ignorant of the real problems.

    Also, I’m stealing “offenserati”. Wonderful neologism

    1. Actually, reason should be hiding in shame in regards it’s conditional defense of Liberty.

      In over 4 years not a single fucking article defending Mark Steyn versus that piece of shit serial liar Michael Mann!!

      Reason does not care about the speech of those with whom they disagree. Obviously. Risk their lives like Charlie Hebdo? Absurd.

      1. It isn’t their job to write articles on your pet example. They have a long history of defending all kinds of speech. The fact that you want to bellyache about your favorite example demonstrates your ability to throw a temper tantrum

        That said perhaps google this reason article?
        “Mandatory Niceness”

    2. “They focus so much on the skin color of the actors in these events”

      Yes – and so randomly. Syrians and Kurds only became brown-skinned people 15 years ago. Before that they were olive-skinned Mediterranean types, like Greeks. Kurds are Aryan, for Pete’s sake (unlike Hungarians . . .).

  3. I’m convinced that few people actually value freedom. Of course they long for more freedom when finding themselves limited. But, for the most part, people value security over freedom.

    Free speech makes people feel insecure. Hate speech? scares them. Political disagreement offends their sense of being right. Poor taste embarrasses them. They want predictability. They want their beliefs left unchallenged. They want security.

    If I’m right, then no free society can last. The demand for security will eventually drown out the demand for liberty and security will win out.

    1. I should add that progressives have re-branded security as freedom. Instead of Freedom-to, the new and improved freedom is Freedom-from.

      It’s freedom from offense; from want and need; and freedom from concern; even freedom from responsibility. This is the new, progressive freedom. And it makes people feel secure. Freedom is security and security is freedom.

      1. Orwell would be proud. And sad.

      2. Freedom from as opposed to freedom to is a great way to phrase it. Its a pitty how many people have bought into it.

      3. Unfortunately, it’s not just progressives – recall the Bush administration rebranding freedom as “Freedom from Fear.”

        1. I am not finding that. All I find is Bush declaring ‘Freedom is at war with fear’.

          Cite please. I would like to see that.

          1. I guess you had to be there.

          2. Plus I’d like to know how President Bush (either one) is allegedly not a progressive. There are Progs on team red as well.

        2. Freedom from Fear is one of Roosevelt’s Four Freedom (freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear).

          1. That’s true. Does that prevent Republicans from using the same meme?

    2. Correct. Freedom is scary. Much safer to have a master feed us, clothe us, etc.

      1. Freedom requires spine. Freedom requires courage.

    3. I put much of it down to monopolistic governments — I think most people want to leave other people alone, in general, but the government monopoly means if you don’t keep pushing government to do what you want, others will push it to do what they want. It really is a zero sum game.

      What makes it infinitely worse is the police power. A monopolistic government without police powers would be relatively harmless. Even if it had taxation and military powers, without being able to meddle with society itself, it would not engender the attitude we have today, where you must try to get government on your side lest others get it on their side.

      This offencerati is a natural outcome of monopolistic government. They are not offended by the material itself, but it’s just another lever in the struggle against letting anybody else take control of the monopolistic government.

      1. It would be nice if that were true, but I don’t think it is. I think most people are too lazy and uncommitted to actually interfere with anyone, and spineless. But, they are usually pretty happy when the government or someone else stops someone from saying or doing something.

        1. or steal other people’s money via taxes. Very few are those that will become thiefs (it’s risky) but millions of indivudal want the governement to taxe “rich” people, a very safe en popular way to steal…

        2. That’s my point — it’s monopoly coercive government which turns people into the offencerati and other customers of coercive government. Without having such a handy nanny to sic on others, people would grumble and whine, but not actually lift a finger to do anything about it. Maybe from laziness, maybe from being cowards, maybe for many reasons; doesn’t matter, really.

          Government creates a society of snitches and thieves because no one wants to be the one snitched upon or stolen from without getting in on the action themselves.

      2. “I’m convinced that few people actually value freedom.”

        Or have a definition of it that is anything but freedom. For most, freedom comes with ‘limits’. Whatever that may entail.

      3. “I think most people want to leave other people alone.”

        Bullshit. I wish that were true.

        What people really want is for you to be like them, act the way they want you to, and—most horrifyingly—THINK like them.

        That last one is the most important. If you don’t think the way they do, HOLY FUCKING SHIT. That shit is important to them, even if me thinking different than them has no effect on their lives.

    4. “I’m convinced that few people actually value freedom.”

      Using the word convinced makes it sound like it is not self-evident.

      Generally truth and responsibility are feared. This is why the majority hate freedom. Freedom requires that you not bullshit yourself that the world is what you wish it was and that you enjoy or suffer the consequences of your own decisions. Who wants to face that? It is safer to put those into the hands of top men.

      People are herd animals, what do you want?

    5. Free speech makes people feel insecure. Hate speech? scares them. Political disagreement offends their sense of being right. Poor taste embarrasses them. They want predictability. They want their beliefs left unchallenged. They want security.

      You realize how ironic it is for you to say this? When your side is comparing speech critical of Hebdo to censorship? If anybody’s pissing their pants over this, it’s Reason and Reasonoids.

      1. Reason is not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to criticize Hebdo. They are criticizing those who are trying to *indict* Hebdo for their speech.

        And BTW, who is this “your side,” and what “side” do you see yourself as being on?

        1. I’m not on anybody’s side, because nobody’s on my side.

          You people appear to be siding with this author and so-called Reason.

          1. Why be so binary about ideas and force them into sides? That I disagree with you does not require that I agree with those you disagree with. I can agree with you on one point and disagree on another.

            One thing I like about libertarians in general is that they seem to be more nuanced than progressives and conservatives–they may agree with one another in some ways while disagreeing fervently in others. And many here tend to have a reason for a position. They don’t just take a position because that’s the way the team sees it. I’d much rather have complicated rivalries than simplistic Consensus?.

      2. Sure….that side is clamoring for action from the Government to stop people from saying and writing things they don’t like. A woman wrote an article and is now being investigated for an opinion someone else does not like.

        If the speech was merely criticism of the position I would agree, but it isn’t. And, that is not where this event and others like it are headed. There is a really large anti-free speech segment of our population – as there is in any population, or ever was in any population. It constantly must be stood up against.

      3. You realize how ironic it is for you to say this? When your side is comparing speech critical of Hebdo to censorship? If anybody’s pissing their pants over this, it’s Reason and Reasonoids.

        Which is MY side?

        Besides, I’m not familiar with claims that critical speech is censorship. No, it’s the calls for censorship that are being called censorship. Furthermore, there is a bit of censorship going on in Europe these days. One need not look far to find it. So, generic claims of attempted censorship is sure to find some basis just from the abundance of it.

        Also, I’m interested in thoughtful criticism of Hebdo. I think they have poor taste. But they still have a right to their poor taste.

        You shouldn’t assume that everybody chooses sides just because you do. I reserve my right to support whichever side I happen to agree with at any given time. That’s freedom of thought. It’s akin to freedom of speech, and necessary for it.

      4. “You realize how ironic it is for you to say this? When your side is comparing speech critical of Hebdo to censorship? If anybody’s pissing their pants over this, it’s Reason and Reasonoids.”

        Yeah, no one is even considering censorship over this, are they?
        Oh, look:
        “Britain’s Society of Black Lawyers described Charlie Hebdo as “racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt.” The Society said it was considering reporting the publications to the International Criminal Court on the grounds that its cartoons were an “incitement to hate crime and persecution.”

        You realize how ignorant you sound?

        1. Somebody saying they might file a complaint, but probably won’t, and the complaint wouldn’t go anywhere even if they did, is not censorship. It merely reveals the would-be complainer as an asshat.

          Most of what the author is complaining about is mere criticism with no threat of coercion at all.

          1. Sure|9.19.15 @ 2:43PM|#
            “Somebody saying they might file a complaint, but probably won’t, and the complaint wouldn’t go anywhere even if they did, is not censorship. It merely reveals the would-be complainer as an asshat.”
            MOVE them goalposts, Tulpa!

            “Most of what the author is complaining about is mere criticism with no threat of coercion at all.”
            You’ve already been handed your hat on that line of bullshit.

          2. There is a tribunal set up to review cases of naughty speech and punish people for that speech. That is censorship. Your comment is akin to saying there is no law against murder because a jury may decide not to indict someone in a particular case. The machinery of censorship is in place and somebody is threatening to use it. You have to be completely fucking retarded to not recognize that.

            1. The ICC is not “a tribunal set up to review cases of naughty speech” any more than the US judicial branch is. Most of its work has nothing to do with speech. Occasionally loonies attempt to bring speech cases before them but they usually get shot down.

              1. Ah so they only act as a tribunal to punish naughty speech sometimes. That is totally different. It only counts after all if punishing naughty speech is the only thing they do. Right?

  4. “There’s free speech, hate speech and simply disgusting & distasteful vitriol.”

    Actually, all those are free speech.

    Oh wait! I forgot—We should only protect speech we agree with.

    1. Yes, they all should be free from coercion. But hateful speech, and speech purely intended to cause offense, should not be free from criticism, disapproval, and shunning of the speaker.

      Freedom of speech only works where there are noncoercive controls in place to discourage bad speech.

      1. What entails ‘noncoercive controls?’

        Sounds like an oxymoron.

        1. I gave examples of noncoercive controls in the post you’re responding to. The threat of loss of association with friends, customers, employers, etc. is a very powerful threat indeed, and a source of social control that is totally consistent with libertarianism.

          1. Ah. But that’s not what’s happening and won’t happen.

            And you know it.

            1. That’s exactly what’s happening. Aside from the hypothetical ICC complaint by the black lawyers brigade which has zero chance of resulting in actual coercion, everything this author is complaining about is noncoercive.

              1. “Indeed, it’s worth remembering that before Charlie Hebdo was shot up, it had already been taken to court by people offended by its rabble-rousing?because France, like every other European country, has actual laws against being overly offensive about religious groups.”

                Yep, no reason to be concerned with coercion.
                Sorry, when X threatens to file a government complaint, most here take that seriously, and if you don’t, why just ask the Reason staff what happened when someone mentioned wood chippers.

                1. In that case there was actual coercion attempted. Not comparable. And while I think the DA was going overboard, some of the comments they took issue with could indeed have been interpreted as threats if taken literally.

                  Just because something refers to a famous scene from a movie doesn’t mean it’s not a threat. Most adults manage to go through life without making public statements that are death threats if taken literally; I know some libertarians need a handicap vs. other adults, but seriously.

                  1. You’re such a corpse-fucking asshole, Tulpa/ Tony/ Shreek, whoever you are. Probably Tony.

      2. “hateful speech, and speech purely intended to cause offense, should not be free from criticism, disapproval, and shunning of the speaker”

        Agreed. But they should be free from criminal action on the part of the government, which is what this article is saying.

        “Freedom of speech only works where there are noncoercive controls in place to discourage bad speech”

        And what, my friend, would a “non-coercive” control be, exactly?

        1. This article is complaining mostly about noncoercive criticism; about people tweeting that Hebdo is racist, newspapers expressing negative editorial opinions about Hebdo, etc. There is the one group that said they may file a complaint with the ICC, but mostly it’s just criticism. Then there’s this idiotic line that betrays the author’s fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of freedom of speech:

          Charlie Hebdo, and others, will get flak so long as Western society values individuals’ and group self-esteem over freedom of speech.

          Hebdo “getting flak” (i.e., criticism and disapproval) for their speech is NOT inconsistent with freedom of speech. In fact it’s necessary to keep freedom of speech viable. People will not tolerate a situation where they can’t even talk back to someone who says something that offends them. If you hitch freedom of speech to that idiocy, you’re going to lose freedom of speech along with the idiocy.

          1. “Charlie Hebdo, and others, will get flak so long as Western society values individuals’ and group self-esteem over freedom of speech.

            Hebdo “getting flak” (i.e., criticism and disapproval) for their speech is NOT inconsistent with freedom of speech.”

            Yes, and that particular part of the article was not addressing freedom of speech.
            Sophistry; Tulpaish, Boish. Insulting.

            1. The line that complained about self-esteem being valued over freedom of speech was not addressing freedom of speech?

              Are you always this obtuse?

              1. The problem is that you are confused. The article takes up 2 topics.

                1. The formal censorship of free speech
                2. The freak out the professional SJW types have anytime somebody says something they don’t like.

                One is a criticism of odious laws that allow people to censor. The other is a cultural criticism of the hypersensitive jackasses who get bent out of shape anytime somebody expresses an idea they disagree with. They are related issues and belong in the same article because the SJW types referenced in point 2 try to use and expand the government powers in point 1 to shut people up.

                Hope that helps.

                1. There is not a single example of formal censorship of speech in this article. So if the article is about that, the author sure didn’t give any evidence for it.

                  To repeat: Someone threatening to file a complaint, which has NO chance of leading to actual coercion, is not “censorship”.

                  1. Shorter Sure: Watch me while I corpse-fuck this thread to get the last word in!!

                    You are really a sad dick.

                  2. There is a difference between there being “no chance” and your opinion that there will not be a chance. Do you have actual evidence of that? I am thinking not. These international tribunals have tried to punish speech before. It is reasonable to think an entity that accepts complaints about speech and has pursued them in the past might this time. Laws for possession of small amounts of marijuana rarely result in jail time but they sometimes do and you would be legitimately concerned if someone was trying to send you to jail for that.

      3. There must be controls in place, one way or the other. People should not be allowed to speak against what most people think. Jawohl, Herr Commandant.

  5. Speaking of fags who hate free speech:

    http://www.worldcrunch.com/cul…../c3s19660/

    This guy is like the tattletale back in 2nd grade, only he is trying to get you fired.

    1. “His detractors say that “he fights for the abolition of freedom of speech.” He clearly views it another way.”

      And would deny anyone who doesn’t see it his way a livelihood.

    2. David calls himself “a warrior for social justice.”

      Warrior for social justice = thought police. These really are the worst kinds of people.

  6. There’s a difference between supporting freedom of speech and supporting a particular instance of speech. Voltaire understood it, apparently Reason does not. “I disagree with what you say but will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

    The first cartoon is tasteless; there is really no connection between consumerism and the drowned children so using them in it is disgusting. Still deserves free speech protection, but it does not deserve our support or approval.

    The second cartoon is more interesting because it completely contradicts Hebdo’s previous view of Islam and the supposed danger Europe faced from Muslims. One wonders if the most vocal supporters of Hebdo — Islamophobes tearing their hair out over Muslim immigration — will continue their support in view of the meaning of the cartoon. Still, it’s understandable that given Hebdo’s past work, a lot of people will misunderstand the cartoon.

    1. Maybe you should go back and read the article.

      1. Why, is there something in the article that blunts my critique? Or is this just your standard response when you don’t have an argument?

        1. Reason wasn’t standing up for Hebdo because it agreed with the cartoons. As a matter of fact, it critiqued the cartoons. It stood up for Hebdo strictly on the point of free speech. Very Voltairesque. Not sure how you aren’t seeing this.

          1. That’s not true. Do you know what “Je suis Charlie” means? Anybody who adopts that term is ipso facto supporting Hebdo, not merely supporting freedom of speech.

            Matt Welch himself even attacked writers who merely disapproved of Hebdo getting an award. These writers prefaced their disapproval by noting that they supported Hebdo’s freedom of speech, and Welch amazingly tried to use that as evidence of their supposed opposition to freedom of speech.

            Reason likes to throw its brain out the window sometimes, what can I say.

            1. link to Welch article

              A full 145 members of PEN, including some of the original refuseniks (and some other names you might recognize, such as Joyce Carol Oates), have attached their name to a remarkable document that encapsulates as well as anything I have seen the sick cloud that hangs over the Enlightenment idea of free speech.

              “We do not believe in censoring expression,” the 145 write, ominously. (Strange, how no actual champion of free speech I’ve ever encountered has felt the need to issue such a disclaimer.) “However, there is a critical difference between staunchly supporting expression that violates the acceptable, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression.”

              While I’m sure Welch has never encountered Voltaire in a physical sense, hopefully he has read some of his works and considers him a champion of free speech.

        2. From the article:

          “To my eyes, this looks like a (pretty lame) criticism of European consumerism, the kind of lazy lefty platitude that Charlie Hebdo often indulges in.”

          Which is exactly what you are saying, but you are saying it as if you disagree with them. Not sure what your point is.

          1. That’s part of what I’m saying; the author doesn’t take issue with Hebdo’s use of dead children to make their lame criticism. His article in its entirety is completely in disagreement with my point. He apparently thinks criticism and shaming are in conflict with freedom of speech.

            1. Do you think that the cartoons do not constitute “free speech”? Because the article quotes and criticizes people who think they are not.

              Do you think the writer of the cartoons should be punished criminally? The article quotes and criticizes people who do.

              That is the point of the article. I see nothing to support your assertion that O’Neill or anyone else is opposed to the idea of criticizing Hebdo in general.

              1. Most of the people he’s complaining about are just criticizing Hebdo, not calling for any coercion. It is “reasonable” to infer that he is against criticizing Hebdo, or at least to criticize them for being racist, xenophobic, etc. His line about the first cartoon being lame indicates he thinks it’s OK to criticize lameness though; one wonders why he makes that distinction.

                1. “It is “reasonable” to infer that he is against criticizing Hebdo, or at least to criticize them for being racist, xenophobic”

                  I think you missed the part where he was pointing out the irony of people complaining that cartoons that were *clearly* criticizing the racism and xenophobia in the European reactions to the refugees were racist and xenophobic.

                  To reiterate: the cartoons are *themselves* satirizing racism and xenophobia. The article is not saying that people shouldn’t be *allowed* to call them racist and xenophobic – it is pointing out that they are being idiots and hypocrites for doing so.

                  1. To reiterate: the cartoons are *themselves* satirizing racism and xenophobia.

                    The first cartoon certainly is not. The second cartoon, maybe, but that would certainly go against Hebdo’s core ideology, which explicitly aimed for the destruction of Islam in France. So it’s possible the article’s interpretation of the cartoon is a bit too charitable.

                    If the author is merely complaining that somebody is wrong on the Internet, then damn, he’s got a lot of writing to do.

                    1. I can tell you that everyone in France get the message as an anti-racist joke because we know that it’s the kind of humor that Charlie Hebdo use. And Charlie Hebdo is far left and pro-immigration.
                      Maybe you don’t understand french humor…

                      Anyway, if you want some real exemple of censorship in France, just google “Dieudonn? m’Bala”.
                      Or “Minute”, it’s a right wing journal that just have been condamned for a joke about the black minister of justice, you will be surpised that the joke was not rascist by itself, it’s the motive behind the joke that has been condamned.

                    2. You don’t know anything about charlie hebdo’s core ideology.
                      Anyway, it’s not like if the core ideology of Islam was not about the destruction of everything that is non-islamic, i’m sure atheists and apostats from the muslim word could witness that they are respected as they deserve for their faith.

  7. The “unobjectionable” things people say, or write, don’t require free speech protections. The progfascists will never understand what that means unless they’ve been given a big, healthy dose of their own vile and repressive medicine. And like that’ll ever happen.

  8. ????Start your home business right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing 78$/hr just on a c0mputer. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning continuously. Start here?………………………..

    http://www.jobhome20.com

  9. “It had also been upbraided by, among others, President Obama.”

    There’s a surprise. Viscount Vapid strikes again!

    1. Haven’t you heard Rufus? The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Piss on freedom of speech.

      If the smarmy little twink ever did anything to deserve an ass whipping, saying that was it. I will never forgive the fucking idiots who elected that POS. Twice.

      1. but but but Obamas not a Muslim!!!! Are you insinuating he’s a Muslim?

        You’re gonna need to apologize for that and make a public statement that you know Obama’s a Christian and on top of that is the best president ever!!!

  10. You know who else wrote hateful things?

  11. Is this Reason? When a story appeared where something was the fault of someone other than Donald Trump I was beginning to wonder. ‘It’s Trump’s fault’ is the new ‘It’s Bush’s fault’.

  12. Just fucking got lost and shit on this thread like a crumpet got fucking lost in like fucking today. Because who the goddamn fuckin fuck eats crumpets beside raggedy ann. Like fucking swimming with a goddamn snorkel way to deep with fucking shits who live on boats. I will figure this fucking crap out.

    1. Crumpets and tea will make you pee. Wash ’em down with enough cups and the snorkel will come in handy dandy.

  13. “The police are investigating. Seriously. A British police force in 2015 is investigating a woman on suspicion of expressing herself.”

    Remember, people, do this only in private and wash yourselves thoroughly afterward.

    Oh, Merry England!

    1. Nowhere in the article that he links to does it say the police are investigating. It merely says that a complaint was filed.

      Yet another Reason writer lying about what his links say and hoping nobody bothers to check (usually this hope is fulfilled due to the echo chamber nature of the commentariat).

      1. CORPSE-FUCKED AGAIN!!!

        We’re gonna have to start calling Sure “The Necrophiliac”….

        1. You realize the comments I’m responding to are from this morning?

          I would come up with a catchy insulting name for you too, but it’s hard to top the one you already have in the lame and unfunny category.

          1. CORPSE-FUCKED AGAIN!!!! WOE IS MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

  14. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.