Sudden “bravery” in defense of free speech following Charlie Hebdo?

Great article by Rex Murphy.


Why do we wallow in some shallow hollow of factitious guilt, moaning over our failings to “understand” after 9/11, after Mumbai, after London, after Ottawa, after Paris this week, rather than laying the guilt on the real perpetrators and the ideology that fires them?

Our universities bleat about inquiry and free speech, but they are feeble and craven, caving in to protestors and special interests, pleading “sensitivity” and the “wish not to offend” any time some topic or speaker threatens to “hurt” the professionally agitated on campus. Where was “we” when a band of fatuous progressives protested former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice giving a convocation address at Rutgers University? She worked for Bush, so free speech be dammed.

Where was We of the Hash-tags when Ann Coulter was pre-emptively cautioned about what she could or should say by officials at the University of Ottawa?

There are more examples closer to home: Christie Blatchford howled from the stage at the University of Waterloo, a pro-life speaker at St. Mary’s University in Halifax met with the feverish chant of “No hate speech in our school!” — and the administration, of course, shutting down the talk.

I could continue for a week. This part of the world has a sack full of pieties when it comes to free speech, but its own actions, and frequently its own words, put the lie to all of them. Bowing to ruthless protest has become a habit. Labelling speech some people simply do not wish to hear as “hate speech” succeeds in silencing it. In matters big and small, on issues from global warming to abortion, there is collusion — we call it political correctness — over what should not be said, what cannot be said.

It’s worth adding too that there is no such fastidiousness when it comes to images rebuking, mocking, insulting or demeaning any of the symbols — the cross, the host, the mass — of the Christian faith. The North American media and so-called comedy shows make a tiresome habit of slandering or crudely defaming the majority faith of the North American continent, all the while lying — yes lying — that they are equal opportunity offenders.

We could add: where was the media when Ruth Lobo and her peaceful friends were handcuffed and put in a paddy wagon for simply exposing medical photographs of abortion at Carleton University?

I have a slightly different angle than Rex Murphy on this one. To me, it seems as though the average Joe in the West is maybe waking up and taking a laudable and necessary first step here (I’m not sure about the media’s mental journey). However, what Rex points out is that the average Joe is generally quite cowardly and only speaks out against oppression of free speech if they have support from the vast majority of the population. No one will stick out their neck for small group or marginalized victim, but if there’s a crowd of 1 million, they’ll join in. That’s not very deep and solid, which is why free speech will keep getting eroded as long as the media and politicians pick off their victims one by one.

One thought on “Sudden “bravery” in defense of free speech following Charlie Hebdo?

  1. This is from GOPUSA.

    After leaving the highly offensive photo titled “Piss Christ” posted for 26 years; despite decades of public Christian outcry over the image panned as art; The Associated Press finally removed the controversial, and denigrating image, but only after a journalist called out its “double standard” brought to light when it touted its policy of not publishing potentially offensive Charlie Hebdo satirical cartoons of Muhammad, such as the ones that incited the deadly Paris attack.

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