Macswain

Monday, February 20, 2006

Free To Speak Stupidly ... Well, Not For Everybody

60 Minutes did a great job last night in providing full coverage of the Danish-Muhammad Cartoon Furor.

As one interviewee wisely (IMHO) stated, free speech includes the right to speak stupidly. People then have the corresponding right to respond to hate speech and offensive speech through criticism and protest (though certainly not through violence or vandalism).

Unfortunately, the Danish government, while acting properly in not interfering with the paper's free speech rights to publish the offending cartoons, has also been reluctant to criticize the cartoons and the paper that published them.

Now today, we hear that whackjob "historian" David Irving has been sentenced to three years in prison for statements of Holocaust denial. While certainly we need to be vigilant against the contra-factual and offensive statements from guys like Irving, jailing him is inconsistent with the moral imperative of Free Speech.

The inconsistency in the treatment between the Danish cartoon publishers and the Irving statements is striking and almost certain to fuel further cries of double standards in the Muslim world.

The Muslims who have turned to violence and vandalism deserve to be criticized and should face criminal charges for their acts. Those Muslims and others who have peacefully protested and criticized deserve greater recognition. The current Danish and Austrian governments deserve criticism - one for its reluctance to denounce patently offensive speech and the other for failing to properly recognize the price for free speech is freedom for all, including the idiots like Irving.

4 Comments:

  • McStupid:

    Where did you come up with the following statement:

    As one interviewee wisely (IMHO) stated, free speech includes the right to speak stupidly. People then have the corresponding right to respond to hate speech and offensive speech through criticism and protest (though certainly not through violence or vandalism).

    Though certainly not through violence or vandalism. Whoa, now, where did that statement come from? Speech can be as damaging as violence. Rolly

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 AM  

  • Rolly:

    You've reappeared after several weeks away from the blog. During your absence, some have speculated that you were in rehab.

    Care to comment? Or would your speech on this subject "be as damaging as violence"?

    By Anonymous webhub, at 1:55 PM  

  • Rolly's no stick-and-stones-will-break-my-bones kinda guy. He apparently argues one day that all ideas should be on the table (he supported the nut job--sorry I can't remember who it was--who stated that the crime rate would be reduced if we killed all black babies), but now says words are dangerous. Could it be he's just full of shit?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 PM  

  • rolly? full of shit?

    what an interesting idea.

    By Anonymous fuckrolly, at 6:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home