The execution of the staff at Paris’ Charlie-Hebdo office is creating a stir. The issue is whether offensive speech should be allowed in polite society.
It’s a debate that has been going on for centuries, and America is unique in defending free speech. Our right to free speech is enshrined in the Constitution. The problem is that if only inoffensive speech is allowed, only the offended are protected. Our constitutional “equal protection” provisions end up being not so equally applied.
"You know the biggest thing I dread?" he whispered. "When I can't wipe my own rear end. For some reason, that really bothers me."
Professor Schwartz was lamenting the loss of power that comes late in life.
Claire Berlinski has a first-hand account of the aftermath of the attack.
Peggy Noonan has an article in The Wall Street Journal (unfortunately behind the paywall) that goes over the free speech issues associated with the attack. Her conclusion:
A singular feature of extremist Islamists is that they are not at all interested in persuasion. They don’t care about winning you over, only about making you submit. They want to menace and threaten. They want to frighten. They enjoy posing with the severed head."The elephant in the room" is that extremist Islamists TEACH PEOPLE TO HATE and Ms. Noonan avoids making that point. Those who eschew the hate need to be heard.