Thursday, January 8, 2015

A social justice warrior defends the Charlie Hebdo massacre

Yes, this blog is live again. I apologize, but whenever I think warriors can't up the stakes, they do. Case in point:

At Unpopular Opinion: Satire Should Punch Up. Charlie Hebdo Did Not. | Miss Kitty Stryker writes:
It makes me sick to think that the people working for Charlie Hebdo got exactly what they wanted- the public riled up into violence against Muslims.
I think it's safe to assume that the people working for Charlie Hebdo did not want to be gunned down for exercising free speech.

Now, I agree with Miss Stryker that no one should confuse islamist murderers with muslims, just as no one should confuse christianist murderers like Anton Breivik or the Ku Klux Klan with Christians. And she's very right when she says Hebdo's brand of humor was generally reprehensible. But freedom of speech exists so none of us can be silenced simply because some people think what we want to say is reprehensible. That anyone who believes something that was once censored can turn around and support censorship appalls me, but too often, the bullied become bullies and believe having been bullied justifies their bullying in turn.

In many ways, Stryker's a typical warrior: she claims to oppose censorship, then goes on to explain that censorship is right for things she doesn't like. I fear she's not unique in conflating the idea that free speech has consequences with the notion that we should be prepared to be murdered when we say what we think.

One more point from her post. She cites Gamergaters doxxing and threatening people as an example of the abuse of free speech, yet says nothing about anti-GG people who do the same thing. In that kerfuffle, if you say a black person or a woman was doxxed or got death threats, you could be talking about a victim on either side. There are no saints in wars or flamewars.

ETA. A truth no warrior understands: Censorship is the tool of the oppressor. Free speech is the tool of the liberator.

ETA 2: When I say "generally reprehensible", that does not mean I approve or disapprove of what they say; it means I recognize that they offend many people. But anyone who says Charlie Hebdo is a racist publication because they mock all religions has a curious definition of racism. Here's who they are:

Charlie Hebdo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Charlie Hebdo (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁli ɛbdo]; French for Weekly Charlie) is a French satirical weekly newspaper, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication is strongly anti-racist[2] and left-wing, publishing articles on the extreme right, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, politics, culture, etc. According to its former editor, Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), the magazine's editorial viewpoin