JE SUIS CHARLIE? IT’S A BIT LATE

This is an excellent post about Charlie Hebdo and the culture of self-censorship, and what Pascal Bruckner and others call “the racism of the anti-racists” and that annoying insistence by some people on the left and liberals that darker skinned people can somehow never be villains. Including that having that attitude both excuses crimes like the Charlie Hebdo massacre and assumes that all Muslims are reactionary.

Pandaemonium

veilled

‘Je suis Charlie’. It’s a phrase in every newspaper, in every Twitter feed, on demonstrations in cities across Europe. The expressions of solidarity with those slain in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices are impressive. They are also too late. Had journalists and artists and political  activists taken a more robust view on free speech over the past 20 years then we may never have come to this.

Instead, they have helped create a new culture of self-censorship. Partly, it is a question of fear, an unwillingness to take the kind of risks that the editors of Charlie Hebdo courted, and for which they have paid such a heavy price. But fear is only part of the explanation. There has also developed over the past two decades a moral commitment to censorship, a belief that because we live in a plural society, so we must police public discourse about different…

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