CFN – No, I am not Charlie. I am not a hero nor a coward. I am a struggling journalist that works in a world where the poor do not get served legally, and are rarely if ever protected; at least compared to the Rich.
I have no hate for any group. I do not like those that lie and abuse; that are cruel, hate and kill.
The World has never been perfect and we have never had Free Speech. That is an illusion. Yesterday in Paris, as 12 journalists were murdered, it was not the first time that this simple truth was proven.
Free Speech only exists if you have enough AK 47’s or legal AK 47’s. While yesterday gripped many the bottom line is that the lack of true free speech leads us down many paths. Today the people most afraid after what happened are Muslims themselves as most in our Western societies will feel the blow back.
Three men chose to kill many. Their deaths will not bring those murdered back. For the bad guys it was a great trade and the symbolism is huge.
The very talented Roy Berger sent a cartoon challenging me to publish it.
His quote to inspire its publication was:
Use my real name. My father ran up Juno Beach. Hitler said, do not make fun of Nazis, better obey. Be not afraid. Only be afraid you can not die twice.
I chose to not publish it. Not because I couldn’t, but because I felt it was purely inflammatory to the bad guys. That it was based on anger and hurt. That it was a challenge. Frankly though I am more concerned about elements of our local police and bad guys than I am from any area Muslims. Sometimes it takes more courage to not to say or write something purely to provoke someone than simply to do so.
You see when it comes to Free Speech for every George Carlin or Richard Pryor, there are Lenny Bruce’s and Dick Gregory. There are those that we never hear about. Those that champion Free Speech that aren’t as entertaining rarely are heard about, and very very few are ever glorified and almost none of them have been supported or protected.
Each year people are killed for saying and writing things. There is no real Free Speech, and we all know that when we work in journalism. Editors, owners, advertisers, governments, spouses….it all impacts on Free Speech.
Not all issues are as black and white as the Charlie Hebdo case. I get that some people say if you show this or type this we will hurt you. So the Charlie Hebdo’s of the World do exactly that. That was their choice and the bad guys made theirs. At the end of the day was it truly about Free Speech or was it simply a deadly game of Scissors, Paper, Stone? And there will be pay back, especially after the way the Paris police officer was killed in the street.
There are thousands of issues related to Free Speech that occur right here at home. I myself am being sued by a School Board because I shared that I thought it was racism for a Principal to not take down images of a Swastika in a High School in a timely fashion. That School Board, using tax dollars, is trying to muzzle that opinion which I shared in this newspaper. That’s the government of Ontario for you.
There are no solutions. Free Speech will always be about Might Makes Right. People can try and live under that illusion, but Free Speech is more random luck, piss off the wrong bad guy and you’ll see a ramification. It’s not about the truth. It rarely ever was.
We live in a scary world filled with scary people. Like the herd racing by the lions; many of us may not ever get eaten, we may never even see the lions, but there will always be some that do.
That doesn’t mean we should choose to capitulate. It doesn’t mean that we should give up. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t truly challenge, like I have in my case against the Upper Canada District School Board, but it does mean that we should respect the power and value of Free Speech and use it judiciously and responsibly.
I don’t honour those twelve that fell in Paris. I feel sad that they lost their lives. I feel more for their friends and family. Mostly I feel for those that truly stand for the truth and issues whose voices and words we will never hear.
Time makes people forgetful. Cemeteries are full of wildly interesting people that nobody has ever heard of.
Are you Charlie? You can post your comments below.
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