Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo pencil cartoonAt the time of writing, the sick and twisted individuals behind the Charlie Hebdo attack have yet to be arrested or killed. Reports of an explosion near where they were located are coming in, and we await the events in Dammartin-En-Goele with great interest.

The horrific images coming out of the massacre in Paris don’t deserve to be reposted here. But the outpouring of libertarianism around the world does. Free speech, in all its forms, is suddenly very popular. I hope it lasts.

How can anyone not be touched by the creativity, courage, solidarity and beauty that almost immediately sprung forth from the cartoonist community?

I’ve been a little concerned at the line that we’re hearing in some places already that goes along the lines of “I agree that no one should be killed for drawing cartoons and I condemn  these attacks, but…”

No.

I’m sorry, no. There is no “but”. You only know you have the right and moral position, when you can defend the very things you disapprove of. Voltaire’s quote about defending what someone says – not matter how strongly you disagree – applies fully today. Especially today.

Any concession against speech or free expression, no matter how hateful or disagreeable that expression, must be removed. Otherwise we’ll be forever stuck with cartoons like this:

Etremist approved cartoon

(Except, in the future, it won’t be a poignant joke.)

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