Now, below, is a an edited version of my own most recent newspaper column, which covered the attacks and issues of free speech — not in France but here in the US.
|It would be nice if all were forgiven. Or, if USA Today|
would have run other Charlie Hebdo cover art.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
(I chose precisely this because Marlin, Texas is about 50 percent African-American and about 35 percent Caucasian — many of that number being older, and not fully "reconstructed" whites — and thus knowing that one or the other of the two groups would be offensive to about everybody here.)
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
“Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
That's why I don't like public or private university hate speech codes here in the U.S. Even though I think Steve Salaita is not all that, I still don't like him being tripped up over such codes. Humorous issues of schadenfreude that such codes produce at times, including for tripping up so-called "social justice warriors," when we get to serious brass tacks, I don't like them. And, they're not needed on college campuses anyway. Students who are intimidated by a professor have grievance channels. (And, since as much as 75 percent of teaching staff at the average modern higher education outlet today is part-time adjunct instructors, students are quite likely to win such grievances.)