14 September 2012
Free speech...with a price
This whole thing is senseless to me. America's ambassador to Libya did not need to die. That seven people have died in protests over an anti-Islamic movie produced by a convicted felon (financial crimes and drug charges) and promoted by an extremist (ah, the irony) Florida pastor, is senseless.
What is it about the freedom of speech that empowers people to think that the things they say have no consequences? It is insane to me to think that your words have no consequences. They do. Their is a price for free speech. In this case, it's being paid in blood. Not good.
It's been interesting to see the blogosphere light up on this one. Somehow the violent reaction of a small minority of Arabs to what they perceive as blasphemy makes it OK to paint an entire group as blood-thirsty hate fiends. Glenn Beck is weighing in, which is almost as frightening as the protests, and can only mean that he will use broad brush strokes of tired stereotypes to blame the entire Arab population for this and somehow tie the President to it as well. Thanks, Brother Beck.
What's happening in the Middle East is not simply about this film. It would be naive to think so. There are many other issues at play that are causing the ongoing unrest. Many of those reasons are ones that we will never understand. Calling for a swift and violent response will solve nothing. Talk about adding fuel to the fire...
Words can sometimes be the most deadly weapons of them all. Choose them wisely.