BBC News: "At least 12 people have been shot dead in Paris - 2 of them police officers - after masked men stormed the offices of a French magazine. 10 others have been wounded - several critically - at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly which has printed cartoons deriding the prophet mohammed. Gunmen burst into the magazine's offices in the centre of Paris."
"JE SUIS CHARLIE."
My sympathy is strong for the deaths of the humorists and editorialists in Paris, France, last week. My emotion is also strong as I share a major commonality with the murdered in this horrific event. It is an offense to my normally good-feeling empathy. Empathy because it is the expression of opinion we shared, and mutually loved. So, to a lesser degree than their survivors, I feel the loss and the veritable stabbing of the heart as I can only imagine the reality. Living in America as I do, the stabbing is dull for me, detached.
I'll save my many quarrels with religion in general and Islam in specific for a better article. This essay is opinion about the offense to the world's freedom to communicate.
My empathy is greatly offended by this attack because many of us practice free expression also. Many of us also satirizing the culture around us. Some were not expecting to have to have pay with their lives, or by any physical harm. But the passions of individuals can not be policed. Because when distributing our opinions, it can not be known when and how to what degree others will react to our expressions. We who publish edgy opinion, humor and such, walk a tight-rope submerged just below the water level of our heads. We bob up out of the water as we breathe the freedom of each publication, hoping not to get shot at in these periodically occurring times. In the U.S., we have become accustomed to offending others with our speech and not expectant of retribution, for the most part.
Guess what most of America? It is not the American Constitution that protects Americans' speech. That document only informs the government that IT may never infringe on our speech and in particular our religious and political published speech. It is just us that protects our free speech. It is a community standard that is all. Apparently, among radical Islamist, the community standard in westernized nations is frustrating to a strong degree as its' standard is far below their own religiously inspired morality, and they can stand it no longer.
Writers, cartoonists, and all those expressing opinion should acknowledge and keep a couple of important concepts in mind: That first, knowledge of our fragile cultural condition and the nuts that lay within must be realistically understood. Secondly we combine this understanding with a very careful measure of the risk in each instance of publishing. Because there is now more than ever, to allow us to function safely in this modern day as artists and opinion communicators, reason to be worried.
|Free speech warrior credentials earned: Myself, the author (left) at Radio Free Monterey, circa 1999, It was a Low Power FM radio, community, and worldwide FM radio and internet "netcasting" station. Built from scratch, owned
and operated by myself, mentioned in Who's Who in the United States, 1999, for community radio advocacy. The station was progressive and activist and advocating for FM radio freedom from corporate take-over in the United States.
Successful, an LPFM license can now be legally obtained by economically small stations, as RFM was.
Thanks a lot "Americans."
Read the damn First Amendment. Then think about it.
Copyright Reserved. James G. Mason, January, 2015. JamesGMason.com
#RADICALISLAM #ISIS #ISSL #terrorism #jesuischarlie #charliehebdo