Excerpt from James Lilek’s Athwart column in the 2/9/15 National Review:
Being Sad Together is the West’s secret weapon, apparently. The Bad guys are supposed to look at the masses crowded into the elegant public spaces of a European capital and feel shame, because feeling were hurt. It is more likely the terrorist look at these events and thing what a few stout fellows strapped with plastic explosives and ball bearing could do.
Being Sad Together is suppose to show a nation’s indomitable will: We will not be cowed by this heinous act for at least 48 hours, after which we shall fracture along the usual lines. Two points emerged as the glow of Being Charlie faded and the candles guttered. To wit:
One: We must not give in to Islamophobia. The ever-thoughtful overclass had the usual reaction: I may not agree with your co-religionists’ stoning homosexuals and oppressing women, but I will defend to the death your right not to be criticized by people with the wrong motivations. Well, I’ll defend it right up until the break, and then we have to go to a story about how rich Mitt Romney is. To say that Islam had any connection to the events was regarded as a mark of simplistic thinking, like blaming Germany if someone drove a VW into a crowd of people. It was the act of extremists, a word used to cleave certain groups from the ideologies they wish to advance. (“Extremists” on the right, of course, are expressing the fundamental malevolence of anyone who is insufficiently statist or secular.) …
Two: We must have a conversation about the limits of speech, and by “conversation” we mean “Shut up and take notes.” Liberals were keen on free speech for a while, since the boring square WASP establishment had codes and laws that stifled expression and intellectual diversity. Everything ought to be free to be ridiculed, including the ridiculer. Why, if you put Lenny Bruce on a crucifix in a jar of urine, that would b e the apes of the West fright there. Especially if you pulled a string and he swore! Daring. Eventually the liberals were supplanted by the progressives, who wanted to replace the social order instead of improve it. This meant splitting people into groups that sub-divided like amoebas, each with its own narrative of oppression and supply of self-replenighing rage, all united against the symbol of the human species’ most powerful foe: some married guy who likes hamburgers and drives a truck…
Thus: If you decline to … install a “polygender safe space,” in the form of a third restroom, you are a hater, and speaking your opinion on the matter is hate speech, inasmuch as it does not validate the other person’ self conception.
If, on the other hand, you put up a website devoted to fat people who drive scooters around Walmart with a JESUS IS MY CO-PILOT bumper sticker on the back, you are hilarious.
Since the purpose of speech has become the reinforcement of whatever orthodoxy has been minted over the weekend, speech that abrades the tender gums of the vanguard must not be afforded protection, and criminal penalties are necessary to bind rude tongues.
A more apt sign would have been JE SUIS CHARLIE, MAIS… The “but” reminds us that life is a balancing act and there are no absolutes. It is wrong to murder cartoonists, oui, BUT we must understand the historical cultural intersectional Orientalist nativist colonialist racist othering at work, which is why we need the State to codify expression so that all dialogue runs ton rails towards the desired destination. If some of those rails take a spur to the reeducation camp and people learn that there are things that cannot be thought, let alone spoken, that’s the best kind of free speech.
TOUNGUE-BITE MACHT FREI. Says so right over the camp gates! Must be true.