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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SALLY MORRIS:  PART 5 - FREEDOM OF SPEECH 101:  SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

 

 

There are lots of topics on which having the “wrong” opinion can get one killed - or at least silenced.  A few are: Islam or immigration; manmade “climate change’; race or demographics in almost any context; the pharmaceutical industry; the Second Amendment; gay rights - including everything from gay marriage to “gender” dysphoria; ethnic or gender-related data;  abortion, affirmative action; health care; the removal of monuments and statues; women’s issues (including reproductive rights); religion and identification/voting rights - or even grammar.

 

This trouble comes from law enforcement and the courts, the corporate world (examples - Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc., as well as businesses such as Starbucks), the media, the schools/institutions of higher learning, and thugs in the worlds of Islam, LGBTQ or various “ANTIFA” fronts.  It might be a law suit generated by an organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center. It can come in the form being banned from a place, “doxxing” (publishing or broadcasting private information endangering a person’s physical safety) or violent manifestations - bombings, arson, beating or murder.

 

One response is to “shoot” the messenger.  Silencing the messenger can take several forms.  Perhaps it will be one’s professional position which is impacted - a cake decorator may feel strongly about not participating in creating a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  His conviction may well cost him not only his business but all his material assets before he’s done. He will be silenced. A male employee is fired for a gender-reference joke overheard in an elevator.  Recently rocker Morrissey supported a dissident, Anne Marie Waters, and activist Tommy Robinson. In retaliation his tour was cancelled.  Actor James Woods was dropped by his agent due to his conservative statements’

 

Being a “man-made climate-change skeptic” (which is to say you disagree with the UN position) can cost you a fortune in legal fees if you are just independently sharing your opinion (as columnist Mark Steyn can attest -  as of this writing his litigation is in its fifth year).   Journalists have been banned for life from western nations like Britain because they were deemed “terrorists’ for distributing mock surveys on whether Mohammed was gay, while actual terrorists who come to kill people are waved in with no problem.  If the object is to silence someone’s voice, recourse to banning him - removing him from a potential audience and bankrupting him financially through the courts are very effective means.  

 

Arrest, a la East German Stasi or Russian NKVD is also effective.  Paul Weston was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill; Tommy Robinson for standing outside of a courthouse reading defendants’ names from a published BBC list not only got him arrested but thrown into prison for over a year where the expectation of most is that he will be murdered.  Pim Fortuyn, prime minister of the Netherlands was assassinated for his critical views of muslims..  Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was stabbed to death in broad daylight. A note pinned to his chest with the knife indicated that his associate, Somali-born Dutch MP, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, would be next.  

 

Death threats have hung over the heads of many critics of Islam - including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller, who organized a “draw Mohammed” contest in Garland, TX.  Robert Spencer, a well-known Islamic scholar and historian, was poisoned in Iceland after making a presentation.  Fortunately he survived.

 

Whether one is murdered, like Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, or nearly murdered, like Spencer or Robinson, or threatened like Molly Norris, Pam Geller, Salman Rushdie or Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz (who has recently closed seven mosques),  or banned from a nation, jailed like Tommy Robinson, fired or dragged through the courts, the enemies of free speech find the way to still the voice of concern, the messenger. All of these people are conveying a message. Steyn urges that we reconsider suicidal policy to address a mythical climate change crisis, a professor seeks to help students discover the truth they pay tuition to hear and is denied work; a journalist seeks to find the truth about an issue and expose it - he is banned or incarcerated.  This goes beyond insults and labels and refusal to air news - it becomes a real threat to the messenger himself.

 

 

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