Neal Brown believes that free speech is costly but worth the investment.
Although I, very regrettably, never completed and utilized my journalism studies that I started back in Belfast, I have always had a strong interest and connection with journalistic media. Take away the idiotic sensational journalism that caters for people that honestly give a shit about the flavour of scents that Kim Kardashian farts or dumbing TMZ exclusives, and you have a craft that has enriched, entertained and educated the people of this world for an eon.
The real media is a tool that can be used to express and support one’s beliefs, policies, opinions and truths, and this freedom of speech goes beyond being simply an American stature, but an absolute right for all.
Once again, this right was perversely violated yesterday, in a barbaric and savage attack…a result of a satirical comic strip! In the past, we witnessed such mindless acts like the Palestinian Army of Islam kidnapping the BBC’s Alan Johnston, the ISIS shocking string of beheading reporters (with all due respect to the non-journalist they murdered, of course) and now the brave people behind the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
I am always saddened when events like this happen. Deep inside I feel a small connection to this media and it’s pain. These were people doing an important job. There’s is no perfect story or situation that can be reported, that will make every single person react the same. There is a beauty to journalism—there is an ideal side for each of us—but to resort to the infuckingsane levels of these religious zealous perpetrators is beyond reasonable mental comprehension. There is no winner today….no victor to bask in glorious valor…just a combustible, unjust bomb to blow up a manifestation of hate, terror and blind ignorance.
I grew up in a country, and a time, where religion could be life-or-death. It’s pure idioticracy, in my opinion. I don’t judge people for being religious—after all, it’s their God-given right—but the extent to which they feel they can act upon it, sickens me. I wish I could understand clearly why events like today had to happen. I wish I personally knew a person of Islamic faith and knowledge to ponder with. This inhumane action was not an attack from Islam. It was not endorsed by any God or deity. It was not sponsored by any State or official party, but, regrettably, it was a major success in the tarnishing off ALL Muslims….believe it or not readers, not every Muslim is a terrorist, in the same way, not every Catholic-raised citizen of Northern Ireland is a terrorist…..you can trust me on that.
The City of Lights was dimmed today, but not diminished. Free speech was violated, but not silenced; opinions were tested and tortured, but not oppressed; humanity was assaulted but remains as stoic as ever.
We were reminded that free speech is costly, but worth the investment. Let’s keep publishing, expressing, highlighting and occasionally dividing.
Let’s exercise our writes! Pour République Française. Pour tout le monde!
Photo: Thibault Camus / AP Photo