I clicked the link from RCP, because I couldn’t believe the text was an accurate description of the headline. I screencapped the headline because I couldn’t believe it was an accurate description of the piece. But when Sally Kohn is the author, all bets on sanity are off — so, yes, the headline and link both accurately reflect today’s pravda from her perch at CNN:
This is why it is baffling that political voices around the world, especially conservatives, have argued that we must show our support for Charlie Hebdo and free speech by reprinting the magazine’s offensive cartoons. Remember, this is a publication few outside France had heard of before it was targeted and even fewer had read — and arguably one that many would have taken offense at in a different context.
In fact, in a line of thinking best articulated by New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Ross Douthat, the violent reaction to Charlie Hebdo’s offensive cartoons not only justifies but also somehow demands that we not only continue but also ramp up that offense as a form of protest. “If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it’s something that almost certainly needs to be said,” wrote Douthat. In other words, the violent reaction to something offensive not only retroactively justifies the offense in the first place but valorizes its rationale going forward?
Let’s clear something up: You know what justification is required to insult someone with whom you disagree, even mildly?
Here in the Western World, we enjoy — if perhaps only temporarily — a little thing called freedom of speech. We are protected in our right to speak our minds, even in forms other people might find offensive.
Let’s clear up another thing: You know what justifies gunmen walking into an office building and shooting up a dozen people?
Nada — not even insulting someone’s conception of a prickly, intolerant, and murderous excuse for a prophet.
Kohn’s idea that “terrorism doesn’t justify” insults is so utterly backwards as to be completely morally bankrupt. Degenerate. Cowardly. It amounts to, “They can blow us up all they like, and we had better be really super nice when we talk about them.”
Whether she knows it or not, Kohn’s formulation serves as a likely justification for further terror, for further murder in the name of Allah. And I guess we’d better be really super nice about that, too, because we wouldn’t want to hurt the tender widdle feelings of black-clad gunmen with a penchant for dead cartoonists.
What do you suppose Kohn would be urging if the black-clad gunmen carried Bibles and had a penchant for dead lesbians?
Would she complain that “the media and ‘the West’ are still fixated on the slaying,” like she did in today’s column? Would she boast that she “unequivocally and unconditionally support(s) the right to free speech,” before urging people not to insult Jesus? Would she say that we must hold our tongues about the God of Dead Lesbians over the question of “whether we feed the apocalyptic narrative or fight it”? Would she say that the slaughter was “no excuse for anyone to go on offending” Christians, or would she launch a one woman jihad against them?
It’s impossible to say because, the fevered visions of progressives aside, for sane people it’s nearly impossible to picture a global movement of Christian terror cells shooting up lesbian reading groups. What we don’t have to imagine is, that when Islamists shot up a magazine office, Kohn rushed to the barricades — to surrender her our free speech to the enemies of liberty.
The smart set used to mock us, back in the early days after 9/11, for saying “they hate us for our freedoms.” But wasn’t it the exercise of their freedom which got people killed at Charlie Hebdo? Isn’t the exercise of our of freedom exactly what Kohn is urging us to restrain for the sake of a little temporary safety?
Whose side is Kohn on, anyway?