The talk suggests that Trudeau has surprisingly little knowledge of his subject. He appears to think, for instance, that Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned the ‘Danish cartoons’, is a woman, and that in France, a country that has some of the toughest hate speech laws in Europe, ‘hate speech…is only illegal if it directly incites violence.’
More problematic, though, is his argument that Charlie Hedbo had ‘wandered into the realm of hate speech’, that it was ‘punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority’, that it was responsible for ‘triggering violent protests across the Muslim world, including one in Niger, in which ten people died’ and that it would be better had its anti-Islam cartoons not been published. All this raises questions that echo those in the Barney & Clyde cartoon, questions about how a liberal like Trudeau imagines Muslim communities, whom he imagines represents those communities, and what he imagines constitutes free speech and hate speech.
…I have no problem with the claim that satire is best directed at the powerful, not the powerless (though that should be a moral goal, not a reason for censorship). I do have a problem, however, with the way many people, including Trudeau, understand ‘punching up’ and ‘punching down’.
April 16, 2015 @ 4:18 pm
Whoops. Above comments go to post below! (Weird windows glitch occurred.)
April 17, 2015 @ 12:40 am
I wasn't drinking, then.
April 17, 2015 @ 12:46 am
(Turns out, if you open a comments window, then click out of the website, then go back, comments already written default to the most recent post. Live and learn.)
April 16, 2015 @ 8:55 pm
I moved them down there. "Windows glitch" eh? Sure, whatever you say, buddy. *mimics tipping bottle back*
April 17, 2015 @ 2:17 pm
"The powerless" hold peace hostage when they threaten violent protest. They say, "If you criticize us, we will murder you." Do people who threaten others deserve the description "powerless"?
April 17, 2015 @ 11:16 pm
Ah, but their sociological category has been victimized by our sociological category over the last several hundred years, so when you zoom out and look at it from that perspective, it all makes sense. Team White Westerner is still far, far ahead on the scoreboard. You must be one of those weirdos who think individuals matter more than statistical aggregations.
April 20, 2015 @ 10:57 pm
Oddly, this means that Muslims (in the extant case) have no agency in their own society's problems. They are only "victims".
Not really a very liberal thing to believe, is it?