Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Levant and Freedom of Speech/That Was Cool!

For those of you that have not heard about the whole Ezra Levant scandal, a Canadian Human Rights Commission or whatever those things are called has brought him up for publishing cartoons in a magazine that he worked for that were deemed Islamaphobic, and also prompted a complaint from one of the magazine's Muslim readers. The Commission is trying to get Levant to apologize/pay a fine or something along those lines. This case completely walks all over Levant's right to free speech as a Canadian citizen, and has, as it should, sparked outrage. I thought Levant's response to to this charge was well-put, well-informed, and had some dude that was cool! factor to it. You can see his opening statement here. The link goes to Youtube, and contains links to other videos of Levant's 'interrogation', as he puts it. Some nice, logical speeches on the topic of radical Islam in there. One of my favorite lines from one of them: "She's a thug, you're a thug, your whole company is a thug..." The 'she' in there refers to another HRC creepy person, I believe, and the 'you're' refers to his 'interrogator'. And he's right, too...the whole dang company is made up of thugs, thugs that want to take away some basic freedoms for the sake of 'multicultural' butt-kissing.

While whoever wrote in to complain about Levant had every right to do so, it is seems to me that all the scandals concerning these cartoons poking fun at Islam (this case, the scandalous Danish cartoons published a while back) attract attention from those who do not like freedom of speech. I would encourage Muslims to go out and protest these cartoons by, say, pointing out that they were very exaggerated, misrepresenting, (I've never seen them, and I'm not saying that they were) or something like that, but the main argument I've heard against the publication of the cartoons was, basically, that the protesters didn't like them. Once again, while you have every right to speak out and protest, in a country where the press has the freedom to print what it likes, you can't simply demand that they shut up because you don't want to hear what they're saying. If people are publishing things that offend you, go and point out why they are offensive. Use some logic. But if you like censorship so much, perhaps you'd like to live somewhere besides a free and democratic country, instead of trying to make a free country conform to your ideals.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Inherent Ignorance

Yeah, I know this thing is a couple months old, but I recently ran across this video of Chris Cuomo interviewing Barack Obama, wherein he asks Obama which of the following he thought were greater threats to his campaign; the Clinton campaign machine, or America's "inherent racism". Obama responded that he didn't think race was any large factor, which made me somewhat happy. But still, I'd like to see where this Cuomo person was coming from, any, you know, facts which proved that all the evil whities in the U.S. were bigots. While, as Obama states in the interview, there will always be some leftovers from a nastier age that have it in for minorities, but I'd hardly call a country which has laws in place to end racial discrimination in every aspect of life the government has the right to stick its nose in inherently racist. What with freedom of speech and thought an all, we cannot silence the few who are racist, but my experience in the U.S. has shown me that most people in this country are not, in fact, the terrible bigots some would like us to be, and I've lived here for all but three years of my life.

Granted, I haven't spent any great deal of time in the most race-tension prone areas of the U.S. Even so, if there is such a thing as 'inherent racism' in the U.S. right now, I can't really tell who the majority of it is directed at for the moment, whites or minorities. That's what is really starting to bother me about thing like affirmative action. A recent...kinda recent...wandering discussion in my history class, which went from apartheid to, well, possible inherent racism in America, gives one example. Which the teacher is lecturing, the class, as it usually does, starts arguing with him. Once we got to the merits of affirmative action itself, I started to say something about not being able to assume that discrimination has helped any given white person, teacher person jumps in with an "Aha! Says the white girl from Iowa!"

Arg. Firstly, yes, I am a white female, but I am NOT from Iowa, dammit, and secondly, three weeks or more after the fact, let me FINISH my dang point. Here again, we cannot assume that 'inherent racism' has come into play, especially in a place which takes so many precautions to make sure no one non-white gets anything that could possibly be seen as discrimination based on race. We cannot assume that, sometime in the recent past, a white person has unfairly gotten ahead, due to their race, while a black/hispanic/Indian/etc has been held back due to their race, therefore making any white college applicant owe their place to any non white applicant, regardless of actual qualifications (or actually history of race issues). Secondly, what with all the stress about not discriminating based on race, is sure seems to me no one should be considered less qualified because of their race, even if they are white. If we really, actually, want to make sure the people reviewing college applications aren't giving anyone some leeway because of skin color, why don't we try, perhaps, only looking at things like grades or scholarships and other such academic odds and ends.

To finish, yes, there are other factors concerning affirmative action and the like that could be argued out, and please comment if there's something major I missed, but with the basics put down and all, the fingers grow weary of typing.