Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 12, 2015 at 9:29 AM

Charlie Hebdo attacks: We are learning the consequences of the excesses of free speech

We are again reminded that with the gift of freedom of speech comes the responsibility of self-censorship [“I am not Charlie Hebdo,” Opinion, Jan. 10].  The risks are real, and they are horrifying, but those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

When we as members of a sane western society finally give up poking the wasp nest with a long stick, and we let others live in peace without fomenting hatred, there will still be those who cry for revenge. But to borrow from Tevye  from “Fiddler on the Roof,” an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves us all blind and unable to chew. We must find different ways of dealing with people, religions or nations we are afraid of or despise than the ways we are currently using.

Sony can be thankful that North Korea does not have militant extremists. And we can be thankful that we may have learned something from the responses to the excesses of freedom of speech that we have seen these last two months. Or perhaps we have learned nothing. Only time will tell whether the idea of vengeance, or the idea of thoughtful free speech, prevails.

Frank Mitchell, Seattle

Comments | More in First Amendment | Topics: Charlie Hebdo, Frank Mitchell, Free speech

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►