Thomas Jefferson called this man a demeaning, disparaging name
“A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” — The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence called King George III a “Tyrant.” Was that not “demeaning or disparaging”? “Name-calling”? Even “an unnecessary incitement”? But the Globe has, of course, long since abandoned the desire for freedom that was the impetus for the Declaration.
The suicide of the free press gallops on. The ad refers to Islamic jihadists as “savage,” and this is too much for the Globe. As Pamela Geller notes, the Globe states that “calling anyone a ‘savage’ is an unnecessary incitement. Were the slaughters of the Fogel family savage? Was the homicide bomber on the bus of Jewish women and children savage? Were the Muslim terrorists on 9/11, 3/11, 11/26, etc. savage? Is truth an ‘unnecessary incitement’? And who is being ‘unnecessarily incited’? The jihadists? They don’t need an excuse. They slaughter based on their religious teachings.”
What’s more, calling for restrictions on free speech because we might say something that would make Islamic jihadists angry is to surrender to them pre-emptively. If Muslims or anyone else is angry about something, it doesn’t give them any excuse to riot or kill. And if we engage in self-censorship to keep them from rioting and killing, we are validating their rage, hatred and violence, instead of calling on them to act responsibility and learn to deal more rationally with things they dislike.
The standard that the Globe recommends in this editorial would ultimately destroy any possibility of speaking out against any kind of tyranny or injustice, for we would not be able to call it what it was — that would be “name-calling.”
“MBTA”s advertising dispute: Speech without name-calling,” an unsigned Boston Globe editorial, November 17:
The anti-Islamist group that’s suing the MBTA for rejecting its ad raises an important point: Guidelines for political advertising on the T must be enforced consistently. It’s a sensitive task for T managers, and their pledge to judge all submissions equally is admirable. There is no evidence the T violated its policy in rejecting the ad from a nonprofit group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
The T says it bars any ad that is “demeaning or disparaging” “” a sensible standard, if applied fairly. The ad in question declares, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” It adds, “Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” Lawyers for the AFDI said in a press release that the ad “is supportive of Israel in the debate over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.” But the text, derived from a quote by writer Ayn Rand, is clearly demeaning: Calling anyone a “savage” is an unnecessary incitement, whether directed at Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Republicans, or Democrats. The AFDI can easily make a forceful case for Israel without calling anyone “savages.” Indeed, the T has invited the group to modify the ad.
No, it hasn’t. No one from the MBTA ever contacted us.
The basis for the lawsuit is the T”s decision, earlier this year, to accept a pro-Palestinian ad that showed a series of maps allegedly documenting “Palestinian loss of land” to Israel. That claim may be hotly disputed, but it isn’t “demeaning or disparaging.” The AFDI”s lawyers say that by stating that the United Nations classifies 4.7 million Palestinians as refugees, the ad is “claiming that Israel is in effect engaging in war crimes.” But that’s nowhere in the text.
The AFDI should work with the MBTA on an ad that expresses the group’s strong pro-Israel views but can’t be so obviously categorized as demeaning.