Amazingly, it was left up to Glenn Greenwald
to point out the utter hypocrisy of France for arresting a comic named Dieudonné over some allegedly anti-Semitic Facebook comments a short time after that huge "free speech" rally.
The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.
Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”
As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech.
That's because Jews are real people and Muslims are monkeys.
Salon points out that the Occupy movement
also had its right to free speech curtailed.
A 2012 report into law enforcement responses to Occupy Wall Street documented violent late-night evictions, illegal arrests and arbitrary detentions. Police across the country used pepper spray to disperse peaceful protesters and beat them with clubs and barricades. The report also cited 85 arrests of journalists in 12 cities reporting on the protests, among other obstructions of the press, another one of those First Amendment clauses. New York City just settled lawsuits with three protesters for $142,500 over police misconduct.
At no time did the army of free speech warriors on the right speak up against this state-sponsored repression of peaceful assembly and protest. They did suggest that the protesters should leave the country if they opposed the economic system, and they did whip up fear by equating outlier criminal conduct with the entire movement. Traditional media and government, particularly on the right, worked hand-in-hand to discredit the protests and ensure no backlash when they were inevitably and brutally repressed.
In Common Dreams, writer Ajamu Baraka argues that Je suis Charlie
is French for "White power."
The valuation of white life over everyone else is a fundamental component of white supremacy and not limited to those people that might be defined as white. That is why no one cares about the families that weep for their love ones in Nigeria and no one marches for them. That is why anti-Muslim and anti-Arab violence has exploded across France but the only mention in the Western press is the supposed fear in the Jewish community. And that is why that after the attack in Baga, Nigerian authorities were largely silent until Nigerian President Goodluck finally issued a statement on terrorism where he forcefully condemned the attack in Paris!
That last point is quite correct: Goodluck
was much more concerned about the Paris attack than about the far worse events in his own country. Talk about the internalization of racism!