Express Yourself

What I’ve learnt since the Paris attacks…

Funny. Quite of few of this menagerie have human rights offences down to a science…

  1. Freedom of expression does not protect you from the consequences of said expression.
  2. Satire is a comedic vehicle with which society’s shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. It is not meant to further humiliate nor dehumanise the marginalised.
  3. If it is anti-Semitic it is wrong. When it is Islamophobia — you may do as you please. Not all expressions are created equal it seems. That freedom must be characterised by respect for all, not hypocrisy or selective criticism. The arrest of Dieudonné 48 hours after the “peace” march proves this inconsistency.

5. Freedom of expression is great; until it offends you or people in power.

6. Are you black or brown? Those laws that enforce or protect the right to express yourself were not made with you in mind. You will have to answer for everything a member of your race or religion does. Yes, that’s right. Don’t bother asking Christians about the Ku Klux Klan or slavery or any of that nasty business — they weren’t there.

7. Spin will always win. Je ne suis pas Charlie. I am not Charlie because somewhere in the mists of propaganda and spin; Charlie Hebdo further used their platform to antagonise people. Why would I as a black woman support a cartoon that depicted French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira as a monkey or the stolen Chibok girls as welfare queens?

8. Wikileaks and Julian Assange’s subsequent exile in an Ecuadorian embassy was a clue. Western liberty is a myth.


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