First, get power. Second, keep it.
“Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read. If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people,” said Salman Rushdie, a British author who is best known for his 1988 book, “the Satanic Verses.”
The book was released to critical acclaim in England, but in many Muslim countries, it was considered highly offense. Rushdie received death threats. Liberals in Great Britain and the United States were then critical of Rushdie for not being sensitive to the feelings of Muslims.
There was talk of how people have the “right” not to be offended. There was even talk of amending the U.S. Constitution granting people the right not to be offended.
Here is the irony in this: In 1987, a photographer named Andres Serrano published a photograph that depicted a crucifix in the photographer’s urine. This photo was called the “Immersion” or “Piss Christ.” It won awards from a competition sponsored by the National Endowment of the arts, an agency of the federal government.
Christians were outraged that their tax dollars were being spent to promote such an offensive photograph.
Those same liberals who a year later would seek to give people the right not to be offended were telling Christians to “suck it up” just because they found a piece of art offensive.
The general antichristian reaction was “It is art, so get over it.” The left’s push against any offending speech continues. A California school wants to remove 83-year-old George Washington murals some believe “traumatizes students and community members.”
The school, ironically named George Washington High School in the San Francisco Unified School District wants to remove “Life of Washington” murals painted in 1936.
In one mural, Washington is gesturing toward a group of explorers who are walking by the body of a presumably deceased Native American. The body is gray in color, not red as Indians were portrayed then.
In another mural, Washington is next to several slaves performing various types of manual labor.
The school district’s Reflection and Action Working Group has determined that students need to be “protected” from these murals. I guess this group never heard that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We should add on to that those of us who have learned from history are doomed to watch those who didn’t learn repeat the mistakes of the past.
In another example, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg who is running for president as the first openly gay candidate in the Democrat’s primary, is attacking Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.
Buttigieg says Jefferson’s name should be removed from all public buildings. “Mayor Pete” as people who can’t pronounce his last name call him, said: “There’s a lot, of course, to admire in his (Jefferson’s) thinking and his philosophy, but then again if you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew slavery was wrong.”
His argument is that Jefferson, who served as the nation’s third President did not abolish slavery so he should be wiped from the history books.
History tells us slavery was a very divisive issue. It would not be abolished until Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, did it and it took a Civil War to make that happen.
Jefferson was also one of the founders of the Democratic Party. Buttigieg wants to strike his name off the Democrat annual fundraising events known as “Jeffersonjackson Dinners.”
Perhaps his censorship of history isn’t about protecting people from being offended that slavery once existed. Could it be that he wants to scrub history of the unpleasant fact that Democrats were the party that protected slavery from the founding of the nation to the Civil War? The bottom line is that guaranteeing people are protected from being offended can’t exist with the First Amendment freedom of free speech.
The First Amendment was written so there could be an open exchange of ideas.
If there is only one set of ideas that can be presented and believed by all, there is no freedom of speech. There is a dictatorship.
In any dictatorship, the control of speech and thoughts is used to enforce the first two rules of power.
The first rule is: Get power. The second rule is: Keep power at any cost.
JIM HARRIS Conservative Corner