It’s really true that Gary Trudeau,the creator of the strip Doonesbury, revealed himself as nothing but a pathetic weasel in his acceptance speech at the Polk Awards. At the ceremony he blamed the Danish and Charlie Hebod cartoonists for their own deaths and for being insensitive to Muslims. Trudeau’s position that satirists should only “punch up” at the privilege class and never down at the lower classes says a lot about him and those that think like him.
Good satire Punches Everything
Historically good satire punched mostly “up” but never failed to swing haymakers at everyone and everything else. The insulated notion that only the “privileged” deserve the witty and biting scorn of graphic art grads is naïve to its core. In the past what appeared to be knocks only the rulers were actually equally bashing the social ills of the times and the unwashed masses. The ignorant masses then,and todays Trudies,failed to recognize they were as big a part of the joke if not the true take away. It sucks when reality comes storming in upon the dream states of cartoonists but perhaps that kind of shows the meaning of the word reality.
But the Jews…
Many like-minded folks accuse France specifically and Europe generally of being too pro Jew or at least hypocritical in the application of the satire/hate speech labeling process. On the surface they have a better than good case. Scratch a little deeper though and you find the root cause of this confusing policy to be guilt from another time. Europes Jewry has withstood many persecutions and have done so all too often with the rest of the Continents citizens playing the role of spectator. The laws that more clearly define anti-Semitism are not the product of Zionist owned media and government but the collective guilt that watched folks go to concentration camps and mass graves. There is also something to be said that the era that produced the events and nurtured the guilt and policies probably couldn’t fly today.
As France asserts its secularism it is far from a mystery why there is friction with a faith that refuses to be subordinate to the rule of civil law and evolving societal norms. Every European nation has had a hand in cultivating their own Islam issues. It is equally undeniable that there are Muslims in those very countries working hard to assure the tensions get all the heat they can.
With or without Muslim influence anti-Semitism is alive and well in Europe. Both in the streets as well as the pages of satire.
Back in the States
Violence wins more times than not and that is something Gary & Co. seems o.k. with. Crude toons of the Prophet which like it or not spoke some very clear truth to the worlds headline issues were met with maniacal spite and fight. The answer for GT and those like him isn’t to stand for free speech and national sovereignty but to roll over and beg for forgiveness. Just because an ostrich sticks its head in the sand doesn’t mean it never gets decapitated.
The press has recently been pretty good about focusing on the violence of events as opposed to the inane notion that the violence is justified. Sadly it isn’t always so and the Benghazi debacle played out an extreme example. Haters,true haters deserve scorn and all the mockery good people can dump upon them,still the haters get to speak. If we silence them we don’t eliminate them,we only shroud them. I like my haters out in the open. Edgy ,kick in the guts op/ed and cartoons are both benefit and bane to a democracy and they shouldn’t be whitewashed just so someone’s feelings don’t get hurt.