The following is a rewrite of the post, which was a rambling, overly grandiose waffle. I was very tired…
America’s freedom of speech and expression versus the sacred pride of Mexico. Daryl Cagle’s cartoon, which I first found on the excellent Mi Blog Es Tu Blog, has stirred controversy. Even making it to the front page of a couple of Mexican newspapers. Mexicans are very proud of their flag, and there are laws protecting in. Within Mexico, anyway.
I too have issues with the freedom of speech and expression that is permissible in the US. Views, as in more than one view. And some of them are contradictory. Such is the complexity of society. Such is life. On one hand, by providing a lawful platform for hate mongers, racists, homophobes, sectarianism, xenophobia and bigotry in general, US legislation contributes to the continuation of ‘stupid’ and impedes on the freedoms of other people each and every day.
Then again, I like and respect the American approach to freedom. Put it all out there. Say what you want. People will learn not to be so easily offended. With all the information available, good, bad and ridiculous, people can make up their own minds. It avoids the impossible task of trying to determine where lines must be drawn, and protects society from those lines being moved by those in power for their own ends.
Drawing lines is a risky, complex even impossible mission. Yet I prefer the ideal of ‘responsible speech’, where people can be held directly accountable for what they say, which does involve drawing lines and deciding what is and what is not acceptable. I cannot, however, ever agree to a line being drawn in a society that would prohibit this cartoon.
Daryl Cagle is an excellent cartoonist who produces witty and intelligent artwork that inspires and instigates intelligent debate and discussion. I support his right to create such a cartoon, and have posted it below for you to enjoy. If you are Mexican, I cannot stop you from being offended, if you so wish. Because it is a choice you make, to be offended or not. And I won’t not post this cartoon to avoid offence.
But it isn’t my intention to deliberately offend you. It is simply my intention to state where I stand on the issue, and maybe, hopefully, to start a conversation about it. The cartoon is powerful symbol of what is happening in parts of Mexico. And that, not the rights or wrongs of drawing a shot eagle, is what should be up for discussion.