Friday, November 8, 2013
Recently in class, during our analysis of the graphic novel of Persepolis, an interesting question was brought up: what are the costs of freedom, and is freedom worth those costs? One of the concerns raised was that a problem can occur when people use their freedoms to encroach on other people's freedom. Although some believe that we as a nation do a decent job of making sure that doesn't happen, this article brings to light the exact problems that we fear unlimited freedom brings. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, a Black Muslim group, decided to use his influence to relay, what he believes to be an important message to all of his followers. He believes that Jews, as a whole, should NOT be trusted by black people, because of the ALLEGED actions of their ancestors, and their "massive influence" on the origins and beginnings of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Sound eerily familiar? Let's go back to Medieval Europe. I'm pretty sure that they believed that you couldn't trust Jews because they "killed Jesus Christ." The result of that belief, widely spread and supported, was the extreme anti-Semitic air existing in Europe for hundreds of years. The same ideology that influenced a young Adolf Hitler to take on the task of "cleansing" the world of this race. This is the same EXACT line of thinking that lead to the decimation of 6 million Jews in one of the most horrifying acts of mass murder known to man. Although I'm all for freedom of speech, and the rights of man, Farrakhan should NOT be allowed to spew such hate and awful generalizations about a people because of the lasting effect his words can have on the world. His words may have been denounced, and his actions may be looked down upon, but this does not change his ability to influence. His influence may inspire, inspire a new young Adolf, who decides to exact the revenge of his people on their ancestral slavers. And even though it may not be nearly at the level of the Holocaust, this new young black Adolf may cause pain and suffering due to his inspiration, all through the influence of a Mr. Louis Farrakhan. I know that this may be an extreme view to take on the situation, but its one that must be considered. Does Farrakhan cross a line in his address? And if he does, do we have the right to limit his speech? It's these tricky questions the surround the gift of freedom, and it's very difficult to draw a line somewhere.