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Americans haven’t been this jittery about their free speech rights since Benjamin Franklin kevincraig.us/tempsec.htm">announced in 1759, “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Both essentials — without which the U.S. would cease to exist as we know it — are being sucked dry by the double standard that is the new norm as we grapples with our Constitutional liberties.
Consider a pair of recent cases.
Korean-American pop star Psy received a glowing welcome at a White House charity concert earlier this month, when President Obama sang his praises as gaily as the American-bashing singer roared, “Kill those f------ Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives, kill those f----- Yankees who ordered them to torture, kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers, kill them all slowly and painfully” in his 2004 song “Dear American” protesting the U.S. military presence in South Korea — a nation that shows its citizens little mercy, say human rights watchdogs.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Egyptian-American Coptic-Christian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — who like Psy presumably fled his tortured homeland to seek freedom here — is www.cnn.com/2012/09/27/world/california-anti-islam-filmmaker/index.html ">holed up in jail on unrelated probation violations, after his anti-Islam movie generated Muslim rage and another apology tour from President Obama who blamed the 14-minute flick for the terror attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The raid on Sept. 11 killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. The murderers remain at large.
Yet that’s of little consequence to the Oval Office, and one reason why opportunists like Psy know what side their bbang (bread) is buttered — or the crooner wouldn’t have waited until his pop song “Gangnam Style” exploded on YouTube to finally cough up a long-overdue apology about why he slandered a grand country which fattens his bank account and allows him to call it a killer without penalty.
Psy, a husband and father, may not have lived to croak another lyric had he waged a parallel protest in South Korea — which curbs the right to freedom of expression and association, and doles out lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty for vaguely defined activities against the state, reports Amnesty International.
South Korea’s salvation has been the U.S., according to Korean U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who stated, “If it wasn’t for America, I would have become a faceless bureaucrat serving North Korea.”
Nakoula, by comparison, was exercising the Constitutional freedoms this nation fought a bloody war with its British oppressors to secure, when he unflatteringly portrayed the Prophet Mohammed in his film, “Innocence of Muslims.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has avoided Nakoula like the plague, yet it didn’t hesitate to gave a thumbs up to Andres Serrano’s 1989 “Piss Christ” photograph of the crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine — artwork that earned Serrano a $15,000 grant from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts.
Self-expression is a human birthright, and the most critical element of any democracy. What use is a nation run by the people, for the people, if some of the people are muffled?
A Britisher’s View wishes all readers a happy and healthy holiday.
https://twitter.com/#!/BritShavanaRead Shavana Abruzzo's column every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail her at email@example.com.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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