Violence is a failure of reason, a moral error, a sin, an ineffective last resort for the will to power, a cause for fear and a spur to courage.
I want to be as fearless as the French weekly Charlie Hebdo. “All is forgiven,” says its cover after the attack. But violence itself cannot be forgiven.
American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young’s statement cites the organization’s Code of Ethics and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in affirming the need for freedom of speech without fear of dangerous reprisal, as she “condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the deaths of the twelve people there.”
In a time when libraries, journalism, speech and reading are being commodified into vehicles for advertising and commerce, I am pleased and honored by the official position of the American Library Association. Although I don’t care for ugly cartoons and crude humor, I do care for courage to speak truth to power.