Charlie Hebdo Editorial

Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in France, Pope Francis expressed that, despite freedom of speech being a fundamental right, there should be limits when it comes to faith.

In many dystopian novels*, people that act/speak against the ruling force (often religiously affiliated) are quickly charged “accordingly”; often imprisoned if not archaic punished though public execution or even mutilation. To conclude that speaking against faith as a whole should not be allowed could theoretically end badly.

However, to target a person because of their religious affiliation would be considered hate speech. As would doing so for other important parts of their identity such as race, class, gender, culture, or sexual orientation.

Hate speech should be discouraged (as it can escalate to verbal harassment) but not illegal. Being able to voice an opinion (however hateful it may be) is what ultimately constitutes freedom of speech. this is a fundamental right and cannot be taken away.

I would like to emphasize that it may be appropriate to moderate free speech in order to promote a safe society with a potential for growth. When hate speech begins to insinuate violence or oppress people, intervention to prevent bodily or economic harm should be put in place.


*See also: Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale (it has recently just become a television series on Hulu).

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Christopher Columbus- Social History Investigation

My perspective of columbus has changed, but not by much. In the past I thought of him as somebody who only brought bad to the native people, but I not not learned about it too in depth. Now that I have looked at it more carefully I think that, even though he was horrible to the native people and brought many bad things to them, he has also revolutionised the way we are today, and not all in a bad way.

Of the native Americans my view has also remained mostly the same, but I realise now that they are resilient even after what their people went through. They were handed a bad deck of cards and it has changed the future generations forever.

When reading through history we can try to be aware of bias by thinking to ourselves “Who’s side of the story is this?”, “How much of what happened is included here?”, and “How can I try and see from the other side of the story?”.

If I were to write about Columbus the themes I would focus on would try focus on both what was achieved through his journeys to America and how they have shaped the way we live today. I would try to look at how both sides may have lived if it had not been for these events.

The themes my reading choose included the trade between the new (America) and old (Europe) worlds and how it revolutionised them both.

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