The Corner

Freedom and Censorship At Ground Zero

It’s my own fault, I shouldn’t read New York Times editorials, they just get my blood pressure up. The darn newspaper was sitting there, though, and I had nothing to do, so I picked it up.

Today’s lead editorial is on the “International Freedom Center” at Ground Zero in Manhattan (the site where the World Trade Center stood). The way the plans for developing the site are shaping up, it will become a playground for all the lefty hate-America fruitcakes in the world. One feature will be the proposed International Freedom Center, where “freedom” is understood to mean the thing that rich white Christian male heterosexuals strive to deny to the rest of humanity.

The Times editorialists are fine with that, naturally. “What those lives stand for now is American freedom, in its full implication and all its contradictions.” Ah, those contradictions! You can be sure we’ll be hearing plenty about those at the International Freedom Center! In fact, of course, we shall hear about very little else.

And the gathering protests against this lefty takeover of the site? Why, they are (say the Times editorialists) “a call for censorship”! Indeed, for “censorship in advance — for political oversight of an artistic process that has only begun to evolve.”

[Discuss among yourselves: when an “artistic process” in present-day America “evolves,” in which direction does it always and inevitably evolve?]

So there you have it. If you object to displays of anti-American claptrap at the World Trade Center memorial site, you are an enemy of freedom, most particularly freedom of speech.

And to be a true opponent of censorship, you should not only believe that anyone has a right to say anything, but that anyone has a right to say anything anywhere.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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