When I read that headline the other day, my blood ran cold. Because, hey, I’m an American Blogger, so I take stuff like this personally. (Okay, so my notoriety isn’t that overwhelming, but it still strikes a chord.)
According to the Reuters article, the blogger in question, Avijit Roy, was based in Bangladesh, which, let’s face it, does not have a great reputation for freedom of the press. He spoke out against religious extremism. For his trouble, he and his wife were hacked to death by machetes. What a grisly way to go just for speaking your mind.
This kind of reaction to speech in general is incredibly foreign to my very nature. It has never occurred to me to keep my opinions to myself. And sometimes that has irritated those around me. I get that. But I have never, ever, EVER required or even assumed that others will share my opinion. I don’t think of myself as an influential or persuasive person. I’m just someone who shoots her mouth off. Take it or leave it. It’s all the same to me.
So the whole concept of someone slaughtering someone else simply because of what they write or say will always shock me. I mean, if you disagree with someone or something, go elsewhere for your information. Change the channel. Buy a different paper. You know what I’m saying? Take a life? Who does that? It’s insane.
Maybe that’s because I firmly believe that people have minds of their own and can draw their own conclusions. I assume that people who think it’s okay to kill someone for their opinion must really think the power of the word is much stronger than I do. They must think that words actually change things. Perhaps they do, sometimes, but let’s be honest. Tomorrow you’ll have forgotten that you even read this, and that’s true of 99 percent of the things that you read, unless you only read things like the preamble to the constitution or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.
The thought that there might be some nut job out there in the blogiverse who is reading my ramblings and thinking, “This chick has got to go,” gives me the shivers. But it won’t shut me up.
Rest in peace, Avijit Roy.
[Image credit: lorihamann.com]