Barack Obama hadde en innsikt i sin FN-tale om den nye globale verden: det går ikke an å kontrollere meninger i verden som er et tastetrykk unna.
Mr Obama said that «at a time when anyone with a cellphone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button,» the notion that governments can control the flow of information is obsolete.
«The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect,» he said.
Obama greide ikke la være å fordømme videoen som har utløst karikaturkrise II, han kalte den smakløs og ondskapsfull, og sa det også var millioner av amerikanere som følte seg krenket. Men ytringsfrihet er en fundamental rettighet i forfatningen, og hatefulle meninger kan bare gjendrives med andre meninger.
While condemning the “crude and disgusting” video that prompted the protests in Libya and throughout the Muslim world, the president worked to explain — before a sometimes skeptical audience that has never completely bought into the American idea that even hateful speech is protected — why the United States values so highly its First Amendment.
“We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities,” Mr. Obama said. “We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.”
Americans, he said, “have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their view.”
And he said pointedly that “there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.”
Men viktigst var poenget om at det ikke lar seg gjøre å kontrollere meninger i en verden med massekommunikasjon, der alle kan uttrykke seg hvor som helst, når som helst.