But they came back the next year, no longer an official paper of the school and no longer funded by its students, and it continued to publish. The offending editor in chief moved on after that. The paper went in to regain its funding and the campus had two official papers, which is unusual.
But it haunted me that I didn't recognize then what I know now, that free speech can't have purse strings attached to it. It is not just governments or terrorists that censor or threaten the media-- it is funding and the threat of it being pulled that manipulates the editorial policy of a publication.
The Kingsman should have acted more responsibly, but in retrospect, I realize it was teaching us a valuable lesson about free speech and its limits. We failed it by defunding it. That could have killed the publication permanently but to its credit, it found a way to stay afloat with advertising. I am glad it did.
In light of what happened in Paris this week, I found myself thinking back to half a lifetime ago when a part of me turned away from a principle that I now cherish.
True free speech is to have a world where ideas flow freely without interference, censorship, threats of jail or violence, or financial repercussions. Even when ideas proposed offend our sensibilities or things and people we cherish, we can't just lash out at the creative messengers, artists and journalists. Sometimes their controversial theories, ideas, opinions, or findings take time to be adopted by the masses, and even when it doesn't become apparent to the artist that perhaps he is not on a path to a higher truth, we need to be more forgiving.
But free speech, as we have seen often through history, comes with s huge price. Government jailings and executions still exist over matters of speech and the media. Businesses punish those who speak against it, using firings and lawsuits to control how it is publicly discussed.
Standup for free speech, especially when you abhor what is being said.
Je Suis Charlie.