And here I naively thought je suis Charlie.
Even the most offensive speech you can imagine -- that Westboro gang's hateful three word signs at soldiers' funerals, dunking crucifixes in urinals, 90% of all the anonymous comments everywhere on the internet -- does not justify even the least violence you can imagine. The only acceptable response to speech, presuming you don't simply ignore it, is more speech. Orations, blogs, stage plays, anthems, epic poems, sky writing, sculpture, tracts, pamphlets, bumper stickers -- all are good to go. You can employ condemnation, vilification, expressions of loathing, mockery, satire, sneering contempt and the thumbing of your own nose. Have at it.***
But you do not get to raise a finger against the speaker, and an inquiry into his motives -- which are damned tricky to divine, even if Juan Williams seems to believe he can -- cannot amend the Rule.
Here's a diagnostic you can run on yourself. If you think a speaker is "provoking violence" by speaking, then you utterly fail to understand the difference between speech and violence. Violence can often justifiably provoke violence -- assault someone and he has the right to defend himself; assault him with deadly force and he has the right to end your life. But speech cannot justifiably provoke even a slap in the face. This is the law. But more than that, it is a founding principle of this nation.
The wonderful thing about speech, even of the vilest sort, is that it leaves everyone free to engage in more speech. Violence, on the other hand, leaves only the winners free to engage in more violence. And as a recent pair of would be jihadis learned the hard way, that violence thing doesn't always work out quite like you're expecting it to.
** The Geller event was no Armory Show, but I sure hope that's not the key criterion. I drew the picture above on MS Paint and it is not a very good drawing at all.
*** Certainly lots of folks have done just that with the tirelessly self-promoting Ms. Geller,