The French Riots and Rights
By Debi Ghate (Middle East Times, March 25, 2006; Providence Journal, March 26, 2006)
When one million French protestors take to the streets to scream over the so-called injustice of a law recognizing the right of employers to fire young employees without cause, but only a brave few take a stand over the blatant attempt to curtail freedom of speech in the recent reaction to the Danish cartoons, one knows that Europeans are abandoning individual rights.
There is no right not to be fired from a job, at any age, by any employer. Employers, those footing the salaries of the employees, have the right to hire the best available and to fire the incompetent. But there is a right to express your thoughts, regardless of whether they offend someone--without the right to offend, freedom of speech is meaningless.
America's founders took deliberate steps to create a country on the basis of individual rights. It's up to each of us to learn what that means, and to ensure that we never get to the state that France finds itself in.