Current Events Op Ed Opinion POLITICS U.S. World

The Double Standard

(The Verge)- In the wake of the tragic killing of the US ambassador to Libya, I began to think of the double standard being applied by the conservative pundits.
I turned on CNN on the morning of 9/12 and watched an interview with Newt Gingrich in which he stated that we Americans should use this opportunity to “teach the muslim world about freedom.” He also stated in the same interview that extremist Islam is dangerous and those that adhere to this ideology are seeking to impose it’s will on the western world, and specifically destroy American culture. This really bothers me.
I know that Newt has a tendency to come off as arrogant but he is assuming both roles of victim and savior to the “uncivilized” world. He claims that we must teach a population that has been existing far before the formation of the United States how to live under what he perceives to be the traditional American (and therefore “correct”) set of values. But hold on! As soon as another culture wants to impose ¬†their beliefs on us it’s simply not OK. The hypocrisy is literally making my head spin.
I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, and all of our great civil liberties here in the US, but sometimes people don’t quite understand that with all of these freedoms comes the responsibility to use them in a way that will not bring harm to others.
The makers of this amateur film did exactly that. In an ignorant and naive way, they made a movie that caused others to act out violently. They endangered American lives abroad. As we should be awarded these rights, we need to be sensitive to other groups of people, and other faiths, and not seek to insult or offend for completely unnecessary reasons.
This example needs to be made by those like Speaker Gingrich who are of national importance. He hurts the situation when he refuses to take responsibility for Americans abusing their rights to enunciate violence and misinformation. With common sense and some cultural sensitivity, this awful tragedy could have been avoided.