Sunday, 2 September 2018

Who’s welcome to your home and at your table?

To Lambrina and Sam, Eleni and Nikos
To good friends and good discussions

Last June, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant. The request was made by the restaurant owner. 

In mid-August, the invitation to Marine Le Pen, former French presidential candidate and leader of the National Rally political party, to attend the Web Summit in Lisbon was followed by public outcry. The invitation was eventually withdrawn.

Both incidents raised questions regarding freedom of speech; whether one can fight extremist political views and address the roots of the rise of the far-right by banning or ignoring certain viewpoints; and whether by excluding some people you don’t also become like them yourself.