Je Suis Charlie

Today, as a writer, I stand in solidarity with the brave souls of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Those who were murdered died for the freedom of writers and freedom of thought everywhere. I honor your sacrifice.  You are remembered.

Those in France and across the globe who will carry on their work, your courage sustains me. I will strive to write truth, even if just from my humble blog, even if only in my small way. I have no right not to, as your colleagues have laid down their lives, and you shall continue to risk yours.

Je suis Charlie.

– Peter.

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9 Responses to Je Suis Charlie

  1. neighsayer says:

    with you Dude. Fuck those guys, the crazy fascists.

  2. neighsayer says:

    I mean, apparently that magazine was pretty offensive, I probably wouldn’t like them either. Those sorts of guys are on our side of this war, and we should have brought them into line rather than waiting for the opposing team to do it.

  3. neighsayer says:

    I’ve seen some Twittage to the effect that that publication was pretty offensive, like Islamophobic, like there was a lot of hate there, not all sweetness and light. It should probably be up to a society to cure its own hatred and xenophobia.

    Like many other recent things, I got caught up in this one yesterday, and my first reaction was, like everyone, FOS! But later in the day I started to see a few Tweets to the effect that although that publication is one that deserves FOS protections, it still probably isn’t the sort of speech we should be encouraging. I see this whole thing lately as a war between the Christian West and Islam, and it’s sad to see people lining up along partisan lines, possibly some of these bloggers and Tweeters throwing in with bigoted westerners against all Muslims, so many of which are better folks than some of us.
    I saw one Tweet yesterday, it was a pic of some marchers holding a banner that said something like “Please, let’s be civilized. Please stop making fun of our prophet.” – and I saw it with new eyes. That really is a reasonable, civilized request, and if that’s the only way we ever heard that sentiment, I don’t think we could find a way to refuse it and still be the “good guy” in the situation. So for us all to throw in behind the guys who keep insulting Islam because of the hardliners and psychos among them is pretty much all of us telling all of them that we don’t see them as human. What about the millions who wouldn’t kill us for it? Do we tell them “your reasonable request will be ignored because some of your crazies want it too?”
    I’m not saying we should ban these cartoons. I’m just saying we should criticize them, maybe even marginalize them. The laugh we get from these cartoons should be a guilty, dark sort of laugh – not the flag-waving kind.

    • Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful response. What really got to me was the mention of the banner asking for civilized discourse. I long for that world, but I don’t believe I’ll see it in my lifetime, or my Knucklehead in his. In that sense, I’m certain that Charlie Hebdo crossed the line into bad taste and vulgarity more than once. Yesterday, that would have made a fascinating conversation. How do we request respect in our discourse and still guard free speech? Charlie Hebdo probably published content in each issue I would have personally found disgusting or offensive. At it’s worst, I doubt very much I would have held a subscription or been sorry to see it leave the newsstand.

      (Or maybe I would have found it refreshing and hilarious. Probably not, from what I’ve heard, but I’m not directly familiar with the newspaper.)

      But as I said, that conversation was for yesterday (or, technically, the day before). Because yesterday, the publishers of Charlie Hebdo hadn’t been murdered. Once the terrorists who attacked them brought physical violence to people who had only fought – however thoughtlessly or viciously, or even bravely or truthfully – with words and pictures, that argument was over. The people who brought guns and death to the argument made whatever Charlie Hebdo said irrelevant. The terrorists themselves placed Charlie Hebdo firmly on the high ground. THAT is why I stand with Charlie Hebdo, no matter how strident or offensive they may have been. People who choose nonviolent means to express themselves will always be worth siding with against murder. Nothing the newspaper printed killed or injured anyone. To respond to that with murder is wrong, and it made allies of Charlie Hebdo all over the world where few had heretofore existed.

      That’s why I stand with Charlie Hebdo today.

      Thanks for taking the time to converse. Keep it coming. Keep me on my toes, my friend.

  4. neighsayer says:

    Well, I keep looking at things, and maybe that publication wasn’t such a bad one, so I don’t know any more . . .

  5. neighsayer says:

    Well, I still don’t know what the spirit of Charlie Hebdo was, so this is all conjecture. But I would hope all that reasoning adds up to siding with Charlie against the killers – the TWO killers – and not against all the 1,000,000,000 Muslims of the world.

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