Sunday, 10 January 2016

Je n'est pas Charlie

The one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks has resulted in a barrage of articles talking about how Hebdo represented freedom of speech, and at least one idiot with a knife and a fake bomb vest tried to cause problems on the same day and time as the Hedbo attacks. Apparently, the guy had documentation’ from ISIL and shouted Allah Ahkbar, but given that it was one person and he was not a real threat, I’m thinking either the guy is a wannabe, or ISIL is really diminished and is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Last year at this time, I was teaching two courses at two different universities, I remember at one of them, one staff member had a ‘Je suis Charlie’ poster on their door, and I remember thinking, ‘Je suis un racist?’. While I support freedom of speech, Charlie Hedbo did not seem like hard hitting political commentary. Jews are drawn with big noses, terrorists with over-exaggerated turbans-the kind of stuff that I thought went out of style with the Mad Men era. So, when does freedom of speech trump being a racist asshole? I guess at the end of the day, it comes down to this-you can say, and I can tell you that you are a racist asshole and should shut the fuck up. But no one should be killed for either of those things.

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