One thing that has struck me over the past week is how people here in the US keep claiming the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was and is inherently racist. This needs to stop. This is like saying about a woman who got raped, “She dressed provocatively, so she asked for it.” Just stop. You’re an idiot! You’re excusing the terrorists’ actions because you’re saying the magazine brought it on themselves. I’m also not the only person saying this.
Charlie Hebdo was an equal opportunity satire journal. If people would dig beyond the sensational images, they’d know this. I’m just about fed up with people like Jordan Weissmann, who wrote this article in Slate. You, sir, are a nitwit, and you obviously have left your entitled little American bubble very little. He argues about them “offending Islam,” but doesn’t for one solitary second stop to mention any of the other religions they’ve taken to task or the politicians they’ve skewered on their front page. Or, what about this article by Clarence Page in the Chicago Tribune? You, my dear Clarence, ARE remiss in your conviction of these cartoonists as racist.
Charlie Hebdo fulfilled an important job in French politics and satire in that they took serious topics and, while doing a good job at relaying how funny the situation was, also made important points, at the same time. No one was immune to the wrath of these cartoonists’ pens. Even the Pope earned a spot in their magazine.
So, I’d like my fellow Americans to stop being stuck-up, politically correct assholes. I’d like you to learn something more about the French culture before passing judgement on a solitary magazine. If all you know about the attacks and France/Paris in general is what you’ve read in the headlines over the past week, you just need to shut up. When you open your mouth and start labeling Charlie Hebdo, you talk out of your ass and look like a complete fool to those of us who actually have a clue. When you actually understand the culture, the political and religious dynamics, and the way people think there, you may start making your points. Until then, if you do not wish to show support for the French people as they grieve, you would be better off saying absolutely nothing.