Thursday, January 15, 2015
"Je suis Charlie"
Over the last week or so there has been shock and anger and rallying 'round the Charlie Hebdo staff and magazine. There have been cries of "freedom of the press" and "free speech" and every sort of rhetoric one can think of. People are angry.
I have been fence sitting over this one..... trying (as only I can) to shut the whole thing out... to make it go away - because it doesn't fit into "my world"... none of it...not the cartoons.. not the murders... not the "rally 'round the flag" mentality.
But then the noise - the voices and pictures pushed their way into my world. And I decided it was time to find out more....
So I went looking for these Charlie Hebdo cartoons.... and I discovered every religion .. every group is a target for their satire.
That took some of the steam out of my argument.
But not all of it.
Yes I believe in freedom of the press and Yes I believe in freedom of speech - but I also believe those freedoms come with responsibility and respect. And truthfully folks I am not seeing a whole lot of that from Charlie Hebdo. What I am seeing is a shock for shock's sake. I am seeing a group of "journalists" running amok - saying what they think will get a rise out of folks.... trying very hard to be shocking and the center of attention ... at the expense of a whole lot of innocent folks. And that just doesn't sit well with me.
I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press - after all we have fought some tough battles to get them - and I am not advocating turning back the clock. I am just feeling that we are taking advantage of those freedoms - and forgetting that with freedoms come the responsibility for what we say - and maybe just maybe having some respect for the thousands of folks who are caught in the fall out from our clever little satirical cartoons or editorials.....
But then - that's just me.