Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why Americans Got Charlie Hebdo Wrong


Remember immediately after 9/11 when Le Monde ran the headline "We Are All Americans"? Imagine in the days after if people around the world were rallying around the slogan "I am not an American", explaining that the towers were filled with filthy bankers and hell, they were practically asking for it.
Think about that. If you are an American, how would you have felt? You know many of the victims weren't bankers. You know that even if they were, that doesn't make them evil. And you're mourning. How the hell could the rest of the world kick you when you're mourning? And yet that's what so many Americans did after the Charlie Hebdo attack.
I'm an American and I live in France. I lived in the US during 9/11. It's not an unfair comparison to say the attack on Charlie Hebdo felt an awful lot like 9/11, yet many people felt no compunction about attacking Charlie Hebdo when France was in mourning. And then French comedian Dieudonné got arrested for a Facebook post, leading many people to cry that the French were not only racist, they don't even believe in freedom of speech!
In my reading, almost invariably those people were not French. They didn't speak French. They have no knowledge of French culture. They have no understanding of French law. And yet despite their grotesque ignorance, they assumed the American way was better than the French. Those people were wrong.
i think this is the stance right wing politicians have always taken in respect to other countries this incessant drive to be the number one in the world IMO is what led to most of the problems we have with other countries i also think someone realized this at some point in our history and though we never stooped the occupying we adopted the nation building and offering help to those we just devastated isn't that backwards had we not took the aggressive stance we would not have to be there depleting our blood and money.  

then we have the other thing trying to buy love by helping perceived by those who make decisions with money and food and infrastructure all things that republicans don't deem important here at home and fight against programs that would do just that feed the poor and repair our infrastructure how azzbackwards is that guess you'd have to ask a republican.
A perfect example of the misunderstanding is the (in)famous Charlie Hebdo cover depicting the black Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, as a monkey. Offhand that looks very, very racist ... and it is. But it's not racism by Charlie Hebdo; it's racism by the National Front, the racist far-right party led by Marine Le Pen. 
The cover is actually a reference to a National Front (FN) politician, Anne Leclere, calling Taubira a monkey. The tricolor used in the lower left of the image is the symbol of the National Front, and the title, "Rassemblement Bleu Raciste" is mocking Rassemblement Bleu Marine, the slogan of the FN. The cover was viciously skewering the FN by making it clear that this was not really a "lone wolf" comment, but part and parcel of the FN.

Offensive as hell? Yes. Racist? No.

i disagree if you have the populations ears and eyes focused on you and you promote that which any reasonable person would see as racist than IMO by default if you foster it you become synonymist with it, live by it die by it. same applies to any publication or media that represents this kind of message they have a fiduciary responsibility to it's public to not offend all or a portion of just to make a profit if you do then as before you promote it you own it.

Or maybe you remember the New Yorker cover, depicting President Obama in Middle Eastern clothes while his wife has an A/K 47 slung over her shoulder. Had the Republican party distributed that, people would have argued it was over-the-top racism (the Republicans are usually more subtle than that). However, because it was the New Yorker using satire to mock the ridiculous view that President Obama was a closet anti-American Muslim, while many felt it was offensive, there was no racist intent behind it.
again i disagree no matter how you try to frame it's presence it's clear front cover is strictly for shock affect and that sells copies, New Yorker promoted it they wear the crimson letter now. and the part about had the republicans did this the outcry of racism would be off the hook.  New Yorker is not traditionally known as a right wing publication but i still wonder about it's motives, front cover clearly about the Benjamin's.  offend the many to make the millions.