Why I am not Charlie

10 January 2015

A Paper Bird

There is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.

To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not the same as to become them.

Read on…

Posted in why

4 Responses to Why I am not Charlie

  1. January 10, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    “Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps” http://www.salon.com/2014/11/23/karen_armstrong_sam_harris_anti_islam_talk_fills_me_with_despair/

  2. January 12, 2015 at 8:49 pm
  3. January 12, 2015 at 11:09 pm
    manuel buencamino

    The Boko Haram cartoon was aimed at the right wingers who were making false accusations about immigrants? I couldn’t tell that from the cartoon, could you?

    • January 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      no, i couldn’t, so many other ways to read it, which is part of the problem, ‘no?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


follow @stuartsantiago on twitter
  • © Angela Stuart-Santiago