On Punching Up, Freedom of Speech and How to Feel

Yesterday was a sad day. Twelve people, many cartoonists, for the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were murdered in France, an act of terrorism. It is tragic and I am sad that this is where we are today, that violence is committed because of satire.

Charlie Hebdo was a racist, homophobic and sexist publication. I read that a lot yesterday. I did a little googling and all signs indicate that yeah, that’s true. I also read a lot of sentiments that basically amounted to “satire should punch up, not down.” Something I personally believe to be true. But saying this now seems to be saying these cartoonists were asking for it and that I don’t believe.

I don’t believe that the correct response to being offended is violence and terror.

Today we’re learning that there’s already been violent backlash against Muslims in France. This is a country that is famously racist and homophobic; there is an audience for Charlie Hebdo in France. It is tragic and I am sad that this is where we are today, that violence is committed simply because of bigotry.

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