Normally, I try and keep my opinions on politics and religion to myself. After all, they are my own personal opinions and I am cognizant that they are different from yours and want to respect that. But after the shooting at Charlie Hebdo, I felt compelled to sit down and write and share my feelings with you.
There have been too many stories in the news of late of people being held hostage or killed, simply because they are of a different race, religion, or did not agree with a point of view. What saddens me most, is that this is a world wide phenomenon. It seems that hate is everywhere and happens to everyone. More important than nationality, than job or title, than social class, is that these victims were ordinary people. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, and friends. The very fact that hate knows no borders means it can, and has, affected us all.
Almost immediately after the news broke, people around the world started to use a tag to show support. Je suis Charlie. It is a phrase of solidarity. Yet, it is more than a phrase now, it is becoming a movement. A movement to show that terrorist attacks affect us all and we cannot ignore it simply because it did not happen in our town. A movement that show there are still good, kind, and caring people in the world. Je suis Charlie is not about hating back. It is showing love and support for those who need it most. For those hurt in the attack, for those families mourning, for the people of Paris, for the people of France, for all of us.
Yesterday, while scrolling threw the news articles and updates, I found a few satirical drawings. It seems the cartoonists of the world are seeking to prove the pen is mightier than the sword and are using their art to fight back. One, with such dark humor, made me laugh through the sadness. It made me feel proud to be human for a moment. For those people hurt and killed, they would have appreciated it (I hope). For it is the very kind of piece that made them a target. The tag line said “they drew first”. The man speaking is holding a gun while there is a victim on the ground. Three little words, one powerful image. David Pope, who I have never heard of before this, is the man behind the message if you would like to look it up.
Je suis Charlie. Because my heart aches for those who lost it all. Je suis Charlie. Because no one should stand alone. Je suis Charlie. Because while hate is louder, love lasts longer.