This is a conversation few are having! #IamCharlie, a flashpoint as of late for freedom of expression, is not so fully embraced by people of color in France. As a matter of fact, some feel the content is racially denigrating. Here is a quote from one person interviewed “The White people are all mourning and I am too, but I look at this differently. Charlie Hebdo has done nothing but make fun of Black people, Islam, Algerians,” I urge you to read on for different viewpoint on this nationally trending story.
And before I get into this, I want to be first extremely and explicitly clear: I don’t condone the massacre. I don’t think the cartoonists and writers deserved to lose their lives. There’s just no way to logically defend their deaths without ignorance and/or hate.
But I’m not Charlie though. And I’m not Charlie for several reasons: Charlie Hebdo for many people of color in France, particularly in Paris, that don’t benefit from mixed or proximity-to-White French- privilege is extremely racist. It’s a particular brand of French racism and xenophobia sheltered under the grey tent of “satire”. It’s belittingly. It’s demeaning. And it’s a larger, published example of the explicit forms of aggression that many people of color in Paris live with, daily. The irony is that I haven’t been returned to the States for even a week from Paris when this happened, after spending more than a week…
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