Waking up to more news that humans are essentially shit is never good.The murder by Islamic extremists of staff, visitors and police at the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo was truly appalling on every level. Sometimes I have trouble processing the idea that some people will inflict violence and murder because they were “offended”. Then I realise I probably have too high an opinion of humans and I’m forgetting how fucked some of them are.
Actually, I’m not sure that’s a failing on my part.
Anyway, I’m one of the majority who didn’t actually know anything about the magazine Charlie Hebdo before this attack. Looking at material that’s been published today it seems obvious they’ve gone out of their way to antagonise a whole range of people, Muslims have only been one of many targets. “Equal opportunity offenders” as many people have put it. Anyone who’s paid attention to things I’ve done will know I have no time for any type of religion or for people who think I should give a shit about the fact they are “offended” by something.
But I also have no time for bigots and among the covers of Charlie Hebdo I’ve seen published today was material that’s undeniably racist (not just racist representations of Arabic Muslims but also Jews and Africans), sexist, homophobic, slut-shaming, fat-shaming and more. And none of it seemed very sophisticated. Overall, it was very juvenile in tone. Like someone in Australia criticising Clive Palmer or Gina Rinehart by saying they’re fat.
The publishers had every right to publish the material they did, as they saw it they were on a mission. But when an all white editorial team publishes material that includes the most regressive sort of bigoted visuals about their non-white targets it’s more than reasonable to ask why their satire has to be so racist. In fact, in general, in would hurt white satirists (and white fans of satire) to shut the fuck up and listen to people of colour who say “what you call satire, we call racism”.
I’m not saying every cry of racism/sexism etc is valid (like I said – not a fan of easily offended people) but it rarely hurts to have a conversation when someone raises it. The free speech absolutists (usually white and male) have a tendency to be self-centred and obnoxious and are also usually lying They all have something they think is unreasonable to say but if you happen to be their chosen target and take exception to what they say, you’re overly sensitive.
In short, the perpetrators of these murders are utter scum. Worthless filth who epitomise everything that is wrong with humanity. The murders cannot be justified or even mitigated by any rational or vaguely decent person. But I still don’t have a lot of time for people who justify what they call “equal opportunity offending” when they really mean “stop calling attention to the fact I just want to slag off brown people”.