Sunday, January 11, 2015

Screw Your Hashtag Solidarity


These men were exceptionally brave. Most of the people expressing solidarity with them are not that brave. I'm not that brave. But when the Canadian Islamic Congress attempted to criminalize my writing, I fought back, and I pushed back, and I got a law changed in the Canadian Parliament, because that's how important I think freedom of speech is. But I wasn't asked to die for it like these guys were. And to be honest, it makes me vomit to see people holding these Princess Dianafied candlelit vigils, and using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie - I am Charlie -and in effect appropriating these guys' sacrifice for this bogus solidarity. It makes me sick to see all these 'the pen is mightier than the sword' cartoons that have appeared in newspapers all over the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia, everywhere, from other cartoonists, again expressing solidarity with these very brave men - but not doing what they did...
These guys are dead because back in 2005, these Danish cartoons were published in an obscure Jutland newspaper, and a bunch of fanatics went bananas and started killing people over them. So a couple of publications on the planet, including mine in Canada, and Charlie Hebdo in Paris, published these cartoons... Le Monde didn't, and the Times of London didn't, and the New York Times didn't, and nobody else did. And as a result, these fellows in Charlie Hebdo became the focus of murderous rage. If we'd all just published them on the front page and said "If you want to kill us, you go to hell, you can't just kill a couple of obscure Danes, you're going to have to kill us all", we wouldn't have this problem. But because nobody did that, these Parisian guys are dead. They're dead. And I've been on enough, I've been on enough events in Europe with less famous cartoonists than these who live under death threats, live under armed guard, have had their family restaurant firebombed - it's happened to a Norwegian comedienne I know - have come home and found their home burned, as a Swedish artist I know happened to. And all these people doing the phony hashtag solidarity, screw your phony hashtag solidarity. Let's have some real solidarity - or if not, at least have the good taste to stay the hell out of it.

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