Carol A. Hand
I don’t do this often, but sometimes I just need to share what’s on my mind. I read an elegantly-argued post today on Race Reflections about Charlie Hebdo’s most recent humor, “Charlie Hebdo on Aylan Kurdi: The Ultimate Act of White Entitlement?”
The Daily Mail ran a story about this today.
Charlie Hebdo was today facing legal action after publishing a series of allegedly racist and hateful cartoons mocking the death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi.
The drowned three-year-old toddler has become the symbol of the refugee crisis after haunting pictures appeared showing his body being carried off a Turkish beach last week.
But the latest edition of the satirical French magazine depicts the dead Aylan lying face down in the sand under the caption ‘So Close to Goal’.
Above him is an advertisement for McDonald’s reading: ‘Two children’s menus for the price of one’.
(Read more …)
Suddenly the pieces fell into place and I felt compelled to respond to the post.
This is such a thoughtful and crucial analysis of white privilege (and entitlement) and the unquestioned right of media to publish dehumanizing views of those with little power – the scapegoats that deflect public attention away from the real causes of people’s increasing misery. As you rightly point out, France’s history in this regard bears careful scrutiny.
As I read your eloquent arguments, I remembered a time when cartoonists were held accountable: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/NurembergStreicher.html. In one famous case, a cartoonist was found guilty of helping to create an environment in which atrocities like the holocaust could occur. Perhaps it’s time for Charlie Hebdo and their apologists to learn a little history?
It’s no mystery why the mainstream media is filled with Trump’s hate speech and remains silent about Sander’s critique of social inequality. In this, the media, from my perspective, are complicit in setting the stage for hate crimes. And I’m reminded of a time not all that long ago when Julius Streicher played a similar role. Media have spread Trump’s hate-speech far and wide, catalyzing hate groups to attack and murder those they are led to believe are responsible for economic conditions orchestrated by the wealthy elite. Yet unlike many other other nations, the US doesn’t have specific laws that deal with hate speech.
For what it’s worth, it’s time for me to share my concerns here and with my legislators and local (conservative) newspaper.
It’s time to remember Pastor Martin Niemöller’s insights about the cost of silence.