Charlie Brown is the Charlie in Charlie Hebdo
PARIS — Some very brave people at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo died today.
But they didn’t die for their satire. They died for freedom of speech. Freedom of expression.
Freedom to expose. Freedom to challenge. Freedom to cause change.
And that’s pretty much the biggest freedom there is.
But Charlie Hebdo was never a real person. Charlie Hebdo was and is a Paris-based, satirical weekly newspaper featuring cartoons and articles lambasting the extreme right, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, politics, prejudices, and culture.
Charlie Hebdo is irreverent and bluntly non-conformist. And for that these people were seen as a threat to some and were attacked and gunned down.
Few people realize that the “Charlie” in the newspaper’s name is a reference to Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown who tried over and over again to kick a football that kept getting yanked away.
The “Hebdo” in the name is short for “hebdomadaire”…the French word for a weekly publication.
We all need to find the bit of Charlie in ourselves. We all need to speak out against things that are wrong.
We all need to be Charlie Hebdo or even Charlie Brown, never giving up trying to kick that damn football.
Nous Sommes Charlie. We Are Charlie.
Je Suis Charlie. I Am Charlie.