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Friday, January 9, 2015

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

FREE SPEECH™ FOR ALL*!!!

Disclaimer:
*(Unless you're a Muslim protesting against rampant Islamophobia
Unless you're a woman wearing a hijab
Unless you're a Black person irate with constant police harassment
Unless you're Indigenous and fighting colonialism or claiming ancestral land
Unless you're critical of white supremacy
Unless you're stating uncomfortable truths
Unless you're Palestinian
Unless you're South American
Unless you suffer from mental illness
Unless you're homeless
Unless you're on welfare
Unless you're a rape victim without 5 or more co-accusers
Unless you're a woman speaking about sexism
Unless you want birth control and legal abortion
Unless you're a sex worker demanding rights
Unless you're Trans
Unless you're calling bullshit on the mainstream media
Unless you're critical of Israeli and American war crimes
Unless you're a scientist talking about climate change and fossil fuel
Unless you're a journalist or an ally speaking about any or all of the above

THEN you're a barbarian, subjugated, a thug, a savage, a race traitor, a "social justice warrior", a terrorist, an illegal, a dangerous psychopath, a drain on the system, gaming the system, a lying regretful slut, a frigid feminazi, a promiscuous baby-killing whore, a stupid damaged victim, a delusional weirdo, a left-wing nutjob, an anti-semitic freedom-hater, an environmental terrorist, a brainwashed sympathizer, an Other, one of Them™, one of Those People™ and free speech does not apply to you. Note: there are no refunds on Free Speech™)
https://twitter.com/sallykohn/status/546701181310218240

#JeSuisVraimentAnnoyedRightNow that this outrage, sympathy, calls for "free speech" and outpouring of white/mainstream/acceptable grief only seem to make headlines when white people die or mourn (or, to a lesser extent, rich/famous people, and police). I'm even more annoyed when people are so hellbent on protecting the "freedoms" of racist media, when most of the media, and you who support it, could not care less about the "freedoms" of the millions of people white/Western nations pretend to be "liberating" by bombing them back to bronze-age oblivion, and stealing their resources while everyone is distracted. Where is the fucking outrage when Israel kills thousands of Palestinians, and uproots homes almost daily, on land they stole? Where are the vigils when millions of Syrians are made refugees? Where is the goddamned empathy for the HUNDREDS of Black people who are killed every year by police who are in turn "punished" with paid vacations and 500K interview spots? Where are the faces of the THOUSANDS of missing, murdered Indigenous women, and the news stories about systemic racist colonialism fuelling that epidemic?

I don't give a shit if you're sitting back smugly thinking "All of those listed above should have free speech too! I fight for free speech for everyone. Even those I don't agree with! Even hate speech!" Really? What the Nazis and extremist Hutus did was "free speech" - and it fostered a climate that allowed the killings of MILLIONS to take place, mostly legally. We think, now, that the Nazi Holocaust was atrocious - and it was - but people who thought that back then, who fought in the ghettos, were widely considered terrorists. Traitors. We think that because we've memorialized past atrocities, that we've moved beyond "all of that" - that we're better than that now - but even worse atrocities persist today, all over the world. And when the victims of the current crimes fight back, we trip all over ourselves to call them barbaric killers, when most times, they're defending themselves against Western aggressors.

What I give a shit about is that you don't recognize that hate speech today - directed at all of those listed above - especially Brown, Black, Muslim, and Indigenous people - who are, right now, being slaughtered, starved, uprooted, stolen - all around the world, in various ways, with overwhelming support of the so-called "civilized free world". That means it's WORKING, and you're buying into the hate speech. The proof is in your overwhelmingly immediate willingness to homogenize ALL Muslims into the "terrorist" group, to think (even subconsciously) that ALL Black people are angry, violent, and lazy, to never even notice that - despite our pathologically violent tendencies, our propensity towards serial killing (95%=white males), child molestation, rape, and hoarding of wealth - white people are never lumped into one big, evil group. #NotAllWhitePeople, right?! How dare anyone make generalizations about us?

https://twitter.com/JamilahLemieux/status/552820830242361344
 No one deserves to die over a racist cartoon. It's fucking ridiculous that this needs to be spelled out for people. But more importantly, no one deserves to die because they are the wrong colour, are poor, are sitting on some oil, looked at a cop the wrong way, crossed an imaginary line in the desert, have sex for money, and on and on and on. The former is an incredibly rare occurrence. The latter is commonplace. Every. Single. Day. Accepted. Excused. Justified. Joked about.

You #JeSuisCharlie people never step the fuck up for that, and then get mad when people under constant attack actually fight back. If you really care about life, justice, and peace as you claim to during your widely-broadcast-on-loop candlelight vigils for racist assholes who - no, did not deserve to die, but - are some of the victims least deserving of sympathy - then what stops you from extending that care, that compassion, that heartache, to all of those vilified, generalized, othered, occupied, criminalized, victimized people listed above? When are you going to step up for them? When are you going to make a point to pay attention, to seek out their stories, to make THEM the priority in your articles, tweets, news feeds, and never-ending news cycles? 

Because "they", those we white/rich/assimilated/powerful people call Others, are the most deserving of our empathy and compassion - and suffer the most from our lack thereof - not the assholes fanning the flames of racism and Islamophobia.

#JeNeSuisPasCharlie
(#IAmNotCharlie)

THANKS to tweeters:
@sallykohn
@JamilahLemieux

And to MIC for posting the article containing them:
http://mic.com/articles/107926/one-tweet-perfectly-sums-up-the-big-problem-with-how-we-talk-about-terrorism?utm_source=policymicTBLR&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social


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