The act of terrorism that led to the murder of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo earlier today is yet another man made catastrophe to add to the world’s history. The attack at Charlie Hebdo reaches those 12 victims, their families and the rest of the world. It belongs to all those in society who respect, use and wish for the freedom of speech. It is a threat, not just against journalism itself, but a threat against expression and beliefs. Today, an act of terrorism took place against us all.
This does not come down to race or religion. This threat is about being silenced – something that our generation and generations before us have fought against for so long and so hard. We all have the capacity to express ourselves and should be able to use it. Satire has been around for an extremely long time – Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope accomplished satire against one another centuries ago and nobody was ever killed for it.
Today I decided I was going to post a book review and a blog about social media updates. Tonight I chose not to. I feel incredibly lucky that I got to choose what I did and didn’t write this evening, without any repercussions. Tomorrow I will be able to go to my job and write, come home to my family and continue writing. Tomorrow, those journalists at Charlie Hebdo won’t be able to.
No act of terrorism, no matter how great or small, should take away your freedom. Just like it shouldn’t have eradicated the lives of those victims earlier today. Whether you’re a speaker, a writer or an artist, take the time to express what you truly mean this evening. But above all, express something with kindness. God knows that the world needs it.