I am sitting here with a saddened heart. I have been reading about the horrible terrorist attack in France. Terrorists killed at least a dozen people who worked for a satirical newspaper called Charlie Hebdo. I have never followed any of the paper’s stories or anything, but I feel a great sadness at this news. Partly because this type of attack is attacking people for free speech and ideas. It is especially sad to see people who make jokes out of the sadness and badness of our world killed for their expression. It is an attack on free speech.
Four of the people killed were cartoonists, which really hits home for me. Though I’ve never been a political cartoonist, I have ideas and opinions that I could, if I wished express through my art that could be found offensive to some. Heck, the LGBT-themed Out With Dad comics I’ve done would certainly be offensive if certain people read them. I just cannot fathom why anyone would want to kill someone over some silly cartoons, no matter how offensive they found them. I see and hear things I find offensive all the time, but I respect people having the right to express their thoughts. If I disagree I do not have to listen, and I feel free to express an alternate viewpoint. But I would not partake in violence over an opinion. That’s just sick!
I support free speech! I support expression and art! I am Charlie!