This is an issue with a LOT of complex social dynamics (and moving social “parts”), but some parts are fairly simple…
The people who killed the Charlie Hebdo staff could instead have produced their own magazine, and published their own covers, as CH did.
But they chose instead to kill people. That is wrong. These were drawn pictures on paper (essentially), that is all. You cannot change that fact.
Granted those pictures offended a set of religious beliefs, and unfortunately, unleashed an unnecessary reactionary response because of those beliefs.
French culture, American culture, politics, interpretations, etc… are the moving social parts.
I think deep down, we are all similar (not exactly the same, think evolution) people. We have the ability to think past our differences, but in most cases (not all) we don’t.
An interesting question I’ve been thinking about…
Why do we have to be “American” to believe in freedom et al … all of the “stuff” we believe as Americans?
On the flip side, also analyze French culture and ask the same question in relation to their beliefs.
Why couldn’t we just take the best out of all cultures, and be human? (Science pokes at that answer, but it seems simpler than that, doesn’t it? Even though it isn’t that simple)
But our culture and the environment / society we are part of “molds” us, and our reactions (and “stands” as this article points out).
PEN (an award, made of “stuff” and a miniature culture in and of itself) shouldn’t be necessary as imagery to “take a bold stand” against (or for) anything.
But we sure need it to be, don’t we?
(after all, we’re all human)