A French satirical magazine famous for its provocative and inflammatory cartoons was met with backlash on Thursday after it released a cover that characterized Hurricane Harvey victims as neo-Nazis.
The cover for its Friday magazine showed an image of drowning limbs saluting Nazi flags, accompanied by the text: “God exists. He drowned all the neo-Nazis of Texas.”
Predictably, the cartoon provoked some backlash on social media
The newfound free speech crusaders borne of the January 2015 murders of 10 Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris sought to promulgate a new and quite dangerous standard. It was no longer enough to defend someone’s right to express their ideas while being free to condemn those ideas themselves.
In the wake of the Hebdo killings, one had to go much further than that: It was a moral imperative to embrace and celebrate the ideas under attack and to glorify those who were expressing them, even to declare ourselves to be them (#JeSuisCharlie).
After Charlie Hebdo published a characteristically vile cartoon depicting drowning victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston as being neo-Nazis, a virtually unanimous tidal wave of condemnation of Charlie Hebdo, including from many quarters that, just two years ago, were sanctifying the same magazine for its identical mockery of Muslims.
Here was the same Piers Morgan:
What happened here is beyond obvious: Charlie Hebdo was fun, delightfully provocative, bold, and deserving of awards when it was publishing mockery of Muslims. When its cartoonists began publishing exactly the same sort of thing aimed at white Americans, they became “vile,” “evil,” “despicable,” “losers,” and “traitors.”
As the author Robert Wright put it this morning: “I’m guessing PEN won’t be giving Charlie Hebdo an award this time around.” The viral 2015 Twitter hashtag campaign would have been much more honest had it read: “#JeSuisCharlie (*pour les bandes dessinées sur les musulmans”): “#IAmCharlie (*for cartoons about Muslims).”