Addendum: Je suis Charlie


When I wrote my “Je suis Charlie” blog post last night, I was unaware of the latest Boko Haram atrocity, its worst ever. Beginning last Saturday, January 3, and continuing for five days, these terrorists raided the town of Baga, Nigeria, slaughtering everyone and burning the surrounding villages to the ground. At least 2000 were massacred and the town of 10,000 is empty, as everyone who could, fled. Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for five years; in 2014, they killed more than 10,000 people.

Today, more than a million people gathered in Paris in solidarity with the 16 who died in the Charlie Hebdo assassinations. The Baga slaughter didn’t even make most news outlets. Nigeria’s own president expressed sympathy to the French government, but said nothing about Baga.

In my blog post, my main point was that people were on fire over Charlie Hebdo because of the freedom of speech connection. However, my secondary point about third-world terrorist attacks being ignored by the West (and in this case, even by the country in which it occurred!) is certainly borne out by the lack of news coverage of this event. It took nine days for me to even learn it had happened, and this only occurred because I subscribe to a service that supplies me with human rights articles. So maybe it wasn’t just the freedom issue.

What do you think?

Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie
The standard layout, as copied from The Charlie Hebdo site

Unless you’ve been toasting s’mores under a boulder, you know that on January 7 terrorists assassinated twelve people at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Two days later, they took hostages at other locations and executed four before being killed by police. At least 21 people were injured in the attacks.

Reaction was immense and immediate. By Wednesday afternoon, “#Je suis Charlie” had been tweeted more than 3.4 million times. Reddit gave its mascot a “Je suis Charlie” card. The Simpsons had Maggie hold a black banner reading, “Je suis Charlie.” Newspapers and magazines the world over used the slogan as a banner across their websites.  Continue reading Je suis Charlie