#JESUISCHARLIE

Why This Will Be the Year of #LivingDeliberately

I'm glad and excited that technology has given voices to people who would otherwise be silent, myself included. I'm relieved that getting fired up on camera is no longer limited to Fox anchors or the Mad Money guy. I'm thrilled that people can change the world with a YouTube video or blog post, but this excitement is tinged with the worry that the system is starting to fail.
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The Charlie Hebdo Killings Should Not Fuel More Hate

Few things are more despicable than the actions of these murderous individuals. Their actions are to be unequivocally condemned. However, to use an instance where 12 lives were extinguished in order to create momentum for furthering hate is not only ill-advised and insensitive -- it is disgusting and ill-placed. This is not the time to go and inflame an already sensitive issue. Families are mourning their deceased loved ones. Let's focus instead on respecting the lives lost and not on continuing to spread hatred.
EMMANUEL DUNAND via Getty Images

The Racism Behind #JeSuisCharlie

Now a few days after the horrific attack in Paris, hashtag #JeSuisCharlie floats about the Internet as a neoliberal nod of solidarity to those who were killed in yesterday's attack. While I see its good intentions, in the big picture this hashtag serves as a demonstration of alliance with that coveted icon of western identity: freedom of speech. But make no mistake, the reasons the perpetrators carried out this attack were more complex than simply freedom of speech. For what is pitifully lacking in most every media representation of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo is the historical background of what this attack was about.