I have no illusions about my own courage. I have none.
But today I have the unmitigated gall to say, “Je suis Charlie” not because I’ve discovered a well of courage that would let me post something truly provocative (if I had the abilty to do so). I say it in solidarity with and support of the great artists and writers who do make us stop and stare and gasp in disgust in dismay. I say it because to stop those who would take out a magazine staff for the crime of making a cartoon, we all need to say it.
We all need to say, “This is not the world we want.”
I let fear of failure or fear of inadequacy govern too much of my life. But these are fears I manufacture, and I will be damned if any voices outside my head tell me what I can and can’t create. I say Je Suis Charlie because I believe in a world where the only limitations on our thoughts and speech are the ones created by ourselves -not by some nameless masked maniac who thinks they have a sole monopoly on virtue or truth.
I don’t know if I’d have the courage to die for that belief, but reading more about the fears the editors and authors of Charlie Hedbo had to face every day just to go to work, I am willing to work to find the fortitude to live up to it.