When you hear people talk about courage recently, it’s likely they meant someone who was standing on principle, or about a vote their favorite politician made against the majority of his party. But it’s a whole other thing to say you would stand in the face of evil and do what’s right.
As I was writing this post, one of my favorite bloggers, Virginia attorney Aaron Walker, shared his take on the murders and some other, related things.
In it, he quoted an amended version of the Mission Statement for his now-defunct website centered on the social media event, ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.’ Walker mentions that Comedy Central hasn’t had the best track record on this issue:
Finally, South Park made a two part episode in which they took on the controversy and Comedy Central censored the image of Mohammed, explicitly citing the fear of violence. And for their 200th and 201st episodes, the guys at South Park did it again, and under threat from a bunch of idiots called Revolution Islam, Comedy Central censored them again.They even censored a speech about the need for courage.
It’s simple enough to see that some media outlets, in the wake of brutal, disgusting murders at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices, have printed the work the vile murderers claim they were killed for printing. Others have not.
You can find analysis in articles and tweets on the distinction between the two – those places in the media world which understand that there’s only one lesson to be learned from what happened around noon in Paris yesterday, and those who do not.
What’s the lesson? That we are the civilized, and those who seek to silence opinions they don’t like with terror and death are not.
The truth is that they don’t deserve our respect or any hint of an apology. They don’t gain any victory with this abomination against all religions – yes, even Islam.
It didn’t go unnoticed.
I caught in Adams’s article that AP also had used images of the “offensive” cartoons from other sources – and cropped or blurred the images to remove any parts showing Mohammed. Where was this AP today?
Jim Geraghty of National Review Online noticed another institution (in the entertainment realm, though) that once stood strong against the barbarism that radical Islam unleashed on innocents today.
A place that belongs on Adams’ first list – the list of places that seem to understand what I mean by civilized and uncivilized – is Ricochet. One of their writers was accidentally on the scene just minutes after the killings, and it’s worth reading in full (as is this piece by their Jon Gabriel).
No censoring pictures or coddling evil here:
But for me, the best example of courage today was someone rather unlikely: Corrine Ray, a cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo who survived the attacks by hiding herself and her young daughter under a desk. She happened to be the first staff member to encounter the terrorists. You’ve likely heard the story by now: Corrine punched in the security code which opened the doors and allowed the madmen to do their evil work.
In that moment, the mother, the parent, chose what many of us would have chosen, if placed in her shoes. Corrine chose the protection of a loved one, and – in this case – the next generation, over what would likely have been a foolhardy attempt at bravado to save her colleagues. Because her daughter would have grown up without a mother to nurture her, to hold her, to see her start a family of her own one day, perhaps.
What a choice to have to make in a split second. But what courage – in whichever language you speak.