Since World War I the French have managed to earn themselves quiet the reputation for cowardice. Yet, despite that reputation being largely accurate, and well earned, it has never been 100 percent accurate. More importantly, is the profound distinction where it could not be further from the truth. Charlie Hebdo is a brutally offensive equal opportunity satirically offensive newspaper, I doubt that anyone who has ever heard of Charlie Hebdo would claim otherwise.
Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier as well as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski, and French economist Bernard Maris did something besides being murdered Wednesday, unlike the majority of their countrymen, they proved that they belonged to a very special breed of Frenchmen. Durning WWII, after the French government had surrendered to the Nazi’s, France gave birth to one of the bravest most courageous group of people the world has ever seen. Charlie Hebdo’s staff proved that the spirit of those who were the French Resistance has not yet died in France.
The men and women who were the French Resistance were not just outnumbered and out gunned by the Nazi’s. They knew for a fact that there was no chance of victory for them, that only death awaited them for their efforts. Even knowing this, they made the conscience choice to fight Nazi occupation forces. Like their spiritual brethren in the ghettos of Warsaw, their decision was one of pure unbridled and unmatched courage. They would not go quietly into that good night, they would rage against the fading light.
Stephane Charbonnier eloquently and prophetically said that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knee’s. The French Resistance were never a large segment of the French population, though few in numbers the light that showed from their actions was seen around the world. Many have in the hours since the massacre at Charlie Hebdo disgraced themselves by suggesting that somehow Charlie Hebdo deserved to die. Others have claimed that all Charlie Hebdo had to do to avoid dying was not insult Islam. In short, they have all claimed that it is better to live on ones knee’s than to die on their feet.
Stephane Charbonnier and his courageous staff were the new French Resistance, they were that indomitable spirit of courage that refused to bow down in fear to homicidal lunatics or tyrants. They were that less than 1 percent of Frenchmen whose light shined so brightly that is could be seen all around the world. Stephane Charbonnier and his staff deserve to be added to the role of the French Resistance, for they were it’s modern day spirit. Charlie Hebdo has reminded us all that the greatest courage is often found in the darkest of places. It is easy to be brave when their is no danger, it’s not so easy when evil is at your door breaking the locks and battering the door off it’s hinges.
Viva la Resistance, Viva la Charlie Hebdo… Je Suis Charlie…