Today the Paris editors of Charlie Hebdo, the target of a brutal massacre last week by terrorists hiding behind the veil of Islam, will publish 3 million copies of the magazine. The cover will depict a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammad. The day of the attack Revolution and Beer published their cartoon of Muhammad as a statement of support for the freedom of expression. In the face of that crime we felt it critical to editorially oppose the forces of censorship. We are and have been and will continue to be as critical of any person, organization, religion, ideology and system that assails or undermines the imperative necessity of fully and honestly critiquing anything that impedes human progress or contributes to the lack there of.
We also respect our Muslim friends and neighbors and feel it is regressive to add anything more that attempts to make any of this about religion. The Charlie Hebdo cartoon is, in that regard, unproductive in bringing people together so that the species may progress together, rather than in pockets. There is a subversive attempt to pit religions and peoples against one another, not for the benefit of those religions, but for the control of resources, power and control. The media is the selling point, rather like the slick used car salesman that sells you a lemon. We have chronicled that cynical and all too successful assault on civil liberties and the greater aggrandizement of the perversely wealthy.
Here is the image we wish would resonate for today and beyond:
One way to begin is to begin to understand each other’s humanity. Who starts that? My father always taught me about being the bigger person. He also taught me not to be a jerk. I’m trying. We also need to understand the media manipulation that makes one life more important than another. There was virtually no media coverage of the funerals of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown or Eric Garner, but hour by hour coverage of two slain NYPD officers. There were regular funeral updates and the names of the 4 Jewish victims of the Paris Kosher market but virtually nothing of 50 Muslim civilians killed over the weekend in a US airstrike. The message in all of those is clear; some lives are more important than others. That message never leads to peace, or to progress, but more of the same misery.
Who benefits and profits from that? Who capitalizes on the constant drumbeat of supposed Islamic extremism, of the rising Russian bear, of the hysterical panic to have more guns everywhere despite plummeting crime statistics long before gun proliferation laws took effect? Is it the poor, who cannot find decent jobs, or who must collect food stamps to supplement their low paying service and Chinese-junk choked Walmart job? Is it the middle class, still struggling, and failing as healthcare costs have been shifted more fully to them to the benefit of ever more profitable and predatory corporations? When do we begin to realize that Satan may have come in the form of those smiling and polished salesmen in the media, millionaires stoking our darker fears and those bigotries we once eschewed within ourselves. They seduce the society into surrendering their freedoms and soverienty for the rich and powerful. Are you better for it? Are we better for it as a nation? As a planet? When…?
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.