This week I am among the thousands of French (or Francophile) technologists who find themselves at CES in Las Vegas during what will likely be the most tragic event in France is our lifetime. Having grown up in the US to school shootings, assassination attempts on politicians, and never-ending gun battles between the police and “gangsters,” I know far too well how a tragedy can paralyze a nation.
The #CharlieHebdo shootings and the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag have become a global phenomenon – Times Square in New York City, in Las Vegas in front of a miniature Eiffel Tower – all around the world people have come together to share their thoughts, their condolences, and their advice about how to move forward. In times of hardship, I often turn to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who shared his thoughts this week. His words on September 11th, 2001 helped get thousands of Americans through a national tragedy, as he understands the importance of Comedy during tragic times.
“I don’t see it as a burden, I see it as a privilege…the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wisecracks.. but never forgetting the fact that is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. A country that allows for open Satire. It’s the difference between closed & open. It’s the diference between free & burden, and we don’t take that for granted.” – Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, on the attacks of September 11th, 2001
There have been such great outpours of support, that I wanted to offer a few ways for people outside & in France to support the victims of Charlie Hebdo, the publication itself, or the cause that more than a dozen French people have died for this week
1) Don’t be Quiet
If you’re angry, yell. If you’re sad, cry. If you don’t agree with Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, that’s OK. You don’t have to. But revel in the fact that you can speak your mind, that you can share your discontent, and you are free to speak your mind.
2) Buy the next edition of Charlie Hebdo, coming out January 14th
Charlie Hebdo has announced on their website that their edition will come out as scheduled on January 14th. Grab a copy – they are printing 1 Million of them – put it up in your office, and let it be a reminder for years to come.
3) Donate to the Victims & the Publication
A wonderful initiative – SolidaritéCharlie – has put up a campaign to raise money for the victims as well as for the publication itself, to help compensate financially for things that cannot be replaced with money. Put on by David, a Frenchman living in Boston, the campaign has already raised more than €30,000 and is translated into multiple languages (so share it as you can).
I’m happy to post other initiatives up as they come up. Email or comment below, and be with loved ones if you can.