Why Putting the French Flag on the Space Needle Is Racist

Comments

1
This proves Charles is kept on staff only because of his clickbait provocations, not because of any intelligence, creativity, and certainly not because of any humanity.
2
To paraphrase a friend on Facebook: "What kind of asshole would walk up to you at a funeral and ask why you're just crying today and not for every funeral last week?"
Charles, you are that asshole.
3
@1, That might be true but it doesn't mean he's not right.
4
Oh god, shut up!

Please, for the love of the baby Jesus, fire this man, already! I'm sure you could find someone to replace him at a much cheaper cost; even if that person just continues to post this drivel.
6
Truth.
7
I tend to disagree with 99% of what Charles says, but this is 100% correct.
8
Let’s see… Kenya, Nairobi, Uganda, Pakistan, France… which of these share with America a common social, economic, political, philosophical, literary, religious, etc. history going back 400 years? Which do not?

Which came to our aid, was our first and greatest supporter, in our own fight for independence against tyrannical monarchy?

And Pakistan? Really??? Tell me again, how long was it they harbored Osama Bin Laden for?

Chuck, I’m going to assume, from now on, that whenever you cry “Racist!” you’re really just dealing with your mommy issues… What’s the deal this time? Could she never make crepes that measured up to your high standards?
9
People can complain or be offended, but not effectively argue this point.

Because Charles is right on this one.
11
Charles, just pour yourself a cocktail and put on some Billie Holliday.
12
@5, Not if one is your family and the other is a complete stranger.
How much time have you spent in Beirut? Lagos? Kenya? Bagdad? Pakistan?
How much time have you spent in Paris? New York?
For me Paris and New York are very real places that I have been to many times and even lived in. But the fact that I've never lived in Lagos or had business in Beirut automatically makes me a racist.
14
@5 - What if you cry at the funeral of the one you knew but not the other one? Maybe that makes you a bad person for not loving all of humanity equally.
15
Because it's not news or unusual for this shit to happen in Africa or an Islamic country. It only happened in France because they're determined to open the borders to thugs from those places.
17
Charles won't be happy until they fly the ISIS flag from rubble of the Space Needle.

He will then write delightful reviews of the roasted goat meat, and view the piles of bodies as "transgressive, avant-garde, outsider art".

18
@14

You love all humanity equally? I feel badly for your family and friends.
19
Yes, it’s easier for people to feel empathy with those that they see as members of one’s community. Why do we have non-stop coverage of the Duck crash on Aurora but not when one sinks in Arkansas killing 11 people. Is that racism too? There’s also the fact that bomb attacks in Kenya, Lebanon or Syria are discounted as “stuff that happens in those countries” while the attacks in Paris are shocking because they are unexpected.
20
I am not sure that displaying different level of solidarity is racist in itself. Completely ignoring these atrocities when they occur in the developing world is racist but no more so ( and no less) than how we conduct foreign policy toward these nations.
21
Black lives may matter, but Chuck is making significant strides toward convincing me that black opinions do not matter.
22
I think this is an exceptionally confrontational way to state this issue, but the underlying point is valid. We should have the French flag up in solidarity, as we should have had up the flags of the many other non-European countries struck by tragedy as well.

@8 "And Pakistan? Really??? Tell me again, how long was it they harbored Osama Bin Laden for?"
Seriously? Because some parts of the Pakistan government may have had a role in harboring a terrorist we shouldn't express sympathy for the 131 murdered children who had nothing to do with that?
23
"Rich" people matter more?
24
Pakistan gets hundreds of millions from our foreign aid budget, and while most of their people live in poverty, they build more nuclear weapons. We can't stop terrorism from being a threat with violence and weapons, but we can express solidarity with our real allies.
25
Actually, to all of you agreeing with Charles, let me ask you the following questions: Have you ever been to Nairobi Kenya? Do you ever plan on going? Do you know anyone that has been there before? Have you ever met someone from Kenya? Do you know what the skyline of Nairobi Kenya looks like? Besides Kenya's marathon runners and our President's father, what do you know about the country off the top of your head? Are you familiar with any novels, plays, or movies that are set in Kenya? What happened in Kenya during World War 1 and World War 2?
If you haven't already guessed where I am going with this, switch Nairobi to Paris and Kenya to France and you will see the vast gulf in the level of connection that most people have with the two places. And to put it simply, we have a stronger emotional response to things that we have a connection with.
On one final note, remember #BringBackOurGirls and Kony 2012?
26
The only rationale I can muster for this cultural blind spot is that it feels different when someone kills his own family in his own house (Muslims in country, Africans in Africa) than when he comes to your house and kills your family (Paris, NY, London). But we did get mightily pissed about the child brides that Boko Haram took, at least for a while.

Presumably, some of the lives lost were non-white people, but the point is taken: white people can't even mourn without being racist.
27
@19 and @25 are absolutely right, and have unwittingly shown the roots of racism.

We feel closer to whites, and white culture, so we feel an emotional reaction to events in white countries.

In the same way, we feel closer to white people applying for jobs, or white actors in stories, or to white cops shooting unarmed black people, and the emotional reaction we have prevents us from seeking justice for those we've othered. We pretend it's because they don't share our values, but when we've never thought about interacting with them by visiting their countries and talking with their people, how can we know what their values are?
28
Ta Nehisi Coates lives in Paris. I hear because he loves it there, not because he has problems with living in the u.s. (though I find that a little hard to believe - but I'm certainly not up on all his interviews, nor have I read his latest book).

Thousands of Americans visit Paris every day, and I have a couple of french colleagues who are here on scientific research visas. When it comes right down to it, many Americans have a more personal connection to Paris than the other places mentioned.

I do have some agreement with Charles' point.
29
You are spot on, Charles, as usual.
30
Adding to the above comment, Eurocentrism is a form of rascism.
31
I guess if you like being marginalized to irrelevancy, then yeah, say that flying the flag of the US's first ally, a fellow rich industrialized Western democracy, is racist. Go ahead and say that.

How come none of you could be arsed to write so much as a blog post when Beirut was bombed? Or Kenya? How come neither you or Ansel could muster the effort to even put a blurb in the Morning News about it?
32
In 2014 there were 1,821 terrorist attacks in Pakistan. That's over FIVE terrorist attacks PER DAY.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/23698…

That's in one year. How the fuck do you expect us to honor that? Every public building would be covered in Pakistani flags.

And of course Pakistan and Kenya didn't build the Statue of Liberty. And doesn't have a 300 year history with us or share the same religious and cultural roots.

You might as well ask why isn't Egypt flying the Kenyan flag? Why isn't the Republic of Congo flying the Lebanese flag? Racsim?

No. It's just a stupid question.

Policing and playing moral one-upmanship over how people morn is shitty, shitty, fucking thing to do. Anybody that does that is a pile of shit.

33
I am a little bit surprised and quite a bit more disappointed with the tenor of many of the reactions above.
There's really no avoiding the fact that public reactions to this attack varied quite a lot compared to recent attacks in other countries. The timing of the attacks in Beirut, along with the virtual silence concerning them on the part of prominent officials and commentators, makes the discrepancy in our reactions particularly stark.
Conflating all this with the talking points of black lives matter may be a little bit reductive but it's not fundamentally off-base. I can't agree with Charles' take on the gum wall, but both racism and prejudice against Muslims have to be major factors in our particular response to the Paris attacks.
34
This is an excellent example of why people like Mr. Mudede are unnecessary. He is not the first person to say something like this. There are three threads right now on my FB feed, beating this subject to death. There are plenty more on reddit and other popular sites. The need for such journalism is long since past. These conversations began almost immediately after the incident was reported, and Mr. Mudede's opinion provides nothing new. Either journalism should redefine itself to reporting the news and only that, or those who write opinion pieces need to elevate themselves far beyond the zeitgeist.

In the wake of tragedy and the outpouring of sympathy, it is inevitable that someone is going to tell us that we're all hypocrites, that it doesn't go far enough, that really we're all just awful and should feel ashamed. It is an example of perfectionism, where nothing will ever satisfy, only absolutes. It is the same kind of attitude that breeds extremism. Real life isn't like that. You can't switch off racism by wagging the finger like a nanny. It is a rock inside the mind, and the biggest thing that will erode it is empathy. Flying a French flag is a big deal to those whose minds have calcified. It is not a cure-all, and to my mind it's under "the least you could do." To some, along with other symbols of compassion, it is a grand gesture. And I'd rather have less isolationism and xenophobia (and finger-wagging) in my world.
36
@31
It wouldn't have even occurred to most people that France is America's first ally if POTUS didn't mention it. (And is that even correct?)
37
The historical relationship between the US and France is meaningless to Charles, and France's support of this country's independence.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/307
38
@34

Or just hire me to do it! I can post this kinda stuff all day for $30,000 a year, if they'd like! Heck, I could do it while on my break!

But, in all seriousness, can The Stranger get a new writer? Someone who can post more and discuss varying issues on a deeper level?
39
Sorry Mudede... I guess we all missed your extensive reportage and remorseful commentary last week, following the Beirut and Kenyan tragedies.

Oh wait.... I forgot... you didn't do any such reporting.

Hypocrite.

Even your irrelevant article is just a localized riff on a storyline from Saturday. Let's add intellectual laziness to the inventory of gifts brought to us from Zimbabwe.

In the absence of an evidentiary journalistic ethos, you – Mudede – have aged into a tired, irrelevant, paranoid, haphazard screed.
40
Unfortunately, other world cities may befall cataclysmic terrorism for decades to come, and have their country's flag flown atop the Space Needle. So then, logic dictates that all such contorted "racism" juxtapositions will be eventually negated - but probably not for a few diehards.
42
@36
Yes, as any high school graduate should be able to tell you, it is correct.
43
I'm not sure which is worse, having read an article knowing that Mudede wrote it, or knowing that I agree with him.
44
@34: Good perspectives.
45
I guess going forward, every day from now on, check your Al Jazeera RSS feed, and if you see more than 40 people killed in any country you damn well better see at least 500 words each from Charles Mudede or Ansel Herz here on the Slog.

And if you see Anzel write 1,000 words because a bicyclist was run over by a truck in San Francisco, but only 510 words after 83 people are blown up in Nairobi, well, it's because Ansel is that racist. The words per person stats actually will tell you precisely how racist he is.

I guess then they have to put quarters in a racism jar? Something like that. The point is there has to be accountability. That's paramount.
46
Isn't there an inherent racism in calling Paris a "white" nation. It isn't just "white" people that faced terror in Paris. Yes, it's disturbing that we have a different reaction to western nations than we do others, but to fail to recognize the global diversity of thriving cities like Paris and acknowledge only the terror faced by white people there is racist too.
47
@45 FTW
48
but... but, what if it was a black person that put up the french flag?
49
Good Evening Charles,
No, I don't believe hoisting the French Tricolor over the Space Needle an act of racism at all. It is simply an act of solidarity with an old (oldest?) ally who did much the same for us after (9/11). Recall Le Figaro noted 'We are all Americans" after that grim day. A giant Old Glory was displayed near the Eiffel Tower with French citizens saluting it.

Sure, we could show some solidarity with the victims of say, the recent Beirut bombing. But the Lebanon isn't France. Yes, I get it that some countries are more important than others in the eyes of the USA (Pres. Obama I think would agree). And, a particularly large number of victims (132 so far) gets one's attention. But to conclude that the raising of the French emblem is a racist act is balderdash. Personally, I acknowledge ALL victims (a Frenchman is no different than a Kenyan) of terror as equals. My condolences to all the victims.

But in this case, Vive! La France as well.
50
Between this and the 473 philosophical reflections on the gum wall, I think The Stranger is opting for a "troll our readers all the time" publishing model.
51
Ugh, M. Mudede, have you ever been to Paris? If you have, then you must have worn some special kind of glasses that filtered out darker hues. That's the only way you could have walked even one block in Paris and only saw white people.

My dad was a Marxist when he was young. Now he is a socialist, but he still has many friends who are Marxists, and we grew up hearing many of them talk. Got to say, your Marxism is VERY DIFFERENT!!

Stop making things worse than it already is!
52
For all of your of your feigned cosmopolitanism, you certainly have a simplistic view of other countries and cultures. Paris is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, making Seattle look like a turn of the century eugenics experiment in comparison. Your implicit argument that he victims of Paris were all white people betrays what a dour, simple-minded view of the world that you have.
53
Why didn't the stranger report on the attacks at Garissa University? There were a total of 23 words regarding that attack in an un-related article by Ijeoma.

You wrote a small blurb about the murders at the mall in Nairobi. You wasted more electronic ink complaining about the gum wall.

There was nothing written in the stranger about the 74 Kampalans.

Charles, you're a racist.
54
BTW, M. Mudede, there were non whites who were murdered in this last attack. They targeted a football (soccer) game and a concert venue. Have you looked at the players on the French team lately? Do you only see white players? Are you saying only white people would go to the football game and the concert?

We are talking about PARIS here. PARIS! Even the psycho Nazis refused to blow up Paris when they were ordered to at the end of WWII. Paris is beloved by people of all creeds and ethnicities M. Mudede.

Why am I even talking to you. UGH!
55
@26, 34: Well put.
56
It disappoints me to see an act that came only from a place of respect, solidarity and love be twisted to the narrative of someone else's agenda. People grieve more for societies/places/people they feel a stronger connection too. We should feel a connection to all humanity and mourn all loss of life, but we are human. We do not have the emotional capacity or strength to mourn everyone's suffering. To grieve in an inequitable manner is human, not racist.
58
Please stop letting Charles Mudede write articles.
All of his drivel plays the same whiny, race baiting tune. I can't remember the last Mudede article that had real substance.
It's all self-serving editorials aimed at instigating conflict over meta-issues. Gone are the days of real journalism at The Stranger.
Shame on you Charles.
Shame on you for writing shit article after shit article.
Shame on you for constricting your perception to your narrow world view of "Blame it on the white man".
You're blinded by your angst.
You're fucking awful at your job.
59
Why must we always take a gesture of goodwill in a world that is not known for goodwill and find some reason for it to stink?

Charles, you're better than Upworthy when it comes to clickbait.
60
Amen! Charles is absolutely fucking right about this. You can't argue with him. Unless you're going to argue that only white lives, or Christian lives, or democratic lives matter, or as some stupid commenter said, only lives who's ancestors used to be friendly with America.
61
If this is racist, what does it say about The Stranger, Charles, and Ansel? They didn't post about the events when it happened, covering issues in America instead.

What does it say about The Stranger, Charles, and Ansel that they still aren't reporting on these events, only reporting on white America reaction to these events?
62
1) Paris is fucking awesome. I only went there once a thousand years ago, but I consider it the heart of human civilization. Sincerely.

2) Charles is right.

63
I guess Seattle is anti Hispanic as well for not putting up the Spanish flag during the 2004 Madrid Bombings that killed 191 people en 11 de Marzo 2004..

Dude, let people grieve.. This isn't the time to point fingers.. Go back to your racist grocery bags..
64
I like Charles' posts for a number of reasons, but mostly because all the jerks on the Slog come together in one place. It's like an asshole party.
65
@ 62 Twice actually....
66
-------------------
| TROLL LINE |
-------------------
EVERYONE was trolled.
67
@64: Exactly, and there's always one smart ass jerk who thinks he's above it all.
68
France is the reason we were liberated from imperialism of Britain. They protected us, funded us, and gave us the Statue of Liberty. To discount the importance of France to America compared to any other country would be very naive. We owe our freedom to France. Should we have more coverage of our allies and support? Absolutely. Especially such a great Allies as Kenya. Which they are the strongest democratic supporters of America since 2002 out of all African nations. But France has major significance in the shaping of our country that no other country western or eastern can come close to. Mind you, personally, I'm not French or have any friends that are French. I just understand that France has a special relationship to America which makes me not offended that they place a flag showing support.
69
@64 "It's like an asshole party."

And you're the belle of the ball?
70
@61,

That they're not international correspondents?
71
I've given Charles plenty of shit over the years for his, 'Ridiculous Racist Screed Of The Week.' But once in awhile he hits the nail on the head... and I always try to be fair when he does.

Charles, you nailed it square-on this week.

Why the fuck are French lives more important than ones in Africa, Iraq, Lebanon or any other non-Western country?

The answer is to paraphrase an old 'The West Wing' episode, where President Bartlett is asked by an aide why American lives are more important than African ones. His answer?

"I don't know, but they are."

The hypocrisy of Western media and the apathy of their consumers who are willing to be spoon-fed daily such bullshit sickens me.

Please, somebody tell me with a straight face why bombs in Paris are more important than bombs in Baghdad, or Kenya or Beirut?
72
Weird to see so many folks falling on allied nationalist tropes. If you rely on this, your line of thought becomes vulnerable to history and the little problem of French imperialism and colonialism in THE MIDDLE EAST and AFRICA, the very places which postcolonial terrorism is itself a consequence of colonial and imperial exploitation. What's actually grasping our attention isn't national identity. It is our Eurocentric imagination along with real grief at the loss of our way of life/our actual lives. As one person said, eurocentrism is a form of racism, and it has a very well identified and deconstructed historical lineage. And you know what, we'd benefit from confronting it, reflecting and maybe realizing "hey, we can do better. We can be more thoughtful and educated. All groups impacted by heinous violence get our emotional support."
73
No, it's not the fact that they have brown skin that I don't give a fuck what happens to them, it's the fact that they are Muslims.
74
@66 Agree.
@71 I don't know either but yes unfortunately some lives matter more.

But I do know this, I can conceive of a God greater than that. Perhaps it's time for man to fully extend our finger towards God's.

75
@70 certain they comment on international events all the time and slog posted a bunch aboutique the Paris attacks while it was happening.
76
I hope that those that agree with Charles are not too unnerved by their Facebook friends who've clicked the "support France" button to overlay a semi-transparent image of the French flag over their profile picture.
77
There is a false equivalency in these comments and the post. Simply flying the French flag above the Space Needle does NOT mean Seattle thinks white, French lives matter more than brown or black lives.

I am so rarely motivated to comment, but this article is just an incredibly garbage hypothesis, and oozes with a feverish grasping of straws.

There have been murderous rampages in countries across the globe for thousands of years. The Space Needle has even existed for many of those years. And we haven’t run up the flag of whatever country-of-the-week had a massacre.

The killings in France have touched people in many ways — some of it is most certainly xenophobic and fear-based — but for others it’s because they love that city. If somebody shot up a gathering in Portland, and we showed support, would Charles Mudede say, “But what about CHICAGO?! Where’s your mourning for CHICAGO?!?!”

This whole argument is childish. To tie it to racism? That’s insulting.
78
It’s clear that, a few days after the Paris attacks, Charles believes that “all lives matter”. I wonder if he supported #AllLivesMatter in the weeks and months prior?
79
I suppose the fact that The Stranger raised money for a burned-up Planned Parenthood in Pullman, but not for the politically-assailed clinics under constant assault in the Deep South, just goes to show how RACIST The Stranger is.
80
I guess I can't figure out what Charles is arguing for instead- is it flags in solidarity with all victims of Isis attacks, no flags in solidarity with any country, some flags in solidarity according to some quality other than ally-ship? I know this is a specific incident of racism, and I think Charles's point is the larger pattern, but I often leave these incidents confused rather than better informed for next time. Charles pointed it out, so I'm asking, what should happen next time?
81
Putting the French flag anywhere this week is not racist. It's at best solidarity, at worse an attempt by Seattle politicians not to be seen to care less than politicians from other US cities.

Not putting the other flags up when their countries suffrered similar tragedies, now that is racist -- if the flags from predominently non-white countries really are ignored in favour of those of predominently white countries.

Maybe some Stranger's staffers could look into this issue, which is happening right in Seattle, and draw more conclusions than this trollish post based on faulty logic ?
82
France, and especially Paris, are a symbol. They symbolize Western, or at least European, civilization, culture, and enlightenment.

Kenya, Russia, or Lebanon (or Hungary or Finland, for that matter) do not. Simply put: the attacks in Paris were attacks on ideas, on symbols. The attacks in Garissa were not. Sorry.
83
The hypocrisy of this post is just staggering. It is like some kind of smug, self-satisfied singularity.

Funny how The Stranger (including Mudede) did no decent reporting on any of these attacks, yet multiple reports on the France attack. Therefore according to Mudede's thesis, The Stranger is a racist paper, run by racists.

I also have to point out how incredibly ignorant and provincial Mudede is for not seeming to realize that nonwhites live in Paris. Paris makes Seattle look like a KKK convention when it comes to diversity.
84
I find this to be an interesting discussion, because of what it reveals about race, and about those who think in terms of it.

For instance, it's revealing that the very first thing Mudede jumps to as the explanation for the disparity is racism. To me, that suggests the old adage, "When all you have is an (intellectual) hammer, then everything looks like a nail." In other words, if racism is your version of original sin, then you'll view everything that happens in the world through that lens. Ta-Nehisi Coates, for all of his virtues as a writer, suffers from this terribly.

Many commenters here have suggested reasons why we feel the attacks on Paris more strongly than those in Beirut. Maybe it's because we're closer culturally. Maybe it's a longer and deeper shared history. Maybe it's because many Americans have visited Paris, but relatively few have been to Lebanon. Maybe it's because more of us learn French in high school than Arabic. Maybe it's because we view a terrorist attack in Beirut as nothing out of the ordinary (especially for those of us remembering the news from Lebanon in the '80s), but a similar attack in Paris is unusual and shocking; consider that we don't get anywhere near this same kind of shock when there's a terrorist attack in Israel, even though Israel is just as close to us culturally as France is, if not closer.

I'm not saying that racism isn't an explanation, possibly the explanation for what's going on here. I honestly don't know. What I am saying is that asserting that racism is the reason, end of story, full stop, is premature. What support is there for that argument? What alternatives have been considered and rejected? What evidence is cited?

Apparently none. Because racism is always assumed as a given.

And this is a striking weakness, especially for an academic like Mudede. I, for one, am fairly conditioned to consider most conservatives to be pretty closed-minded, but this post right here is pretty obvious evidence that even the most intelligent progressives are just as capable of that as well.
85
Uh... Maybe because 1. It's not a competition and 2. Black people live in France too and were among the dead. 3. The general public does not control what the media decides it's going to cover...much like how this asshole article got published. Nobody likes a tragedy-hipster trying to position themselves to a false moral high ground by shaming people for having any compassion at all. It's so Seattle to pretend you care more about black lives than actual black people as a tactic to pre-emptively shield yourself from any accusations that you're part of the inequality problem too.
86
This is one of those 2% of the times that Charles is right. And he's right about this. But I'm more offended about how this will lead to even a larger expansion of the para-military-police state here in the US over the next few months.
87
#84, Or it's a start to radicalization. The Stranger doesn't have an international bureau. I suggest grabbing all those terrific KPLU reporters to cover more in depth state and local news. I suspect those talented reporters can bridge into writing more international news.

Charles could do a real piece here though. He has a unique perspective. Look into why these young people radicalized. Look into the roots, the situation there and here. The differences and similarities. The solutions. That would be a prize piece. It can't be click bait. It'll take hard work, moxie which Charles has, and objectivity which we can all use. So how about it? A piece which will inform, not just arouse?
88
"I heard about these other tragedies before you. And I care more" That's all I see when I see this ridiculous headline. I'm really happy Charles has a more wildly vast grief portfolio than the rest of us.

I'm glad this Guardian writer put a name to the kind of people who have been posting this shit since Friday. Tragedy Hipsters, the lot of ya.
https://storify.com/JamilesLartey/on-fff
89
Charles is right.
90
Mudede could complain about the lack of the Russian flag to commemorate the 250 Russians on that plane shot down by ISIS in Sinai, but that wouldn't fit into the narrative that the Space Needle is racist.
91
So what's step two, once we're all done being outraged?
92
To those that say we share more history with France, and that our country owes part of it's existence to France's efforts in the revolutionary war, etc:

We have just as much history with Africa, and owe just as much as our independence to it. The support came in the form of slaves and forced labor instead of guns and a fancy statue. Africa provided more for our nation than France ever did.
93
Displaying the French flag is not racist, period. Moving forward, if only predominantly "white" countries flags are displayed, then you have an argument. France is a melting pot it should be noted and suggesting that the flag was only displayed under the assumption that France is believed to be a "white" country presupposes ignorance or racism on behalf of the people displaying it. Condemning what is an overt act of compassion and solidarity by comparing it to the handling of previous tragedies is unfair. The world is changing, we are changing with it. Hindsight is 20/20, in a perfect world, tragedies like this wouldn't exist at all.
95
Charles is right, and his critics are also right.

Charles, a journalist with a public platform to use for anything he likes, published little to nothing about the massacres in Kenya, Nairobi, Uganda, or Pakistan.

He did, however, post entire series of articles discussing the absence of handles on his local grocery store's paper bags, or the removal of discarded chewing gum from the exterior of a local building.

The conclusion is unavoidable: Charle Mudede is a bigot.

And so are the racists he writes about.
98
@84 Corydon,
You bring up a very good point. That's spot on.
99
It's a shooting culture war that the jihadis want, and it's a shooting culture war they are going to get. The fact that the white industrial world visibly stands in solidarité with France does in fact demonstrate that a small, radical minority is successfully driving a wedge between cultures -- with the goal of winning. An winning means... well, what exactly?

Charles, any comment on what the jihadis actually want, long-term, from inciting such a war between cultures? Do you think they want Europe back?
100
I posted this on the "I was drinking in a bar..." piece, but it's also relevant here:

Let's see if French secular culture can actually resist this second, very overt attack on its values, and not get sucked into the war the jihadis so obviously want. Because if they don't, then another attack will happen, nearly guaranteed. As one observer pointed out in the wake of 9/11, "there are nearly infinite opportunities for terrorist attack"... the bastards will find another way to keep up the provocations.

France is between Scylla and Charybdis: Crack down on their marginalized Arab populations, deport many, build a wall, be seen as 'racïste' authoritarians and provoke the all-out war the jihadis want ; or remain lenient and vulnerable to yet another terrorist attack pointed directly at their freedoms and openness.

What choices do they have? It is a terrible, terrible situation.
101
RDM @90 -- You raise a good point, except for one inconvenient fact: 90% of St Petersburg is black.

And for that matter, 90% of Haiti is white.
102
venomlash is wrong in @66 that we're being all trolled. For that to be the case Charles would have written a tongue-in-cheek essay, but that is not the case. Charles is pretty much a sincere guy in his writings.
103
Awesome Clickbait title.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's at least in part because the at-best psuedo-democracies that rule those other countries are in large part responsible for harbouring the terrorist groups that torment their own populations...the ISI for example. Unlike France, which, perhaps, does contribute to domestic muslim alienation through racism, it's hardly the kind of direct support all those other governments engage in.
104
@104 i would deeply mourn charles passing. i am somebody.
105
SMH..........

Let's have a flag with a vagina on it flapping in the wind aloft the Needle to show our disgust at the 130 million or so women and girls who deal with female genital mutilation. Or a flag showing the plight of the homeless in our own city? Or a flag highliting how shamefully we treat our Vets?

There's always a good cause. There's always a tragedy.

We could change flags every hour of every day.

France is our friend. France is an ally. France gave this Nation it's iconic Statue of Liberty. France was attacked by a common enemy.

We stand by our friends both in good times and in times of need.

It doesn't make us racist, it makes us true friends.

Charles Mudeme, I'll make a flag out of the page your article is on and the storm coming into town today will blow that page and your "insightful journalism" into a wet gutter where it belongs.
106
ping treacle (or other thoughtful commenters), serious question: What parallels, if any, would you draw between fighting the Nazi's in the 1930s and 40s and fighting ISIL now? Or answer it conversely, why shouldn't they be compared?
107
Raindrop, Charles never said to not fight ISIL, he's commenting on the, "Oh, now you've REALLY done it" attitude that we're showing. Like the massive amount of murder they committed before was disturbing, but in an abstract way. Now that they've killed white people en masse, we pay much more attention.
108
They fucked with the french, and people really LOOOVE french shit. Is that racist? I don't know, probably. It's France so fuck that shit and give me my rosé.
109
@107: My know that. My question was tangential to Charles and pertained to the overall threat. But I should have made that clear.
110
congrats stranger, you finally found something that will generate more page views than talking about cyclists: mudede calling everyone racists.

he's the new ken schram, the old drunk uncle yelling at kids to get off his lawn.
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and your entire paper has jumped the fucking shark.