Charlie Hebdo and Paris: Talking to Al Jazeera

Nina Burleigh on Al Jazeera Charlie Hebdo.png

Watch. Of course, the power of words and images is exactly why the assassins went into the offices of Charlie Hebdo today. Sticks and stones break bones, but words and images change minds-- images like the satirical pictures that the murdered French cartoonists excelled at scratching out on blank sheets of paper.

Those images are what the gunmen wanted to eradicate. But they wanted to destroy something else, too: wit and laughter, a sense of the ridiculous, the freedom to think, to read what one wants, to wear what one wants, to live and work and bear children how and where and when one wants, and the freedom to speak truth to power.

Many men and certainly most women on this planet will never have power. That's why speaking truth to power is so important. And why laughing at power should be a human right.

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Laughter is the best medicine.

Said perfectly, Nina.

Amen, Nina.

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