February Editors Note

Reflecting on Charlie Hebdo and our Freedom of Speech

Angie Ripple  |   Sunday Feb. 1st, 2015

I remember walking the halls of my high school, repeating over and over again, a poem that had just come to my mind. I kept repeating it, so that as soon I got to my next class I could remember each word and write them down. It was no doubt a ridiculously somber piece, highlighting a longing for acknowledgement and acceptance, painting a picture through words of my teen angst. The point wasn’t what my private school brain was contemplating, it was that I was free to write whatever I felt needed to be written.

Even in my tiny small school bubble it wasn’t a big deal for me to write; to write down what I thought, what I felt, to creatively write whatever I wanted to write. I was by no means profound, and never even shared any of my poems with another set of eyes, but I still wrote.

I felt that for this editors note, it would be irresponsible to not make an effort to shine a light on the events of January 7, 2015 in Paris, France and how they relate to our little publication in Bozeman, Montana. Twelve employees of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical newspaper, were killed in the Paris terror attack; while eleven others were seriously injured. There are likely few similarities between Bozeman Magazine and Charlie Hebdo beyond the fact that we both exercise our Freedom of Speech with every issue. Freedom of Speech is a strong bond that can bring us all together even in the worst of times.

The world we live in today is not at all the world of my high school days. Today we live in a technologically driven whirlwind of a universe continued to be plagued by hatred, intolerance and frequent terrorism. Writers, comedians, artists and mass media now stand at the mercy of those who disagree with their jests or point of view. Insulated in the Rockies as we are, we dare not turn a blind eye in case we are next to be confronted with a fight we were before not ready to fight.

I am Charlie.   

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