Je Suis Charlie: A First-Person Account From the Paris Rally

I, as a French American, am very proud of all the protesters who throughout France marched in peace, marched for peace and stood strong in solidarity for the right to simply be, regardless of creed, color and ethnicity. It was and is a beautiful and courageous thing to behold. In terms of global politics, we need to band together as nations united in a bid to delegitimize the fanatical and terrorist appeal to persons vulnerable to their message. I firmly believe that it isn’t necessarily linked to religion but rather to severe economic and political inequities and disenfranchisements throughout Africa and the Middle East which coincidentally are also places formerly under colonial rule and Western Imperialist campaigns. We cannot continue pretending otherwise for it only hurts ourselves. We need to open up to a global conversation and we have the vehicle already in place to safely engage in those conversations; the United Nations, but it needs to be outside the Security Council and done within the General Assembly where everyone has a voice and we come together with open minds ready to assume our respective responsibilities and commit to ways to weaken the allure these fanatics and assassins pose to the masses. It will not be easy but we need to start somewhere.
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