From the editor: Why I don't fly the flag



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Hi. Il love Exberliner and I often read it for the quality of your articles. But really, I don't understand that such a good media posts a so low level declaration. And worse, from the editor journalist who is supposed to be the representative of this media. I don't car that she doesn't pt a french flag on her FB profile, but the way she justifies it is really bad.
It looks like an immature teenager discovering life: "Oh my God! people are more sad about death in their country than death in distant countries! Life is unfair!". This article is so immature with a lack of distance and analysis, for example when she explain that using the french flag is using a Front National symbol! But did she study french political history, I mean a minimum ? Certainly not, moreover, she recognizes it when she says: "Beyond the moral failure here, the journalist in me was scandalized. I felt ashamed of my ignorance." But how can she be a journalist and ignorant at that point that she needs to have a Syrian friend to think about Syria problems ? It is an usurpation of diploma of journalism or what? She compromises herself completely and unfortunately, she compromises Exberliner also...
I precise that I'm not against the fact that she doesn't use the FB french flag but I am offended by so much amateurism.Before I realized she was the editor, I thought it was a teenager!

Chris more than 5 years ago

Dear Nadja (2)

- "But what are we supposed to stand for now? The right for innocent French people not to be killed by terrorists?" Bad faith! But where did you hear that putting a flag means militate for such an idiot right ? Even a 5 years old child wouldn't think this way! It's just a way among many others to declare, when we have no words, a support and empathy for the victims's families and for France, and to say we're not afraid! They want to kill French people, French people don't hide, they show that they are French more than ever for this reason: we're not going to submit and hide.
It's not the same than "Je suis Charlie" that was a support to liberty of expression. Don't mix everything.

- "After all that blue-white-red, black felt so much more appropriate!" So sad that an "intellectual confuses two notions so different and nevertheless complementary: blue, white, red = for resistance and not fear of being French.
Black = national mourning
The one does not prevent the other one.
To summarize, your message is full of willingness but it is lacking discernment ...

Sylvie more than 5 years ago

Dear Nadja (1)

I didn't put any flag on my FB profile because I don't need it to feel french or to empathize with the victims. So, of course, I understand that you don't want to put one.
But come on, your arguments not to do it are really Intellectually disappointing and not as high as what I expect from an editor:
- "What did they mean? What do they stand for? Empathy? Solidarity?" The answer is yes! It's clear. please, let people express these feelings like the want. It may be clumsy but it's sincere and I hope you also feel these feelings. They are free ti express it this way, you and me are free not to express it this way and they don't agress you.
- "Isn't it enough to be French?" No, it's not enough to be French. Some of the Facebookers with this flag are not french, like my some of my friends in Berlin who just want to support.
- "Isn't it obvious enough that we care, and feel scared, and bad and sorry?" Feeling, being is not showing, sharing, expressing it.
- "Do we need to throw more Bleu Blanc Rouge (already highly associated with Front National pathos) into the political fire?" More than ever! Have you already capitulated in the point to leave the French flag to the FN ? Come on, this flag is the national emblem of the French Republic, it was created in 1794 and the FN was created in 1972 ! I am not so that we take it out him every weekend like the Americans, but for such an event, it's now or never...
- About Syria: "But we didn't hear about them because they're “bad” victims of the same terrorism". I don't know on which planet you live but I regularly hear about Syria in the media and on the social networks. It's a constant subject of discussion of our european foreign ministers... We have images every day! Maybe you don't watch the same channels as me. The all world was shock of the Syrian little boy who died in the Méditerranée sea.
But it's clear and human to be more touched about something happening in your country, close to people you know than to a far away country with people you don't know. And I hope it's the same for you otherwise, I wouldn't be your mother or your child... It doesn't mean we don't have any empathy, it means that we are normally constituate humans. If tomorrow, I fall in love with a Syrian I will be more worry than today, if I have a heart. Same, we're not all year long devasted by the bad treatment of the Inuits by the canadian government but if tomorrow I fall in love with an Inuit, I will be devasted. So, your Syran friend is like everybody, she's more touched by someone killed in Syria than in France and I don't blame her for that.
- "Beyond the moral failure here, the journalist in me was scandalized. I felt ashamed of my ignorance." Yes, you can be ashamed because I am not a journalist I know that and I'm worry about that in Syria.

Sylvie more than 5 years ago

selective outrage and censorship

All those countries that go through terrorist attacks are in your comprehensive post, but not Israel, whose citizens are murdered by radical Islamist terrorist every week (today too)... There also is no criticism about Communist activist and now German chancellor Merkel who decided to bring millions of Syrians in Europe, and no mention that one of the Paris assassins was a Syrian refugee. For all this you practice censorship, just like Merkel who has silenced German media and now polices Facebook (no less!).

These three things tells us all about who you are, Nadja Vancauwenberghe.

Victor Luria more than 5 years ago

our allegory

Hi I'm French and Parisian more than ever, I was there when it happened, still there and I'm very proud of my city and country without being a Front National voter! How dare you saying that the French flag is just "a gimmicky visual"? It is part of the Republic, it's even the most important allegory of it! People died all along our History so we have this specific colours! Do you at least know what each colours stand for? Have you ever been to class around the age of 10?
The reason why it is crucial to massively use this fantastic symbol of France is to regain the core values of our flag that FN has tried to steal from the democraty. Right? The other thing I wanted to ask you, is as follow : don't you think there's a reason why you left France, and that your vision of France might be altered? Please don't take it as an attack but I think it is so easy to critisize other people's way to express their solidarity when you're just an observer.

Caroline more than 5 years ago


Sorry, but you just did to the media vehicle you are editor of, what you didn`t want to do in your facebook page. Front-page: French flag with tower.

The problem is social media and the social media problem is the "media" part... Clicks, likes, shares, unnexpected and unpredictable virals...

Just sad about everything. Including Ex-berliner.

Carlos more than 5 years ago


You know, I think this piece would make a lot more sense if the author didn't use half of it as a diatribe against people who think differently from you. But then the same can be said for a lot of writing.

Not everything is about the far right using anything it can to stop your precious refugees from cavorting through Europe, with terrorists hiding among them. This is a real problem and it takes less money to close the borders (which they haven't done anyway) than to open them and then find every would-be jihadi in the crowds.

ClosetheBorders more than 5 years ago

Expressions of Grief

People have feelings, and people express their feelings differently. Especially for grief. Being sick of other peoples expressions of feelings is a natural reaction.

Back of a napkin calculations suggest that almost a billion people saw the Paris explosions in real time, or near real time. From the explosions on the football, and then the millions of parisians messaging around the world. Remember Paris is one of the most tourist'd cities in the world. Someone farts there, and it's on the news.

Then there's 500,000 people per year in Europe dying of preventable air pollution. Death happens every day, and I'm for one glad as fuck that I don't have to see it happen all the time. I'd rather be dead myself than have to live like that. I'd be even happier if those deaths didn't happen.

I'm glad you gave a voice to your flat mate. But this sort of shows the imbalance -- the Parisian born newspaper editor and the Syrian born 'refugee'.

If the journalists were more your tribe, I can understand how you would be more supportive of them.

This all deserves some introspection.

Me more than 5 years ago

Complex subject

I think you captured some of the subtleties that make this all so troubling- and which many would like to wash away with an easy solution of either blaming refugees or Muslims or French foreign policy.

t more than 5 years ago

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