‘Je suis Charlie’ or ‘Je suis profit’?

Monica Gallardo, Opinion Editor

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Merchandisers are taking the ‘Je suis Charlie’ slogan way out of proportion, as if they simply slapped a sticker on an ordinary object and decided to sell it for the love of money.

The massacre that took place on Jan. 7 in France is sad and unfortunate. 11 people were slain and 11 left injured after two masked gunmen fired their rifles throughout the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in retaliation to an offensive cover the magazine published.

Despite this attack, the news magazine continued its weekly publication and sold out seven million copies of the new issue in six languages, compared to their usual French-only 60,000 copies.

Honoring those victims of the massacre in the new issue is appropriate and expected, but some merchants have turned that slogan into a profit.

Seeing the world come together in support was reassuring and comforting, but all this merchandise just makes it seem like a massacre-for-profit.

This event inspired the slogan “Je suis Charlie,” meaning “I am Charlie,” in an attempt for solidarity among the world and the victims of this attack.

Online sites such as eBay and Amazon are now selling merchandise such as magnets, t-shirts, mugs, messenger bags, posters, you name it, with the commemorative slogan. Even “Je suis Charlie” earrings and iPhone cases are up for sale.

Physical copies of the magazine’s latest issue are also being re-sold online, some ranging from a price of $10, $60, or even going as high as $151,711.56, as listed by eBay user lcg1981.

Sadly, this is not new.

The same thing happened during the aftermath of the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Shirts, beanies, pins, and license plate frames are among those items up for sale with the slogan “Hands up, don’t shoot,” inspired by those fatalities similar to the Mike Brown case.

Where is the money going? Are the sellers keeping it to buy new material items like clothes and shoes, or are they actually helping the families with funeral expenses?

This event requires us to provide each other with emotional support and understanding, not finding all possible ways to make a quick dollar on this tragedy.

People need to stop exploiting these tragedies and using them to make money. The friends and families of these victims deserve privacy and respect.