I was left speechless by some of the statements in this article about the PEN protest.
Boris Kachka reports:
The memoirist and novelist Porochista Khakpour heard from PEN last Friday….She evidently thinks it’s revolutionary for people at the awards gala to turn their backs or boo when the award is presented, but not so revolutionary to try to defend their smears of Charlie Hebdo to the survivors’ faces: “PEN spokesperson Sarah Edkins reported last night having ‘a number of strong leads’ on anti-Hebdo panelists, but no one confirmed.”
Khakpour was in fact deeply troubled by the mass tributes to Charlie Hebdo; she’d been assigned several editorials about it in January but had withdrawn over worries she’d be misrepresented. “There were all these liberal people standing with Charlie,” she says now, “using this brown minstrel imagery that was all over social media.” But she wrote to Kushner that she preferred not to withdraw. “I don’t believe in boycotts anymore,” says Khakpour. “That to me is not the revolution. I told her I would really participate if within the event we could express our dismay — like turning our backs or joining in with booing.”