No, Charlie Hebdo, “Nazis” Didn’t Drown in Houston


Shortly after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published this cover:


The caption reads, “God exists! He drowned all the neo-nazis of Texas!”

We should all know about Charlie Hebdo. The newspaper has a long history of attacking anyone they deem worthy, usually with crude and offensive cartoons. That wasn’t much of a problem until they published cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed. Those cartoons led to a brutal jihadist attack on their office that left twelve dead in 2015.

To be clear, I supported Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish offensive cartoons in 2015, and I support it now. CH didn’t deserve to be physically attacked for their opinions about Islam and don’t deserve to be physically attacked for their opinions about Texas. However, they do deserve mockery, scorn and derision, for numerous reasons.

First, Hurricane Harvey primarily impacted Houston, which is in no way a nazi city. Houston is actually the the most diverse city in America, “where 51 percent of all those under the age of 20 are Latinos and 19 percent are African American.” A third of city residents over age five speak a language other than English at home, and according to census reports 145 languages are spoken in Houston. Over 15,000 Houstonians speak French. The city leans liberal and recently elected a black democratic mayor who replaced a lesbian democratic mayor, who replaced a white democratic mayor, who replaced a black democratic mayor, who replaced a white democratic mayor, who replaced a female democratic mayor (Houston has had democrat mayors since 1982). And while Texas voted republican in the 2016 presidential election, Houston itself went almost completely democrat (even if you ascribe to the incredibly shallow and unbelievably stupid belief that “republican equals nazi,” you can’t pin any nazi republicanism on Houston). And if being democrat isn’t enough, Houston also has a thriving gay community with the most gay-friendly employers in Texas, and hosts one of the oldest and largest gay pride parades in the American Southwest. Houston ain’t exactly the Third Reich.

Second, the drowning victims weren’t nazis. Six of the victims were from a single Hispanic family and included an elderly couple and four children. Another was a 60-year old Hispanic Houston police officer. Another was a nurse whose three-year old daughter was found clinging to her body. Another was an elderly woman drowned in her home, another was crushed by a tree that fell on her house, others included a clockmaker trying his save merchandise and a young man who foolishly drove around a barricade marking high water. There is no indication whatsoever any of the victims were “nazis,” and no reason to believe Hurricane Harvey just happened to strike an unknown nazi gathering. The storm killed dozens of innocent people, not dozens of nazis or any nazis at all.


Six members of the Saldivar family, who died together when their van was swept away by flood waters.

Third, over 22,000 Texans died fighting nazis or their allies during World War II. Approximately 750,000 Texans served in total, making up 7% of the entire American fighting force. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight Eisenhower was a Texan, as was our most-decorated nazi killer Audie Murphy. The Texas 36th Infantry Division – MY division, by the way – participated in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, and was even at one point attached to the French First Army. Charlie Hebdo and many others are seeing nazis under their beds and finding them under every rock lately, but when real nazis really invaded France and really needed to be defeated, Texans showed up to do it.

And fourth, French and Texan soldiers have gone into combat together during the ongoing War On Terror, so even if Charlie Hebdo is stupid enough to think Texans are all nazis, other French people know better. One would think at a serious newspaper like Charlie Hebdo (/sarc), journalists would do some in-depth investigative work like, oh, asking a French person who’s been to Houston if it’s full of nazis. CH apparently never bothered with such minor details.


Gasp! French troops posing with Texas nazis in Afghanistan!

Here in Texas we don’t even know how many we’ve lost. Victims probably haven’t even finished dying yet. Bodies will be recovered from flooded homes and overturned cars for many days to come. Families desperately searching for missing loved ones are dreading the tragic news they know is coming. One family is mourning the almost indescribable loss of beloved grandparents and four cherished children. Police officers all over the state are wearing badges covered with black bands to honor our lost sergeant. Texans and other Americans of many races, religions and political ideologies have spent the last week disregarding petty differences and coming together to help each other survive and recover. And for some unknown reason that’s sure to be incredibly moronic, Charlie Hebdo chose to slander the storm’s innocent victims as “nazis.”

When Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked in 2015, millions of Americans, including me and many other Texans, stood against the jihadist attackers and for CH’s right to free speech. Whatever I thought of Charlie Hebdo’s politics or “art,” I argued that nobody deserves to be murdered for offending someone. I still believe that. Neither I nor other Texans will shoot up the Charlie Hebdo office, or demand their right to free speech be restricted.

I’ll simply point out that the surviving Charlie Hebdo staff presumably doesn’t believe their cartoonists deserved to be murdered for their opinions; one might think Charlie Hebdo would know better than to falsely accuse innocent people of being nazis, then suggest they deserved to die for it.

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Chris Hernandez (pictured above) is a 23 year police officer, former Marine and retired National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and has published three military fiction novels, Proof of Our ResolveLine in the Valley and Safe From the War through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (


7 Responses to “No, Charlie Hebdo, “Nazis” Didn’t Drown in Houston”

  1. 1 roy in nipomo

    I suspect they were going for the cheap (and safe) shock/laugh/ridicule. American=Texas=Trump=Nazis.
    The few cartoons of theirs I’ve seen don’t seem to be trying for any deep insights or truths. It may be cultural, but even the old Mad Magazine seemed to at least try to include irony.

  2. Glad you’re okay, Chris.
    Been wondering all week.

    CH is a Leftard den.
    Hadji should’ve taken more ammo on the last trip.
    But on the Left, they never confuse being true with their idea of “comedy”.
    If it’s pithy, and also an outright lie, they think it’s a two-fer.

    Which is why they’re confused they’re the only ones laughing at their little jokes.

    • I think they’re assclowns, but there’s no way I could ever justify the attack on them.

      Thanks for checking up on me. 🙂

      • I was this close to sending an e-mail, but I figured you’d literally be up to your @$$ in alligators with more important things to do, so I’m glad you had enough downtime to post.

        So the post was a two-fer.

        Take care, and Semper Fi.

  3. 5 Frank Karl

    I agree it was in poor taste. But here’s the thing, if they can mock Mohammed and his followers then they can mock the people who drowned in Texas.
    The difference is we believe we should cancel our subscriptions, write letters to the editor and post our opinions on line. Fundamentalist Islamist send shooters. I think our system is better because we want divergent view to insure the best ideas are presented and not a lock step society controlled by a handful of tyrants.

  4. 6 Marchenoir

    You know, even in France, we see CH as a disloyal, unfair, and stupid newspaper. It’s typically the scheme of thinking they use themselves that leads to racism. They saw a bunch of neonazis in Texas, so all of Texas must disapear… They wouldn’t let someone say that all arab-speaking countries must burn because a bunch of jihadists killed innocent people, but use the same scheme of thinking… Yeah, stupid leftards… That was not always the case, back in the 80′, when Choron led CH, it was far more better… Condoleances from France, guys.

  5. 7 twmaster

    The good news for CH is us Texans won’t be dropping by to shoot their offices up.

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