OK, I think I’ve heard just about enough to know that I need to say what I feel in my own little corner and hope that it resonates with someone other than just me.
There’s a billowing flow of both blame and dodging swarming through the political realm right now, because of the tragedy at the Tucson shooting.
The strong and unwavering right wing supporters are defending both their integrity and subsequently their right to use rhetorical strategies that perpetuate violence.
(not to mention justifying their racism, too)
“The Arizona shootings were like Kwanzaa come early for America’s liberal fascists” http://t.co/ggxyme7
“I do not appreciate being called a murderer by the ideological descendants of eugenicists and fascists because I use the millenia-old rhetorical device called a metaphor any more than you do.” http://tinyurl.com/6gz8msu
The most influential left-wing activists are taking a much-needed opportunity to point out the catastrophe that ensues when political rhetoric is dissociated with tragedies.
But, in my opinion, no one is saying what really needs to be said.
The discourse I’m hearing is just contributing to an on-going cycle; a tired cycle of practiced rhetorical strategy. If progressives point blame towards the right (however justifiably so), the right is armored (regardless of fault) like they always are.
This time the fact is that this incident shows a much, much larger picture that no one seems to want to take responsibility for. A friend of mine shared a conversation with me that she had about Sarah Palin, today. She said that someone told her:
“Well, Sarah Palin is a decent person. She didn’t mean for it to incite violence. People should leave her alone.”
Well, it’s clear that this person and I have a different definition of ‘decent’, but I do kind of agree with her. Of course she didn’t mean to literally incite violence. Neither do most of the people who use the same type of harmful language. When people use violent language like that, they aren’t trying to motivate a killing-spree; they’re trying to exploit the emotive reactions of their supporters. And many leaders do so recklessly.
Even our best intentions have negative consequences. If we don’t own up to them, then we’re supporting the outcome. If we don’t own up to them, then we’re supporting the outcome. If we don’t own up to them, then we’re supporting the outcome. Did you get that? If we don’t own up to them, then we’re supporting the outcome.
That’s why people are so mad – most people aren’t trying to use this heinous event to destroy conservative ideologues. Most people are just desperately trying to point out that we need to change something.
We should all recognize our right to say what we want, but we can’t act like it doesn’t mean or influence anything. If what we say doesn’t matter, then why ever open our mouths? You can’t deny the power of the words we choose – it’s just irresponsible and woefully demeaning to the people you seek to influence.
And if you want to keep saying that this shooter at a political event was never influenced by negative/hateful political rhetoric, then fine. But you can’t deny every single one of them: http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline
Take responsibility for the things you say. And if you’re looking to make a difference, so we don’t have to endure a tragedy like this again, hold other people accountable too (especially our leaders). We have to prove that we value peaceful and intelligent discourse or it won’t ever, ever change.
…and I could go on into the other contributors, like the value of mental care and availability of fire arms, but that’s maybe for another day.