Tucson Targets, Crosshairs and Criticisms, Violence and Victims: A Reaction to Public Discourse
While the echoes of the recent, deadly shooting spree in Tucson, AZ continue to reverberate across the country, reaction to the tragedy came swiftly, and, frequently, in the form of ascriptions of political meaning to the event and the blaming of others for purposefully causing and intending the deaths and injuries that resulted.
I usually leave link sharing for other venues, reserving this space for more thorough writing and question-posing. In this case, though, someone else largely has made the point I would have tried to illustrate regarding the irresponsibility of those responses that stated or strongly implied that Sarah Palin and others wanted and intended the death of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. As previously discussed here, Jon Stewart is becoming a more overt commentator on public discourse, and his opening segment on last night’s The Daily Show again finds him in that realm:
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Compassion also has been the subject of discussion here, see, e.g., here and here, and this timely story is a welcome contribution to this discourse. Although Stewart doesn’t mention compassion, one senses he’s grasping for it, and Karen Armstrong (a leading proponent of compassion featured in the story linked in this paragraph), for herself, also echoes Stewart’s comments in the clip above: “You have to be optimistic. Because when optimism fails and despair takes over … then you’ve got a problem.”
Finally, in the event that there is remaining confusion about what it looks like when those in the media, including Palin, actually call for the death of another person, a reader passed along this story about public death threats made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.