Home > Compassion, Current, Discourse, Politics > Tucson Targets, Crosshairs and Criticisms, Violence and Victims: A Reaction to Public Discourse

Tucson Targets, Crosshairs and Criticisms, Violence and Victims: A Reaction to Public Discourse

January 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

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:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.

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  1. AD
    January 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Another voice joined the call to keep partisan politics out of our national discussion of the tragedy in Tucson this afternoon. Vanderbilt University political scientist John Geer:

    “To inject politics into this situation without any evidence that the shooting was politically motivated serves only to increase the partisan divide.

    “There are numerous examples throughout history of presidents and other political leaders whose lives were placed in danger by extreme elements of society. What is important at this point is for the nation to come together, as President Obama and Speaker Boehner have urged, while authorities investigate the case.

    “The wounds of those who are injured will not heal faster with accusations. And for those who have died, the best way to honor their memory is extinguish the flames of extreme partisanship,”

    The full story is available at http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2011/01/vanderbilt-expert-keep-partisan-politics-out-of-tucson-tragedy.

  2. Brandy Stone
    February 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    It is extremely interesting for me to read the article. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

  3. Kate Kripke
    April 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    It was rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more on this site soon.

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