in the cross-hairs
When the vitriolic rhetoric of some Americans in politics, in radio, or in television, graphically targets others, using cross-hairs on a hate map, we are in trouble.
When horrific hate-talk threatens the very essence of sensibility and civility, the rights that we cherish are in danger. Political hate-talk, if left unchecked, threatens what Thomas Jefferson called our rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
We constantly hear angry mouthpieces like Sarah Palin who cry, “Don’t retreat, reload.” And Bill O’Reily, Rush, Joyce Kaufman, and their ilk, who sensationalize hate and killing and guns using maps and websites that brazenly depict political districts as if they were war-zones. What does this say about us as a country?
Why do we allow our government servants to target one another by virtue of a political bent?
What can we do when politicians or talking heads say things like: “if ballots don’t work bullets will?”
I don’t have an answer. But, I would ask the people who are the mouthpieces in this country to realize that people listen to them, and take seriously their hate talk. People who are not quite all there mentally, who can buy a gun as easily as I buy chewing gum, to settle imagined or delusional scores, do listen to you. Words ARE weapons.
I feel helpless in this fight. I stand by and watch this hate and ignorance spread and feel hopeless because there seem to be so few answers. And, those in government who do have answers, aren’t talking.
I hope and pray that, as a result of yesterday’s tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona, we will let dialogue, not diatribe, stretch and reach out across the land, silencing the hatred that political animosity has created – is creating.
We need to take some deep, deep breaths in this country. Let’s regain our civility as a people, as a nation of human beings with empathy for the common good. Of course, good for one does not translate into good for all, but we can start with civility.
Let’s hope that our 112th Congress, as they take this coming week off to regroup after the tragic events in Tuscon, will put aside their political brains and use their human brains to realize that hate speech engenders more hate, and more hate, and more hate and more hate until we become a nation of gun-toting, trigger-haired, lunatics.
Listen to Keith Olberman.