Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Violence in the Passive Tense

Yesterday an individual on a local news blog opined that a particular circuit court judge "deserves to be shot." Some, presumably including the blog's host (who has chosen not to delete the post), apparently believe that there is a place for such filth in our public discourse. They say the poster was just "stating his opinion" and not actively calling for the judge to be assassinated. I'm not sure I understand the difference between 'that judge should be shot' and 'someone should shoot that judge.' I guess it's all in the tense. Where do you draw the line? Or perhaps there is no line anymore. Maybe I'm just missing something.

I'm not sure which is sadder, that certain people harbor such hatred and violence in their hearts or that certain news organizations feel obligated to give them a forum for airing direct, personal threats against the lives of others.

1 comment:

The Road Runner said...

I've listened to many different points of view, but I'm most offended when a person suggests a violent end to a political candidate / elected official.

In the past, such outrageous remarks often caused loss of life for innocents and minorities. As a country we look back at lynchings and riots with shame. But have we evolved so far as a society to temper our radical behavior?

When we do not exercise the self-discipline of a well-mannered tongue - particularly when attempting to persuade others - we are no better than any mob, any racist, any bigot. We should not be surprised then, when faced with the horrors our words have wrought.