Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Power of Words

Obviously as a writer, I am a believer in the power of words to move people's emotions, to persuade them in their thoughts, and touch their hearts. So I am absolutely sickened when someone retreats away from taking responsibility for their words.

The tragic attempted Political Assassination in Tuscon has left me sick. Watching the people that are using the violent imagery in the political process, denying that their words had anything to do with it makes me sicker.

As they try denying that calling for violence against their political opponents might lead a mentally unstable person to act in violence against the person they target, they say no one could have seen that coming. I guess they are calling me no one.

The odd thing about that post is I purposefully stayed away from some of the more disgusting things that the right wing has been saying that gets mentally unstable people to act violently. Like how Glenn Beck talked about Progressive Churches bringing are Socialism to America and should be taken out. He targeted a specific religion and only had to wait for an unhinged person to act on his words. On July 27, 2008 Jim Adkisson shot and killed two people in a Unitarian/Universalist Church, he said he wanted to kill all democrats in the House and Senate but it was too far of a drive. Glenn Beck said his calling my Religion a threat to America and the shooting couldn't possibly be related. Sick.

Bill O'Reilly on fox news referred over a hundred times to Dr. Tiller, a doctor that performs late term abortions rather than have the mother risk her life to deliver a stillborn, as Tiller the Baby Killer. On May 31, 2009 Scott P. Roeder shot and killed the doctor outside Dr. Tiller's church. Bill O'Reilly couldn't see where Roeder might have gotten the idea to do that. Sick.

The commentators at fox have been calling the ACLU and the Tides Foundations menaces to the country. On July 18, 2010 Byron Williams opened fire on police officers firing over 60 rounds. It was later revealed that he was on his way to the Tides Foundation to “start a revolution”. Fox news can't see how they can be blamed for that. Sick.

November 10, 2010—Public schools in Broward County, Florida, go into lockdown after an email threat is received by WFTL 850 AM. The email is sent to conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman in response to remarks she made at a Tea Party event in July ("If ballots don't work, bullets will"). The email expresses support for her view of the Second Amendment and says that to further "their cause...something big will happen at a government building in Broward County, maybe a post office maybe even a school." A phone call is then received at the station, allegedly from the emailer's wife, warning that he is preparing to go to a Pembroke Pines school and open fire. Sick.

Now a congresswoman and fourteen others are in the hospital and six people are dead, including a 9-year-old girl that was born on 9/11/01.

Words have power. They should not be used irresponsibly.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Alien Thoughts


Stephanie Barr said...

I'm torn.

I'm big on personal responsibility.

On the other hand, I know how effective (and dangerous) manipulation via hatred and fear is.

I know one thing. I have no sympathy - NONE - with anyone who's reaction to this tragedy is preserving their reputation. Here's a news flash: your image is not more important than their lives.

Project Savior said...

I wholeheartedly agree.

Greg said...

It's a tragedy that these news stations have nothing more to fill their air waves with than to incite violence, report violence, then incite more violence.

We are in a cycle of violence largely caused by the sensationalism on television. That's why i turned the television off years ago.

it's a shame that we have so many mentally ill that could lead normal productive lives if they had proper treatment, we can spend trillions to bail out banks, start wars, but to help our that are in need..well forget it..

Project Savior said...

One bright spot the law that Rep. Giffords voted for, that got her placed in Sarah Palin's gunsights was the Healthcare bill that will allow poor people access to Mental Health treatment.
Not surprisingly, people with severe mental illnesses don't make as much money as those without them. So the healthcare bill will really help those people.