Saturday, January 22, 2011

Military Hate Speak

The other night, John King, a reporter on CNN publicly apologized after a guest on his show used the word ‘crosshairs’ while describing the Chicago mayoral race. After the tragedy that occurred in Tucson, many Americans feel that we have become inured to the use of violent terms in what would otherwise be innocent conversation.
I completely understand, and I agree. As Mr. King noted, America needs to move away from that kind of language.

For way too long our nation has been a victim of friendly fire from a veritable fifth column of creeping extreme violence speech, a form of viciousness that infiltrates our defensive perimeter, and targets our way of life under the camouflage of innocent speech.

We are better than this-we need to awake from our shell shocked state, counterattack this verbal Angel of Death before it contaminates us all, indoctrinating us to accept as common what should be rare. Let us make sure that this is not just a flash in the pan.  We should go loaded for bear, taking aim at all forms of hate speech, this new violence speak, until we have totally annihilated it. I am deeply afraid that it may be too late, that this politically incorrect way of speaking has already invaded our society and our D-Day arrived unnoticed.  It has already established a beachhead; even now we may be making our last stand-our Alamo-to fight for a peaceful society. Unless we, as a nation, accept that we are already in the trenches, we will lose this battle.

America has always been an arsenal of democracy for the entire world, but we could lose this status if we do not recoil from this violence. Hate speech is capable of destroying us simply because we refuse to take it seriously, and unless we accept that fact, deceptively simple words could be the ammunition that torpedoes civil discourse.

Violence speech, the new hate speech, is a minefield that we deliberately choose to walk through; we need not encourage our own demolition by continuing to innocently use such words in everyday conversation.

We need to guard our conversation and establish a citadel against verbal attack. Accepting violence speech is an atomic bomb that we self-detonate. And to protect ourselves against this assault, it is time to enact legislation prohibiting this form of hate speech. Such a law could target those who allow their conversation to trigger violence. This is especially true for those in the media.  We can no longer remain silent while those on radio and television shoot from the hip with such verbal grenades.

It is past time for such a law: we must strike now.  We need a preemptive strike before we have another incident. We need to declare war on military-derived hate speak and take no prisoner until we have an unconditional surrender.


  1. Gotta love the irony of the thing...

  2. Unfortunately, we let every senseless act trigger a retreat behind a Maginot line of political correctness. Disarming for peace, even verbally, is like screwing for virginity.

  3. i can breathe now..... you were just kidding!!! i "hate" hate, but so much "cleanness" could be more dangerous.

  4. I agree, we shouldn't try to become over-politically correct every time something happens. That being said, I think we need to take a long, hard look at actually enforcing our sedition laws. I don't care where you are politically, but campaigning on "second amendment remedies" if you or your party loses an election deserves to be condemned as a call to violence against federal employees and the United States government.

  5. Sharon Angle, a Tea Party candidate for the Senate in Nevada on more than one occasion referred to "second amendment remedies" for what she believed was an out of control congress.

    While this is crazy talk, it is not, firstly, sedition. The Supreme Court ruled in the 1957 Yates case that teaching or advocating an ideal is not the same as planning its implementation. Sedition is very properly a high bar, and Angle’s stupid remarks didn’t reach it.

    Secondly, it is off the mark about what we are talking about. No matter how heated our public discourse is, no matter how angry we get politically, these things did not push a drug using psychopath to violence. He had been planning that attack for over three years, long before any of us had heard of Sharon Angle.

    Last, let’s suppose you are right. Even if our political enmity results in such tragic results, I believe it is a price we have to pay. Freedom of Speech does not come cheap; if we have to pay a price so high as to allow the delusional and the deranged to vent their hatred, it is still a bargain.

  6. Firstly, I did not mean to imply that Mrs. Angle's remarks led capt. crazy to shoot up a crowd of people.

    Secondly, our freedom of speech is not absolute. The classic example of this is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. You have the right to say what you want, just as long as your actions don't harm others (in this case, the people being trampled to escape your "fire"). I'm sick and tired of the American right's embrace of radical nutjobs, whom they constantly provoke with images of a tyrannical federal government trying to steal your freedom and end the American system. Not to say there aren't left-wing nutjobs, but half of them are 5 women from Berkley who don't shave their legs and think yelling in public while wearing pink t-shirts is the purist form of protest (good old-fashioned Anarcho-Liberals were SO 19th century). The American left isn't making a run on ammunition and bringing guns to political rallies. There's a difference between "send me a campaign contribution" and "Don't retreat, reload." We had the same problem in the early 1990s when Bill Clinton became president. Everything Clinton did was "radical," "leftist," "socialist," and "tyrannical." In large part because of this, two years later 168 people were killed in the worse case of domestic terrorism seen in American history.

    Words matter. I agree that freedom of speech does not come freely. I understand there will always be nutty extremists in the world, but that does not mean that a major political party should use their extremist rhetoric just to score political points in a largely ignorant American electorate. They're not the ones who will pay the price for their speech. Thinly-veiled calls for violence are still calls for violence, and should be treated as such.

  7. The guy in Tucson was on the left. He DID make a run for ammo. He DID take a gun to a political rally.

    I don't think you get it.

  8. I'm pretty sure if two of your favorite books were the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, you would be neither left nor right wing. What it does say is that he has poor taste in reading materials. At least the Communist Manifesto is short, something I wish I could say for Mein Kampf.

  9. Whether he was right or left...who cares!
    He was an ex-con with a history of mental illness. How can anyone claim this guy should have a right to legally purchase firearms!?!!?