Sunday, July 10, 2016

Toxic times, part 2

There's a lot of nonsense in published reactions to the violence of the last week. A commentator has to be really graceful to say anything helpful. New York Times columnist Charles Blow has accomplished this feat in A Week from Hell. He's both personal and a little olympian.
I feel numb, and anguished and heartbroken, and I fear that I am far from alone.

... Will the people who can see clearly that there is no such thing as selective, discriminatory, exclusionary outrage and grieving when lives are taken, be heard above those who see every tragedy as a plus or minus for a cumulative argument?

Will the people who see both the protests over police killings and the killings of police officers as fundamentally about the value of life rise above those who see political opportunity in this arms race of atrocities?

... The moment any person comes to accept as justifiable an act of violence upon another — whether physical, spiritual or otherwise — that person has already lost the moral battle, even if he is currently winning the somatic one.
It's an excellent column. Charles Blow knows about violence. He's not some ivory tower moralist. The column is totally worth reading.

But can we really think about the violence that permeates our everyday life without mentioning the violence of our perpetual wars on other people's countries? That has to be part of this conversation. We inflict death and destruction on human bodies every day -- "over there," wherever "over there" is at a particular moment.
Tomahawk missile strikes. US Navy photo.

1 comment:

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

Thank you Jan.