Reject violent language | News, Sports, Jobs


Kate Hynes

State University

The use of violent language is increasing in ways that should alarm us all. People are calling representatives like Adam Kinzinger and threatening to kill him and his family. The Women’s March is about a “summer of rage.” Politicians like Eric Greitens advertise on “chasing the RINOs.” Threats of violence against political opponents and minority groups have become common in mainstream spaces like online comments on Fox News stories.

For some, violent language becomes violent action. When people hear things repeatedly, they start to believe them. People also conform to the norms of their groups. When these norms evolve into violence, the dangers are real. This rise in violent language comes at a time of mass shootings, armed militias marching our streets and organizing outside our state houses, and an attack on our Congress as it certified an election.

Many people are concerned about deepening divisions in our country. Pushing back against violent rhetoric whenever we hear or see it is something we can all do. We must always challenge it in our homes, communities and online spaces.

People are more receptive to feedback from people they know and trust, which makes those difficult conversations the most valuable.

We must also work actively against political candidates who promote violence, especially when they are from our own party. Let’s work together to restore a culture of civility, placing violent rhetoric and behavior outside the bounds of what is acceptable.



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