Leonard Pitts, Jr. on the shootings at the church in Tennessee:
Your humble correspondent has never been much for ideology. I find it hard to believe liberals have a monopoly on truth. Same for conservatives. And frankly, as far as I’m concerned, any worldview that can be summed up in a word probably isn’t much of a worldview.
But it is increasingly the case that what we are being presented isn’t a debate between competing worldviews so much as it is a morality play: righteous good versus unholy evil. Conservatives have cast themselves in the former role, leaving liberals the latter. It’s a libel to which liberals have responded as the bug does to the windshield: splat.
Unable to say what they believe or to frame it any compelling way, they have allowed themselves to be defined instead from without, standing ineffectual in a mudstorm of invective. They are, the propaganda goes, effete, unpatriotic, unstable, un-American, anti-God, evil, and the source of a voter’s every problem, down to and including the death of his goldfish and the breakup of his marriage.
It is so over the top, so patently ridiculous, it’s almost funny. Until you remember that dehumanizing people inevitably has consequences.
That’s what Knoxville is, a consequence.
No, conservatives did not cause this bloodbath. Jim Adkisson allegedly did. But in telling him ”liberals” were the source of his every disaffection and woe, conservatives certainly validated the hatred and madness that drove him.
It would be a fitting tribute to those who were lost in Knoxville if this tragedy gave the authors of the ongoing morality play cause for pause — and reflection. Or is accountability yet another lost conservative value?
As someone noted in a comment at another blog, no one wants censorship; what is needed is responsible judgment.