Thursday, January 13, 2011

NRAAC Nat'l Chair Call for Wisdom and Compassion: Arizona

Dr. Hill is also a contributor to David Frum's Forum at

Hip Hop Republican

Booker Rising

January 13, 2011

NRAAC Nat'l Chairs Calls for Wisdom and Compassion: Arizona Tragedy

"The victims of the Arizona tragedy deserve neither partisan rhetoric nor statements that defend or shift blame. They deserve a comforting word and a moment to mourn as best they can."

Have we become a nation so polarized by partisan differences, that we lack the sensitivity and even the decency to pause for a moment to compassionately and civilly share in the sorrows of those who are victims of the Arizona massacre? Are we not a nation and a community of citizens who feel each other's pain?

These are questions this morning, I awaken with on my mind.

From Facebook to the news, the debate wages and it seems everyone has an opinion on the part political rhetoric had in instigating this tragedy. It makes good for those who feel the need to join the debate, but there comes a time when an opinion is worthless, and silence is to be preferred, where wisdom and compassion is lacking. But it seems we are hearing more blame, and justification and denial of blame, than seasoned words of wisdom, filled with compassion for those who are in mourning and injured.

America is becoming a nation of angry citizens who shift blame for all that is wrong in our country from one political group to another. But we have forgotten that this nation is comprised of individuals. Therefore, each citizen and each citizen group must take full responsibility for making sure that we live and thrive in civility, where differences of opinion are a part of our democratic process.

As we share in this horrific tragedy, let us reconsider the role we play today, that will impact tomorrow.

Even if no one individual or no organization is responsible for this tragedy other than Jared Loughner, we have to understand, that even those words spoken now, are words that do have impact. Once they are released into the atmosphere and they fall upon the ears of those who hear them, they are no longer returned to us null and void, and are subject to returning to the person who speaks them, some kind of impact intended or not intended, good or bad.

Going forward in 2011, let us keep in mind that ownership of our words is important. When we speak, we need to think and be wise and cautious with our words, and let us never underestimate the power of the tongue or written word.

Waking up this morning with this on my mind, as the national chair for the National Republican African American Caucus, I join with President Obama in saying:

"At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." __President Obama

The victims of the Arizona tragedy deserve neither partisan rhetoric nor statements that defend or shift blame. They deserve a comforting word and a moment to mourn as best they can. Death is hard to endure under normal circumstances, and it certainly makes it even more unbearable, when those around them are debating why a precious life has been taken and who is or is not to blame.

It is time to lay aside the rhetoric, show compassion, pray for those who are hurting and the injured that are still recovering, as well as the family of the shooter. And if now you cannot bring healing to a nation so widely divided by political rhetoric, then choose to remain silent.

Our prayers and sincere compassionate thoughts are with all who have lost a loved one or have been impacted from this tragedy. May the peace of GOD bring comfort, and may those who are wounded speedily recover.

To reach the NRAAC national chair:

Jean Howard-Hill
423-544-9696 Cell
423-521-4294 NRAAC office

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