Roth on Arizona Shooting: “Sowing the Rage”

“Anger is routinely mistaken for caring, for intelligence, and, worst of all, for courage. But when you sow the rage, you reap the violence. I fear the crop is just beginning to come in.” —President Roth, Huff Post

“Today I penned for the Huffington Post a brief but impassioned comment on the January 8 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen others. I argue that the item of concern most fundamentally underlying this national nightmare is the ‘culture of rage cultivated by the Right’—as well as the frightening ease with which this young man was able to procure the automatic weapon with which he carried out this shooting. We should, I continue, turn our gaze to ‘the theatrical mock rage of right-wing commentators’—no, not just Sarah Palin—for it turns from cartoonish to tragic all too quickly when someone like Jared Lee Loughner can buy a gun and perpetrate a massacre such as this. You can read the full piece, which I have titled ‘Sowing the Rage,’ here. MLIMR.”

[Huff Post]

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8 thoughts on “Roth on Arizona Shooting: “Sowing the Rage”

  1. David Lott

    President Roth must have turned off his rage receptors from 2001-2009, when George W. Bush was President. This must be the stupidest (and most revealing) comment made by a Wesleyan leader in decades.

  2. Songs in A Minor

    I’m inclined to agree with the sentiment that it’s absolutely wrong to blame right-wing politics for this occurrence. I feel like the liberal response to this incident has been rather narrow-minded in not considering how they would react if the political associations were flipped. This is an INDIVIDUAL who did these horrible things — there’s no spate of right-on-left violence to support the idea that right-wing commentators make their viewers go out and shoot people.

    If the “culture of rage” was really such a big issue, youth political involvement (which is majority Democratic) would be considered incredibly dangerous. Many of us can probably call examples to mind of the young and angry demanding action — many of us are some of those people. It’s certainly considered okay, sometimes even good, to be mad about some of the crap our system does. But the same people saying people have sowed the rage here would likely not say the same if some of their own turned violent.

    If you think you’re on the side of logic and reason, demonstrate it, especially when shit like this happens.

  3. FactCheck

    There is a big difference between automatic weapons and the semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting when it comes to the topic of gun control.

    1. Proud Liberal

      The basic similarity is that neither is necessary for hunting game or self-defense, but best suited to killing as many people as possible, quickly.

      1. FactCheckPT2

        Clearly proving Ayn Rand’s point a semi-automatic weapon is far far more effective for self-defense than a manual weapon hence why all law enforcement officers use semi-automatic pistols. They are also far more selective than an automatic weapon and thereby less suited for killing as many people as possible.

  4. Wes Alum '99

    Co-opting the tragedy in Arizona to make a grandstanding point about partisan politics which can not be supported by the facts of the incident is disgusting, President Roth.

    To quote Jason Yungbluth:

    “By now it is clear that, new YouTube revelations notwithstanding, Jared Lee Loughner did not receive his marching orders by decrypting the messages on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard using methods hidden in Federalist no. 7. At this point he appears to be that all-too-American creation: a mentally ill man with access to a gun and enough ammo to hold off Santa Anna.”

    What evidence to you have, President Roth, that this mentally disturbed man was influenced by “the culture of rage cultivated by the Right”?

    Without evidence, how are you any different from the Westboro Church saying these poor men and women died because God hates America?

    Your blame-games add nothing to the national discourse and no more than jumping on a bandwagon of easy-to-access publicity. I am ashamed you are my President.

    1. johnwesley

      Entirely apart from the question of whether schizophrenics are susceptible to “culture”, what, if anything, is so great about having a culture based on rage”?

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