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My first comment on the DC blog connected with posts about the firing of a USDA official in GA, yesterday. Now, I intend to take my time forming set opinions about the events. At the center is the rush to judgment by organizations, politicians, journalists, and some of us on the sidelines. It's a rush too typical today, relying on instant perspectives, assumptions, and few facts and little research. Such rushes serve to allow each of us to opine as we prefer, rather than as facts or truth would lead us.
Charges of Racism! and Racist! abound in the public square, through all media channels. Blogs and news outlets launch charges like spitballs and dried chewing gum, quick accusations in the Now. Reporting also needs to be in the Know.
Charges like Racist and Racism should be made carefully and powerfully, to wake people up in alarm, not just to cast suspicion over past deeds, or to wield temporary power in feigned indignation. Now, they are often cries of "Wolf!" Who will believe real outrage if this continues?
Anyone watching out for Racism evidence stands in stark contrast to word-throwers that play power games with words. Reliable sources do not abuse incendiary words or try to hide behind them; rather, they confront with the hard, true words that hold up to thought, reason, and suffering concern. We need to urge others to get the facts straight first, and not judge too quickly. Slow down enough to write and blog the facts, and let readers know when you do not have all the facts, or what you think are facts have not been confirmed.
(c) Jean Purcell