I’m rarely at a loss for words, and often this blog provides me with an opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings in the hopes of inspiring positive change in others. But I have to tell you, after learning about the animated attack by Rep. Paul Gosar on both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden, I actually said out loud, I’m not sure I can write about this.
Why? Because I’m in utter disbelief that an elected official – who I might add works for and is paid by the American people – thought it was appropriate and acceptable to post such a violent video in the first place.
For those of you unaware of the story, Rep. Paul Gosar (Arizona) posted an anime video on social media showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. If you watch the video, it’s pretty straightforward.
We’re not talking about a teenager whose maturity renders them unable to discern what should and should not be shared in a public forum. We’re talking about a grown man who’s spent six decades on this planet – plenty of time for him to gain the education needed to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong.
Perhaps even more mind-boggling is that Paul Gosar’s Republican colleagues have been silent on the issue. No condemnation, no punishment, no remorse.
Remember, silence makes you just as guilty as the individual you refuse to speak out against.
The defense of both Gosar and his Republican colleagues regarding his actions is that it was just a joke, meant to be nothing more than “funny,” and shouldn’t be taken seriously. I guess my sense of humor isn’t that sophisticated because I find “I Love Lucy” funny – to me, this is just offensive.
Ocasio-Cortez gave an excellent speech after Gosar was thankfully censured, and I encourage you to watch it. Her remarks highlight a growing trend towards violence being acceptable in America, and that frightens me greatly.
But I want to be clear about something. Gosar’s video and behavior deserve the kind of punishment we all would receive if we did something similar.
Suppose I posted a video of me killing a colleague at my place of employment. I can assure you without question or delay that I would be fired from the organization and possibly prosecuted. The same should happen to Gosar.
I suppose Gosar and the Republicans would be okay if such a video were created about their husbands, wives, or even their children or grandchildren. As long as the offender said it was just a joke, they’d be off the hook for any punishment, and they’d laugh and laugh over what they considered to be “funny.” I highly doubt that.
As leaders, it is our responsibility to set a positive example that trickles down through a very diverse society. Unfortunately, if the example we are setting is that violent depictions against our fellow Americans are “funny” and acceptable, the end of our civilized society is closer than we think.
Violence is NEVER “funny,” and as Americas, we should expect and deserve more than Gosar and the Republican party is delivering. Remember, silence makes you just as guilty as the individual you refuse to speak out against.