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Obama urges Americans to use words that heal, not wound

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BabuK, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. BabuK

    BabuK JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    In Tucson to eulogize the victims of last weekend's tragic shooting, President Obama somberly called for an end to the political blame game that erupted in the wake of the tragedy and urged Americans not to use it as "one more occasion to turn on each other."

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    Instead, Obama told an overflow crowd of more than 14,000 people at the University of Arizona the moment should prompt Americans to step back and reflect on how they lead their own lives and how they deal with one another.
    "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 happen to 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," Obama said.
    Referencing the finger-pointing that has taken place over the last several days, Obama warned of trying to find "simple explanations" in the aftermath. "Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding," the president said.
    The truth, he said, is that "none of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped these shots from being fired or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.

    The emotional high point came early in the speech, as the president drew an exultant cheer from the crowd by breaking from his prepared remarks to announce that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the attack on Saturday, had opened her eyes for the first time.
    "Gabby opened her eyes. So I can tell you, she knows we are here," Obama said. "And she knows that we love her and she knows that we are rooting for her through what is undoubtedly going to be a difficult journey." The president spoke shortly after visiting the bedside of Giffords, who was shot and critically injured while meeting constituents at a Tucson grocery.

    Obama also used the speech to return the nation's focus to the six people who lost their lives last Saturday, noting that they were fulfilling "a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders" by attending the Giffords event.
    "The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives — to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents," Obama said. "And if… their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud."
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    In particular, Obama focused on the life of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was killed at the event. Green, who is the same age as Obama's youngest daughter, Sasha, attended the event out of her growing curiosity about democracy, the president noted, at times becoming emotional.
    He urged Americans to view democracy and their role in the country as Green did in her final days.
    "She saw all of this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often take for granted," Obama said. "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it."

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    (Photo of Obama hugging Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
     
  2. Yegomasika

    Yegomasika JF-Expert Member

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  3. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    Amazing. Hate to tell you nuts, Obama gave a great speech. He showed the voters why they voted for him. Class, pure class. Palin used her time to stir the pot and whine a bit. Focusing only on herself. Face it. @#$% and moan all you want. She will never win 2012 now.
     
  4. Yegomasika

    Yegomasika JF-Expert Member

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    Brit Hume Questions Tone, Timing Of Arizona Shooting Memorial Service.





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    A panel on Fox News' "Special Report" weighed in on the memorial service held on Wednesday for the victims of the Arizona shooting. While panelists Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer and Chris Wallace all had high praise for President Obama's speech, Hume seemed perplexed by what he called the "tone" of the event. The audience had peppered the speeches with regular applause and cheering, and this appeared to surprise Hume.
    "I think the president prepared this speech in the expectation that this would be indeed a memorial service," he said. "I think it ended up being nothing of the kind. This was much more of a pep rally and perhaps that's precisely what the people of Tuscon and the people of this region needed...and wanted."
    Also, he said, the event had perhaps been held "a little late...certainly the mood in that auditorium suggested the sense of mournfulness that you might have expected and sobriety you might have expected was not to be found tonight." Hume continued that the opening Native American blessing, which was given by Carlos Gonzalez, a professor at the university, was "remarkable." By the time it was over, he said, Gonzalez had "blessed the reptiles of the sea and he had prayed to the four doors of the building and while I'm sure that all has an honorable tradition with his people, it was most peculiar."

    *Fox News Wameshaanza Bangi zao**
     
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