The Diction of Mass Murder


Very obviously, we have every reason to fear Islamic extremists who may wish to replicate a large-scale attack on the U.S. comparable in scope to the 9/11 attacks, or perhaps even worse.

But the Islamic religion of the San Bernardino mass murderers has taken our attention completely away from the immediately preceding massacre at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs—even though the scale of the two events and the ambiguous and volatile mix of religious, political, and personal motives for both of those shootings seem to me to make them much more similar to each other than the San Bernardino mass murder is to the 9/11 attacks.

Perhaps Donald Trump’s completely unrestrained xenophobia and his rhetoric of racial and religious exclusion are giving us some room to reconsider the rhetorical assumptions and the themes that are framing our responses to mass murders in this country. For a long time…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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