Tell the Truth

Don’t say “unrest” if you mean that people are killing one another. Don’t say “clash” if you mean that police are shooting innocent people.


Tell the truth. 


Journalistic euphemisms such as “unrest” are terribly destructive to the truth because they misdirect our attention from what is real to some imagined world that does not exist. 


If a policeman shoots to death an unarmed person, that is called murder. It is not some kind of lack of rest that can be put right by a nap, and it is not a clash that can be fixed by using a solid color rather than a plaid. It is simply murder. 


Tell the truth.


“A police officer murdered an innocent person for no reason at all other than the fact that police are being trained to murder people.” 


The new wave of police training–called “Force on Force”–directs officers to kill first and ask questions later. It is a military model, and military models are aimed at killing the enemy. The enemy is anyone who is not you.


Our fellow citizens are not the enemy. 


We have to stop calling police riots “unrest” and “clashes.” And we need to stop calling murder “gun violence.” Not only is that ungrammatical, but a gun cannot be violent. A gun is a tool. So if you are murdered with a hammer, is that “hammer violence?” No, it’s murder. 


Make sure you know what you’re saying, and then tell the truth.