Carson: Time To Cool Rhetoric
INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis, said the mass shooting in Arizona that critically injured a colleague underscores a need to tone down the contentious rhetoric associated with political debate.
As one of two African-American and Muslim members of Congress, Carson said he’s no stranger to political hatred and threats, 6News’ Jennifer Carmack reported.
“I think we have to recognize that we’re all fellow human beings, one, and that we have philosophical differences, but those differences have to be met with some kind of civility,” said Carson.
Carson has, at times, been a lightning rod during his short time in Congress.
“During the health care debates, there were death threats that we received over the phone. There were comments that were made against me and my family and my staff,” Carson said. “They even listed our address, my home address.”
Political passions erupted into physical violence at some town hall meetings last year.
“It’s hatred, absolutely, to the worst degree,” Carson said.
The congressman said he believes change needs to happen on both sides of the aisle.
“It’s unacceptable whether you’re Democratic or Republican. We have to sit down and see how we can come together and debate and critique each other with civility, with respect and with honor,” Carson said.
In the wake of the mass shooting, Carson said security is a difficult issue that should be addressed within reason.
“We want to still be accessible to the people. Now, I’m certainly not naïve. I know that there are people out there that are mentally unstable, but at the end of the day, people voted me to be their representative, and I want to represent them to the best of my ability,” Carson said.
Carson has stepped up security for him and his staff, but said he doesn’t plan to alter his schedule because of the shooting.
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