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Can grief be violent? [31 Jan 2005|10:52pm]

Ward Churchill recently published an essay called, "Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.

It's about September 11, and is both incredibly offensive and very moving and insightful. From what I've read by him, this seems to be Churchill's style; to be offended by majority culture, and to strike back by offending majority culture. Many people take this approach, but most are more watered-down ala Michael Moore. Even Churchill may have exceeded himself at this point.

But now I notice something about myself, which is that I presume everyone has a strategy, and that their approach is based on a strategy. Maybe it's not that way with Churchill at all; and it's not good of me to assume that it is.

I will have to spend some time re-reading the essay. Setting aside for a minute all the ways that people may be personally hurt by the words he uses, there is something being said here about the way grief can be violent. We choose to grieve for some and not for others. This decision does not seem rational, and after searching for explanations for why we are not concerned about all of the others that have died, but only for our own, sometimes the only conclusion seems to be that we regard the others as less than human. What does this say to others, and what kind of reaction can we expect?

Here is the essay.

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