Friday, August 15, 2014

Language violence is also violence

Two nights ago a female TV pundit surnamed Hsu was attacked in Neihu by two young men with white paint. One of the assailants was subdued by Hsu’s husband and was turned to the police for further investigation. The suspect said he was hired by a mob boss to warn Hsu to watch her mouth in talk shows.

Ever since the lift of the martial law about two decades ago, people in Taiwan have been enjoying exercising their freedom of speech, their constitutionally guaranteed right. However, some, like those pundits appearing on various TV talk shows every evening, may exercise such right too freely. These so-called “famous mouths” can say anything about anyone without giving any evidence to support their statements. Government officials, celebrities, entertainers, or even ordinary citizens are often found their names stigmatized without having any chance to clarify it.

Though violence should no doubt be condemned, it is not exaggerating to say there may be many who silently agree that Hsu deserved the white paint, which was pronounced in Taiwanese like “telling lies.”

Though not physically hurt, this glib-tongued Hsu was apparently shocked. She was seen in front of cameras with white paint spread all over her hair, arm, designer dress, six-figure purse, and wristwatch, sobbing out her horrible experience claiming that she was only trying to make a living.

I will say again. I have never considered violence is the solution to any problems. However, I would like to tell all pundits that language violence is also a form of violence. We all should be careful about every word we utter.  


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