There is absolutely never a time when it is right to attack an unarmed and unprotected politician in the midst of a public meeting. I feel that that in most cases even extends to soft forms of political violence such as loud disruptions and pies in the face. However, in the wake of of one of the worst political tragedy of my generation, the mainstream media and many individuals have been whipping up a frenzy of political rhetoric that could be called insane in other contexts.
Did the trade unionists and anarchists who gave us labor rights in the U.S. universally reject political violence?
Would the protesters today in Tunisia agree that violence has no place in political reform ?
Did it take violence to end unfair treatment of the American colonists? Did it take extreme and enduring violence to end slavery in the U.S.?
Non-violence is the highest form of protest, as we learned from Dr. King. But let’s not conflate circumstances into universals. We are reasoned beings.