We Open Our Mouths: And Therein Lies the Problem

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson, a lot has been made about the lack of civility in our social and political discourse.  The obvious concern is that the discourse can become so destructive that it leads to physical violence. Yet, what happens when the communication doesn’t produce actual violence?  Should we  assail language that is incendiary only when it leads to bodily harm?  I think most people would agree that language can be hurtful even if a person is not injured. But if language – and more importantly conflict – can be injurious without inflicting harm, why does
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