For once, I would like to watch the news without political bias. During coverage of the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, one network felt it necessary to share that the driver of the car that drove into the crowd was a registered Republican. That was wholly unnecessary and offensive, as if all Republicans supported him or the group he represented.

It didn’t take long before the networks began criticizing the president for how long it took before he responded and for what he didn’t say. Semantics. They reported it took him 44 minutes before speaking and 48 hours before using specific language in describing the groups. Rather than report on the groups involved and their background and history, the story was shanghaied by the media into a condemnation of the president.

Later, the news reports centered on the debate over whether to call this an act of domestic terrorism. Semantics. The person charged with this crime will likely spend the better part of his future behind bars, charged with murder. What else do we need?

Regarding the group behind this event: They achieved their goal of prompting a violent reaction, now labeling themselves as victims. Groups like this thrive on attention and reaction, which lead to sensationalism and outrage. Give them neither and they lose their teeth.

Violent clashes with opposition groups feed their hate and encourage followers. Engaging in their tactics does a disservice to true peace activists and makes you no better than the haters. If you are truly committed to peace, be what they are not.

Steven Edmondson is a resident of Topsham.

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