1/ There's a thing I'm calling moral spotlighting (maybe someone else has a name for it) that I think is harmful. One example came after 9/11. To many people, it was outrageous to focus on anything but the hijackers and plotters themselves -- they wanted a spotlight shined there
2/ and everything else to be shrouded in darkness. To which many of us responded, Well, sure -- they were the people who actually did the thing. But if you don't understand the context that caused them to want to do the thing, then we won't be able to prevent it from happening
3/ again. Similar thing with gang shootings: Some people think it's bleeding-hard pablum to talk about the environment and lack of other opportunity etc.; others argue that while shooters have responsibility, it's impossible to understand why they did what they did, or tamp down
4/ on violence, without understanding the social strutures that give rise to the violence. I think we should resist moral spotlighting because in most cases it prevents us from telling a more coherent, comprehensive story about why a bad outcome occurred.
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