Yarmuth, Grayson to discuss political tone

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting rampage in Arizona, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson are scheduled to participate in a panel discussion about the necessity of returning civility to the country’s public discourse.

The forum, entitled “Do Words Matter in Political Discourse? A Community Discussion,” will be hosted at the University of Louisville, Monday, Jan. 24, and will include political science professor Jasmine Farrier in a serious conversation about the state of political rhetoric.

Both Grayson and Yarmuth are close friends and colleagues of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head after a lone gunman opened fire in an area where she was meeting with constituents. The rampage killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, with 12 others injured.

Just days before she was attacked, Congresswoman Giffords corresponded with Grayson about toning down the fiery language around politics. Yarmuth and Giffords are friends who collaborated and met weekly as members of the Congress’ 2006 class.

Although there is continued speculation about alleged shooter’s motivations, both Grayson and Yarmuth have called attention to the rising temperature of the country’s political rhetoric.

The event begins at noon inside Bigelow Hall, Miller Information Technology Center and is open to the public. It will be moderated by U of L spokesman Mark Hebert, who will take questions from attendees. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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