MSNBC released on Sunday that Chris Hayes sparked controversy and debate when he said that he felt “uncomfortable” calling to the soldiers killed in action “heroes” because the term can be used to justify potentially unjust wars. He apologized later for the statement.
Hayes spent a lot of time to of his Memorial Day-themed show on questions of war and of the people killed on all sides of military conflicts, from American solders to afghan civilians.
After talking with a former Marine whose duty was to notify the families of the death of solders, he comes to his panel and, clearly wrestling with what to say, raised the issue of language:
He expressed in his statement as following (via email):
“I think it’s interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words “heroes.” Why do I feel so [uncomfortable] about the word “hero”? I feel comfortable — uncomfortable — about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.”
Also the panelist of Hayes explain the same as discomfort. Columnist John McWhorter and Linguist said that he would “”almost rather not say ‘hero” and called the term “manipulative,” even if it was casually so.
Hayes expressed again as, on eth other side, it could be seen as “noble” to join the military. He said “This is voluntary, ” adding that, though a “liberal caricature” like himself would not understand “submitting so totally to what the electorate or people in power are going to decide about using your body,” he saw valor in it.