Don't focus on Chris Dorner's politics
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 0231 GMT (1031 HKT)
- Van Jones: In the wake of Chris Dorner's death, pundits are talking about his political views
- Jones: We should not give a place in our discourse to the political rantings of a murderer
- He says Dorner killed several people; we should respect families of the victims
- Jones: There are many better spokespeople for the cause of racial justice than Dorner
Editor's note: Van Jones, a CNN contributor, is president and founder of Rebuild the Dream, an online platform focusing on policy, economics and media. He was President Barack Obama's green jobs adviser in 2009. He is also founder of Green for All, a national organization working to build a green economy.
(CNN) -- In the wake of Chris Dorner's death, much of the talk has already turned to his political views.
In the wake of a tragedy, it is understandable to ask why this happened. It is appropriate to discuss ways to keep it from happening again.
But we should draw the line at suddenly giving an exalted place in our national discourse to the political rantings of a murderer.
Before he met his end, Dorner took the lives of several human beings and wounded a few more. One of those killed was a father of two. The law enforcement officers killed were simply doing their jobs, trying to keep us safe.
San Bernandino County sheriff: 'This investigation is over'
Today, with the families of the dead still grieving, it is very hard for me to shift away to focus on Dorner's political views.
The families of the victims are still in shock and mourning. Think of their friends and relatives, who are still shocked and devastated. How much would it hurt them if they turned on the TV and heard, instead of tributes to those lost, pundits going on about a crazy man's Facebook manifesto?
We should not be "using this occasion" to debate various theories of racial justice -- not while the blood of the innocent is still fresh on the ground. Dorner's actions have invalidated his notions of justice; killing innocent people is not the proper method to advance the cause of justice, period.
Furthermore, why should any of us participate in giving Dorner exactly what he wanted? We should not validate his quest for attention by discussing his political thinking, especially not while mourning families are planning funerals.
Ex-LAPD cop gains sympathizers on social media
Dorner's ex 'sort of expected' violence
Dorner might have raised intriguing questions on the way to his insane conclusion. But real insights are available elsewhere, from sources that are infinitely more credible.
There are many better spokespeople for the cause of racial justice than Dorner. In Los Angeles, there are hundreds of people who have been working to reform the Police Department through legal means, without harming anyone.
The people who deserve to be talked about today are the victims of this violence and the people who are trying to make positive change in peaceful, lawful ways.
I don't want to reference Dorner in any way except for what he was -- someone who was very disturbed, who needed mental health support and who cruelly took the lives of those devoted to service.
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Van Jones.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 13, 2014 -- Updated 2108 GMT (0508 HKT)
The NFL's new Player Conduct Policy was a missed chance to get serious about domestic violence, says Mel Robbins.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1740 GMT (0140 HKT)
The slaughter of more than 130 children by the Pakistani Taliban may prove as pivotal to Pakistan's security policy as the 9/11 attacks were for the U.S., says Peter Bergen.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1600 GMT (0000 HKT)
The Internet is an online extension of our own neighborhoods. It's time for us to take their protection just as seriously, says Arun Vishwanath.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2154 GMT (0554 HKT)
Gayle Lemmon says we must speak out for the right of children to education -- and peace
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1023 GMT (1823 HKT)
Russia's economic woes just seem to be getting worse. How will President Vladimir Putin respond? Frida Ghitis gives her take.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0639 GMT (1439 HKT)
Australia has generally seen itself as detached from the threat of terrorism. The hostage incident this week may change that, writes Max Barry.
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
Thomas Maier says the trove of letters the Kennedy family has tried to guard from public view gives insight into the Kennedy legacy and the history of era.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Will Congress reform the CIA? It's probably best not to expect much from Washington. This is not the 1970s, and the chances for substantive reform are not good.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)
From superstorms to droughts, not a week goes by without a major disruption somewhere in the U.S. But with the right planning, natural disasters don't have to be devastating.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Would you rather be sexy or smart? Carol Costello says she hates this dumb question.
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 2253 GMT (0653 HKT)
A story about Pope Francis allegedly saying animals can go to heaven went viral late last week. The problem is that it wasn't true. Heidi Schlumpf looks at the discussion.
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Democratic leaders should wake up to the reality that the party's path to electoral power runs through the streets, where part of the party's base has been marching for months, says Errol Louis
December 13, 2014 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
David Gergen: John Brennan deserves a national salute for his efforts to put the report about the CIA in perspective
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Anwar Sanders says that in some ways, cops and protesters are on the same side
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
A view by Samir Naji, a Yemeni who was accused of serving in Osama bin Laden's security detail and imprisoned for nearly 13 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay
December 14, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
S.E. Cupp asks: How much reality do you really want in your escapist TV fare?
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Rip Rapson says the city's 'Grand Bargain' saved pensions and a world class art collection by pulling varied stakeholders together, setting civic priorities and thinking outside the box
December 13, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
Glenn Schwartz says the airing of the company's embarrassing emails might wake us up to the usefulness of talking in-person instead of electronically
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 2233 GMT (0633 HKT)
The computer glitch that disrupted air traffic over the U.K. on Friday was a nuisance, but not dangerous, says Les Abend
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 1740 GMT (0140 HKT)
Newt Gingrich says the CBO didn't provide an accurate picture of Obamacare's impact, so why rehire its boss?
December 13, 2014 -- Updated 0040 GMT (0840 HKT)
Russian aggression has made it clear Ukraine must rethink its security plans, says Olexander Motsyk, Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S.
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 0046 GMT (0846 HKT)
The Senate committee report on torture has highlighted partisan divisions on CIA methods, says Will Marshall. Republicans and Democrats are to blame.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
It would be dishonest to say that 2014 has been a good year for women. But that hasn't stopped some standing out, says Frida Ghitis.