From the HuffingtonPost:
“The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word ‘fed” was scrawled on the dead man’s chest.
The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.”
William Sparkman was a boy scout leader, teacher, single father and a cancer survivor who been working for the Census Bureau for several years.
What we cannot forget is that William Sparkman has a family and a community that mourns his loss. You can read more about William Sparkman on a Topix forum for London, Kentucky.
The concern for many is that the death of William Sparkman might be an indirect result of the escalating vitriol in our political discourse, particularly the campaign against the Census by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, helped along considerably by Fox news pundit Glenn Beck.
But it’s important not to jump to conclusions and wait for the results of the FBI/police investigation currently underway. At this time we do not know that Sparkman was murdered although Lucindia Scurry-Johnson, assistant director of the Census Bureau’s southern office in Charlotte, N.C., said law enforcement officers told the agency Sparkman’s death is “an apparent homicide.” That’s not an official conclusion, so let’s wait for the official investigation results.
Regardless, I think we should consider Sparkman’s death a warning against politicians and pundits doing their best to stoke the fire of hatred and fear directed at federal employees under the Obama Administration. Words produce actions and should be chosen much more carefully than they have been by many.