Suspicious packages containing explosive devices resembling pipe bombs were sent to the offices and homes of around half a dozen current and former high-ranking Democratic officials on Wednesday in what has been described as an “act of terror.”

Americans have had a divided response to this news. Some have taken the opportunity to call for peace and unity, while others have perpetuated divisions by assigning blame for the attempted attacks to President Trump. Among the most vitriolic examples are the words of a former aide to Hillary Clinton, Philippe Reines, who tweeted:

It has largely escaped notice in the flurry of coverage that, for much of October, Republicans have been calling for a tamping down of escalating rhetoric from prominent Democrats. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La, wrote an editorial enumerating the threats made against Republicans resultant to the appointment of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in which he also begged Democratic leaders to “condemn, rather than promote these terrible calls to violence.” Scalise, who underwent a lengthy recovery to survive being shot in an attack by a deranged Trump-hater at a morning baseball practice, intimately understood the dangers of which he wrote.

However, in the weeks that followed the Kavanaugh appointment, few Democratic leaders heeded his and others’ pleas for civility.

The media is quick to point out that the recipients of explosive devices were figures whom Trump often attacks in his own rhetoric, but little mention has been made that some of those recipients have themselves made calls for violence or incivility. In June, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., called for supporters to “publicly confront and harass” any members of Trump’s administration whom they encountered. In early October, Hillary Clinton said that “you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” Civility could return, she suggested, “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate.” The next day, former Attorney General Eric Holder addressed voters in Georgia by telling them that, henceforward, “when they go low, we kick them.” Holder backtracked on his words, urging people not to do, “anything illegal,” but the video clips that made the media rounds rarely included evidence of his reversal.

I make these points not to condemn, but rather to contextualize the field in which our politics are currently playing out.

Also in early October, envelopes filled with deadly ricin were sent to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, chief of naval operations Adm. John Richardson, and President Trump. Blame for this attack was assigned to the attacker himself.

In the instance of whichever heinous individual attempted these explosive pipe-bomb attacks, the blame for their actions is likewise their own.

We can go around and around, arguing over whether our nation is teetering at the brink of violence because of Trump’s or Clinton’s divisive rhetoric while they campaigned in 2016. At this point, people can't agree on where the insanity started, but I hope that we can appreciate that we have gotten out of control. This is the time for each and every one of us to take a hard look at ourselves, to see whether we have helped to spread and escalate the fear and hostility.

This attempted terrorist attack should not be used as more fodder to camp us up and divide us further. It should be a reminder of what our deteriorating discourse has resulted in. It should prod us towards a future in which we can all recognize our great good fortune in living in so fine a country, with such hard-working, passionate compatriots.

If we have any hope of coming together, this is the time to do it. We must, all of us, stop the name-calling and the fault-assigning, and take a look at those on the other side of the aisle whom we may have offended, or who may have offended us, and offer them a hand of friendship once more.

Beth Bailey is a freelance writer from the Detroit area.