Tag: dialogue

Member Post

 

It started with a phone call one April morning in 1995. Republicans, in the 1994 elections, had won historic victories during President Bill Clinton’s first mid-term election. The GOP recaptured control of the US Senate, led by Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-KS), and control of the US House for the first time in 40 […]

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Member Post

 

I promised I would share an op-ed I co-authored with a liberal Democratic friend, Rob Fersh, on the important – some would say, urgent – need to restore an important remnant of our social fabric; building trust and the ability to dialogue across the partisan divide. Some think it is too late. Injustices – some real, others […]

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He Said, She Said

 

As a child between about the ages of 6 and 12, I had clear career plans. I wanted to be an author.

It’s easy to see why: my parents were careful to instill a lifelong love of literature in all of their children. Books were better than any toy. Also, I had a lot of imagination. When I was supposed to be sleeping, I acted out nearly full casts of characters with my own storylines as a game I played with my sister.

DNA and Racism

 

Have you seen the recent commercials that promote people having DNA tests? They show a man who is shocked to find out he should be dancing in kilts instead of lederhosen. And there is the woman who clearly has an American accent who says when she travels, people ask where she is from—and she assumes they are asking about her cellular history. Several people report that they now feel “complete,” knowing their personal DNA. It’s fascinating to see how people respond to their results.

One teacher at West Chester University in Pennsylvania has identified a creative and educational way to use DNA tests: to explore questions about racism. Her name is Anita Foeman; she was doing consulting work in the area of race mediation and was using DNA testing as one tool. Her goal, rather than causing confrontation, was to help people recognize their biases and create an environment where people could speak about race in a constructive and positive way. She brought her experiences into the university environment.

Overall, the student response has been enthusiastic.

Member Post

 

A few weeks ago I posted an essay with the theme of the title above. It was based on an incident in which I was involved that I thought might have had racial overtones, but more than that, it moved me to ask myself: would we always have racial tensions in this country? The thoughtful comments from […]

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Opening, Closing, or Losing an American Mind?

 

The-Righteous-Mind-Cover1I joined Ricochet as part of a personal, spiritual project—-though a liberal, I had come to see political polarization as an obstacle to what I believe to be not only my calling but the highest human calling: love one another.

Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind, had convinced me that liberals have to talk to conservatives and conservatives have to converse with liberals, or the country as a whole will become stupider and uglier. This makes civil dialogue between liberals and conservatives (and everyone in between) into a serious patriotic duty. Indeed, since I am unlikely to be asked to defend my country by force of arms, engaging in such dialogue may be the sole contribution I can make to the great American experiment.

“Center-right” describes (loosely) a much wider range of orientations and opinions than I had dreamed possible before joining. Folks on Ricochet do not agree about everything (to put it mildly). I admire the intellectual diversity I’ve found here, and applaud my fellow members for their willingness to hang in there and keep talking even when passions are aroused and the debate is unlikely to be resolved to everyone’s (or anyone’s) entire satisfaction. I have learned a lot about good conversation—-not just in terms of more and better content, but technique and tenacity too—-from you.