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Marlon Jones

GED Program Director/ Instructor, Wright Career College

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"...but I'll defend to the death your right to say it… Really?"

Voltaire once said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it” Would I? Really? While maybe not dead, civility is definitely paralyzed in our country, in our communities, and in our homes. At what point did it become easier to antagonize, patronize, and vilify the “other” instead of conducting a reasoned discussion about the perplexing issues that surround us? Well into the machinations of the most recent elections it was being reported by various media sources that Americans were more divided than during any other time in history. There is simply something that does not sound quite right about that statement. Is it possible to have an honest and reasoned discussion? Is it possible to objectively consider an opposing point of view? Do we even agree on what the problems are? Disagreements are inevitable but being disagreeable is not. What do you think?

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    Nov 13 2012: When I contemplated posting this discussion I was honestly asking myself the question. I must admit that there was a moment of hesitation although in the end I’d like to think that I would. As stated in my profile I am the director of the GED program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When discussing literature with the class I have to emphasize reading a literary piece within its historical context. So if we are analyzing an 1851 post-Fugitive Slave Act poster with the word “Negro” emblazoned on the front we discuss the significance of the poster within the context of less than a year after the passing of the Act. There is nothing inappropriate to me in this context. I, then, fast forward 162 years later and hear racial and gender slurs from ALL sides as well as religious slurs that seem to only have the context of the emotion in the moment. [Full Disclosure…I’m an ordained elder]It saddens me more than angers me. As Danger Lamppost stated…A house divided against itself cannot stand. Thanks so much. I really love reading you guys’/gals’ posts!

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