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Marlon Jones

Gear Up Liaison, Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education: GEAR UP

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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 24 2012: I am a university student. During banned books week at our library blank canvases and markers were placed with the question "What is your favorite banned book?"
    Instead of writing something related to the topic of banned books (which would be, by definition, my favorite) many people used it as a venue for a religious debate. The worst part of it all was that the people who decided to engage in this were completely disrespectful and intolerant to any other perspective that wasn't their own. Do people fail to realize that intolerance breeds intolerants. If one is unable to respect the views of others, they cannot logically expect for their point of view to be respected. (Even though that is making the huge assumption that logic has any place in such discourse).
    I always say that the beauty of living in a democratic society is that everyone is entitled to their opinions, no matter how blatantly idiotic they may be.

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