TED Conversations

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 26 2012: I have been honored to read each of your conversation perspectives and thank you for sacrificing your time to comment. I look forward to participating in many other conversations and anticipate interacting with you in those places as well. I have referred all of my students to TED conversations and encouraged them to get involved. I have used our conversation as discussion starters and supplements in my GED, ELL, and Citizenship classes.

    Again thank you for the intellectual growth!

    Marlon

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