Active Community in Portland Oregon!  http://www.theportlandalliance.org/activecommunity
                          Take Action!  We are the change we seek!


"At home, American police bureaus, militarized and armed with machine-guns, have been provided a license to kill at will and our president claims a
“right” to kill anyone, anywhere, any time, for any reason or without providing any reason at all. This amoral and extralegal extortion has been extended
abroad in more than 27 corporate wars of choice.

What is most terrifying is 
that the American people have surrendered to this betrayal and treason. With innocents executed at home and abroad, we are under attack and must stand up and fight back."


We need to take it to the streets...   
https://thepeaceresource.com/2018/07/23/march-for-peace-on-nov-11-2018/

We call upon people of good will to come to Washington, DC on Sunday, November 11th, 2018 to actively participate in a witness of nonviolent civil resistance calling on Congress and the White House to take meaningful action as we confront ...the structural violence of the military-security state. 

more information at Alliance Veterans for Peace Portal:  
http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/vfp


Disagreement without the Hate

Laura Finley, Ph.D.

Disagreement is an essential component of a healthy relationship, a healthy workplace, and a healthy democracy. Much research documents the dangers of surrounding ourselves with so-called “yes men” who always concur. Workplace echo chambers stifle innovation and reify bad policy decisions. Disagreement stimulates creative thinking and prompts innovation.

Yet, there is indeed a peaceful, even collaborative, way to disagree.  And, I contend, that it never involves personal insults, ad hominem attacks, and strings of epithets and curse words.

Unfortunately, it seems as though few in the U.S are taught how to disagree peacefully and constructively. Instead, if we read, hear or see something that bothers us, we tend to get all pissy about it and, rather than present our case, resort to the lowest blows we can. This behavior is, of course, modeled at nearly every turn. 

It is difficult to remember any politician in the recent past who has not decided that the way to offer a contrasting view is to rip the crap out of his or her opponent.  As bad (sometimes worse) is media, where television pundits (and I note, both conservative and liberal) seem to love nothing more than to invite guests onto their shows to interrupt them, yell at them, berate them, and otherwise set them up to look foolish. In professional sports, having the best trash-talker on your team is often viewed as an asset. K-12 schools reinforce the normalcy of mean-spirited disagreement when they fail to hold accountable those who denigrate those with whom they disagree. Popular culture encourages the “othering” of the alleged opposition.  For just one example, the t-shirt company David and Goliath offers a shirt that says, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”

My recent experience authoring op-eds illustrates the issue perfectly. I authored a piece about the bureaucratic stifling of activism. In the op-ed, I encouraged folks who disagree with my positions to share their viewpoints, as dialogue and disagreement can lead to amazingly creative social change from the synthesis of the best parts of different arguments. While I did receive some pleasant feedback, I also received one very disturbing piece of hate email.

Not only did this anonymous emailer attack me personally, using hateful slurs, but s/he also failed to see the point I was making, which was precisely that we should not all agree but should not stifle those who do not see things our way. 

I implore those who are reading this to understand what I am saying: I do not have all the answers. I never suggested I did. No one does. And I think it is amazing when people get worked up about an issue or a cause and take that passion to the streets, to the airwaves, to the print media and anywhere else they can find an audience. But please, do so in a peaceful, respectful manner. We really can learn from one another if we discuss and debate, rather than attack.

—30—

Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology and is syndicated byPeaceVoice.


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