Trend watch for 2011: A return to civility?
Since the shooting in Tucson, Arizona that claimed six lives and injured many others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, it seems the loud, contentious, acrimonious mode of communication made popular by talk show hosts and news entertainers on both the right and left is slowly losing its punch.
What is taking its place? At the memorial service for the shooting victims last Wednesday, January 12, President Obama highlighted the need for civil, civic debate and reminded us of the importance of speaking and listening to others with respect. He also said, “[…] at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do — it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
But how do we move forward? Linda Lowen’s blog “The Politics of Nastiness and the Return to Civility – What We All Can Do” attempts to answer this question. Ms. Lowen believes that it begins with each of us. We when choose to use vicious rhetoric or are accepting of it from others, the cycle continues.
What will your first step be? We invite you to join the Maryland Humanities Council as we strive to be a part of the solution and not the problem by offering the opportunity for Marylanders to join our discussions on some of the divisive issues we face in our daily lives. First topic up is transportation in a program presented in partnership with the Stoop Storytelling Series. If you commute into, around or through Baltimore City, please come listen to others and share your point of view on transportation issues.
Register now to attend our free event “Moving Stories: Getting Around Baltimore” Thursday, February 10 at 6 p.m. at the Walters Art Museum at 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore. For more information on the Practicing Democracy series, see www.mdhc.org/programs/practicing-democracy/.
Tags: Practicing Democracy