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  #1  
Unread 11-14-2016, 03:34 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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Default A poem we need to share from 1970

For the Student Strikers

Go talk with those who are rumored to be unlike you,
And whom, it is said, you are so unlike.
Stand on the stoops of their houses and tell them why
You are out on strike.

It is not yet time for the rock, the bullet, the blunt
Slogan that fuddles the mind toward force.
Let the new sound in our streets be the patient sound
Of your discourse.

Doors will be shut in your faces, I do not doubt.
Yet here or there, it may be, there will start,
Much as the lights blink on in a block at evening,
Changes of heart.

They are your houses; the people are not unlike you;
Talk with them, then, and let it be done
Even for the grey wife of your nightmare sheriff
And the guardsman's son.


Richard Wilbur
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Unread 11-14-2016, 07:05 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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**** if applied to this moment.
These are people facing deportation, persecution based on skin, sexual orientation, and religion. This is a generation inheriting an environmental disaster from your generation's selfish squandering of ecological resources, stupid wars, and complacent ass kissing of corporate greed. This a generation facing the rollback of decency and shelter on multiple levels. When they start talking about deporting your wonderbread mothers and fathers, annulling your marriages, or putting your healthcare back into the hands of the health insurance leeches, bring your quiet discourse. I know how serious taxes on tea were back in the day compared to this stuff but you don't get to offer this cheap advice without a response.

Last edited by Alex Pepple; 11-17-2016 at 07:16 PM. Reason: use of obscenities (in contravention of Eratosphere guidelines) edited out!
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Unread 11-14-2016, 07:12 AM
Gregory Palmerino Gregory Palmerino is offline
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Forty-six years and the "nightmare sheriff" is still with us. Sad, very sad...
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Unread 11-14-2016, 08:59 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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Andrew:

You are proving my point.

Mike
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Unread 11-14-2016, 09:21 AM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I disagree with you, Andrew. This is exactly the time for the sort of discourse that has a hope of being listened to, and thus a hope of leading to "changes of heart".

Look at an example from the other side. Fred Phelps drove far more people away from his cause than he converted to it with his message of gay-hate. Likewise, those who hold "Love Trumps Hate" signs while demonizing bigots, racists, and homophobes in hateful terms convert no one from bigotry, racism, and homophobia.

Demonizing the other side DOES NOT WORK, no matter how just one's cause is. No human being is a demon beyond redemption. All human beings, on all sides of any issue, are prone to turning off their empathy when they feel threatened. So non-threatening persuasion and discourse--which is a two-way street, including each side listening to the fears and concerns of the other--is the only way to get others to turn that empathy back on again.

Non-violent protests need to use non-violent language, too (yes, even in a climate in which the media ignores protests until they have footage of something burning), if the protesters want to persuade their opponents that violence will not come to them if they cease hostilities. You can't change a heart that fears you. And you can't persuade someone that their fear of you is irrational if you are attacking them, whether literally or just verbally.
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Unread 11-14-2016, 09:22 AM
Gregory Palmerino Gregory Palmerino is offline
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What was your point, Michael, that white poets have the luxurious choice of conversation?

Read another author's literary take on the outcome of this election

Greg
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Unread 11-14-2016, 09:37 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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Gregory:

You're proving my point too.

By the way, both of you, my late father was 60% Hispanic and no one on my mother's side went to college before me, so you should cool both the privilege rhetoric and the ad hominem remarks about someone you don't know or understand.

Mike
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Unread 11-14-2016, 10:07 AM
Gregory Palmerino Gregory Palmerino is offline
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Michael,

Not sure where you see the ad hominem remark. Your sensitivity proves your point as well. I live in a black/white family. I now have a neighbor who flies a confederate flag because of this election. How do I go over to that neighbor's house and start a conversation like the one Wilbur (and I presume you) are advocating for? And why is it that the minority has to be the one who knocks on the door?

Greg
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Unread 11-14-2016, 10:24 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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My point--and Wilbur's--is that our democracy works better if we talk civilly to each other rather than ranting angrily. In my opinion, there are tens of millions of people--maybe more--of all points of view who should be accepting that premise.

I regret that you & Andrew don't share my opinion, and hope in time you see a need to change your rhetorical approaches.
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Unread 11-14-2016, 10:35 AM
Gregory Palmerino Gregory Palmerino is offline
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[quote=I regret that you & Andrew don't share my opinion, and hope in time you see a need to change your rhetorical approaches.[/QUOTE]

Michael, please stop speaking to me as if I am Andrew. I agree with you about civil discourse. (Although I do find yours a bit condescending.) I am a college teacher, which means that it hasn't avoided me that we just elected the most uncivil candidate in our lifetimes. I, too, am struggling to find a way to communicate this outcome to my family and my students in a way that does not inflame but informs. It's still a work in progress, but thanks for your help.

Greg
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