A return to civil discourse

In what may be one of the most complicated casualties of 2020, civil discourse in this country has taken a hit such that few could have foreseen. Returning to a world where communication and discussion between opposing viewpoints seems like little more than pipe dreams now.

Yet, it’s been known to happen. In 1971 Durham, NC, the forced association between Ann Atwater, a black activist, and C.P. Ellis, a Ku Klux Klan leader, turned into a lifelong friendship, documented in the The Best of Enemies book, play, and film, as one example.

We tend to be more understanding of friends, and friendships can grow out of conversations. But when we remain insular, it’s nearly impossible to discuss without becoming aggressive.

So, one more thing to think about going into 2021. Civility in social life.


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