1. Some folks have confused civility with character. Since I still have Nanette on my mind (see CxD#42) ––I've watched it three times now, each time with buckets of tears and a slimy nose as the end result––I thought I'd poke you in the ribs again with a quote from her performance:
“I have a built a career out of self-deprecating humor, and I don’t want to do that anymore. Because do you understand what self-deprecation means from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility. It’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak. And I simply will not do that anymore. Not to myself, or to anybody who identifies with me.”
Tolerance is one of the fundamental pillars of character. But here's what they don't teach you in school, kids:
In exactly the same way that humility without wisdom is humiliation, tolerance without wisdom is cowardice.
Yes, if civility and diplomacy are open paths, we must be civil and diplomatic. But as soon as discourse closes, we must speak up in defense of the weak, the persecuted, the vulnerable.
How much courage do you have? How are you standing up to the President of the United States who openly mocked victims of sexual abuse as being too sensitive? Whose campaign are you working for to get voters ready for November?
2. "I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau's insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice." ~MLK
Creative Protest! Feels even more fun than Civil Disobedience! Exhibit A, Jill Vedder, Eddie's better half, at a recent Pearl Jam concert:
3. If you want to consider reciprocity as a way beyond what I call "stupid tolerance," read this:
"Yet tolerance, as an idea and an ethic, obscures the interaction between individuals and groups on both a daily basis and over the longue durée; the mutually reinforcing exchange of culture and ideas between groups in a society is missing in the idea of tolerance. Groups do not interact in isolation, they share reciprocally, sometimes intentionally and sometimes inadvertently. If it is true that a global society exists, what its best parts embody today is not tolerance, but reciprocity, the vital and dynamic relationship of mutual exchange that occurs every day between individuals and groups within a society. For teachers, journalists and politicians to begin to speak in terms of reciprocity instead of tolerance will not do away with intolerance or prejudice. But words are important and, as much as they reflect our thoughts, they also shape how we think. Idealizing tolerance embeds dominance. Speaking in terms of reciprocity instead of tolerance would both better reflect what peaceful societies look like, and also tune people’s minds to the societal benefits of cultural exchange."