forces of nature.
they are destruction.
they are nourishment.
they are flesh.
they are water.
they are flowers
they burn. they cleanse
they erase. they etch.
they can either
~ Sanober Khan
In the 80s, I lived in Kentucky with my first husband. I remember eating dinner with his family, and repeatedly, his father would tell racist jokes. No one said anything about the disrespectful tone in his language. We even had a psychologist at the table, his sister, and she said nothing. I regret not having said anything.
The dinner table in our homes and the dinner table on the political stage are no different. It’s the same dining table.
Decades later, we have Donald Trump sitting at the Republican’s candidacy table, shooting verbal barbs at Muslims, immigrants, the disabled, and others. What’s disconcerting is there must be a no-holds-barred agreement about what can be said or not said. Otherwise, Trump would have been reminded of some standards of communication, and asked to adhere to a set of principles. Since his words set a tone for the nation and the world, the reminder would have been immediate.
With no action, no reminder of any principles of speech, a negative model imprints for parents, teachers, corporate leaders, young people, etc. that abusive language is allowed.
We aren’t standing up for respectable standards of speech. The precursor to violent events: Words that condemn others, and discount their point of view. There is a build-up, a history of harsh words that are exchanged. Words are the first bullets. Read more