Meanwhile the market-driven mediaâ€”fueled by our vast ideological polarization and abetted by profit-hungry monopoliesâ€”have severely narrowed our political â€œdialogue.â€ The major problem is not the vociferous shouting from one camp to the other; rather it is that many have given up even being heard. We are losing the very value of dialogueâ€”especially respectful communicationâ€”in the name of the sheer force of naked power. This is the classic triumph of authoritarianism over the kind of questioning, compassion, and hope requisite for any democratic experiment. We have witnessed similar developments in our schools and universitiesâ€”increasing monitoring of viewpoints, disrespecting of those with whom one disagrees, and foreclosing of the common ground upon which we can listen and learn. The major culprit here is not â€œpolitical correctness,â€ a term coined by those who tend to trivialize the scars of others and minimize the suffering of victims while highlighting their own wounds. Rather the challenge is mustering the courage to scrutinize all forms of dogmatic policing of dialogue and to shatter all authoritarian strategies of silencing voices. We must respect the scars and wounds of each one of usâ€”even if we are sometimes wrong (or right!).Those are good words to meditate upon at the beginning of another school year.
Via Wood s Lot, here is a link to an essay, "Democracy Matters," by Cornel West: