Time to exercise the Freedom of Listening
by Neil B. McGahee
After a particularly contentious national election, most of us are weary of the rhetoric lies piled on top of lies that bombarded us each night on television and in print.
This is post-truth America, where everyone seems to have his or her own version of reality. For many, history is flexible; it can be anything they want it to be and no one, even if they have overwhelming proof, can tell them otherwise.
Those antagonistic political beliefs threaten to permanently divide our country.
The intolerance came to a head on January 6, 2021, when our national Capitol, the worldwide symbol of democracy, was attacked by an armed mob incited by the President of the United States who told them, despite a lack of proof, that the election was stolen and urged them to march on Congress and show “strength.”
They scaled the Capitol walls, broke windows, trashed the halls, stole valuable and historic items and paraded a Confederate flag in the Capitol Rotunda. Five people including two police officers died and another was crushed between the barricades as he screamed for help.
We don’t need any more divisiveness in our community. At a time when we face so many stresses and tensions, it is vitally important for all of us to be tolerant of opinions and beliefs that differ from our own.
After all, freedom of speech is one of the founding principles of our nation.
But now, at the dawning of a new point in American politics, the time for listening is here.