Civility Linkblogging: Australia, Akron, Campus, and Syria

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s roundup features an article about ordinary citizens in Ohio who are standing up to call for civility, from voters and from candidates alike, in the upcoming round of campaigns and elections. It includes an article about attitudes toward immigration reform and race in Australia. And it includes a discussion — transcribed and in podcast form — in which former U.S. Representative Jim Leach talks about the civility crisis in Washington, D.C., and offers some first steps toward dismantling that culture of acrimony.

If you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now, on to the list:

Watch Your Manners: Why Living Racism-Free is a Basic Human Right
Posted by Gillian Triggs at The Conversation, September 4, 2013

Civility is both a complex and simple idea. Most of us were brought up to respect others so, on that level, it is relatively straightforward.

Yet our society is replete with examples of behaviour that lacks basic civility, especially the racism and xenophobia that currently infuses the refugee debate. In a diverse society such as Australia, it is deeply worrying that we continue to mistreat people because of where they come from, their skin colour, gender, age, sexual preference or because they live with a disability.

Leach Lectures on the Lost Art of Civility
Posted at The Muscatine Journal, September 6, 2013

If we want to make our politics more civil, we ought to be more careful about the words we choose, former U.S. Representative Jim Leach said. President Obama is called a fascist and a communist, “sometimes at the same time by the same people.” When people openly talk about seceding from the United States, “I consider that a particularly serious word. These are words that have warring implications.”

For centuries, apparently, the media have played a role making the nation’s discourse less civil. In 1800, Leach said, Thomas Jefferson hired a journalist to call his rival for president, John Adams, a hermaphrodite. “Things were pretty divisive, even then,” Leach said.

Civility Projects to Influence Politics Launched by Akron-Area Groups
Posted by Dave Scott at Ohio.com, September 10, 2013

If you cringe at the thought of another political season, with all of its ugly barbs, you might be comforted to know that three community groups and some politicians are working for civility.

A former college professor has formed Civility Dynamics and will present three “intellectual consciousness-raising” workshops at a local library beginning tonight.

A Bath Township man has started Better Outcomes Political Forums to bring the disciplines of a trained mediator to political debates.

A Wadsworth group continues to discuss current events on public-access television while waiting for tax-exempt status to fund its civility promotions.

Civility Week Unified Students
Posted by Natalie Michelle Rankin at fsunews.com, September 12, 2013

Wednesday will officially kick off Civility Week at Florida State University. Florida State is dedicating the week of Sep. 11 to Sep. 17 to civility and respecting the values of the diversity Seminoles represent.

The weeklong event comes in the wake of controversial comments made by FSU student Mandy Thurston on her Vine account, though it is not directly related to Thurston’s post.

The Syria Debate and a Case for Humility and Civility
Posted by Marv Knox at The Baptist Standard, September 13, 2013

Many friends and I disagree on significant issues of politics and public policy. We talk over meals, occasionally in church, sometimes in cars. Often, we express our opinions passionately. But we never vilify or denigrate each other. And we always know the bonds of our friendship are far stronger—and more important—than the disagreements of our ideology. We disagree, but we part as friends.

What if America were like that? What if we learned to talk civilly? What if we agreed to argue the issues but not attack each other? What if we opened our minds as well as our hearts, relinquishing a tight grip on our arguments in order to learn from each other? We might not agree, but we could appreciate and respect one another.

Civility Linkblogging: Campus, Raceway, and Ghana

Linkblogging
By Anita Pratanti, via flickr

This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web.  We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.

This week’s civility linkblogging features stories that focus on the domestic sphere, especially: on the adjustment that college students face as they move out of their parents’ homes, and must negotiate space with roommates who are sometimes all but strangers; and on the fierce world of rivalries between sports fans, where loyalty all too easily slips into ad hominem attacks.

This week also features a column about incivility in the national politics of Ghana, where American readers will find familiar the writer’s articulation of the problems of party polarization, incessant name-calling, and the incendiary effect of cable news.

Do you have a link that you think would be right for this segment? Please do not hesitate to email it to us at editor@instituteforcivility.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.

Now — the list:

Divided Stockton City Council Looking For More Civility At Meetings
Posted at CBS Sacramento, August 14, 2013

Stockton’s legislative council gathered on Wednesday and asked for recommendations from city staff on how to make the meetings more smooth and civilized.

Civility Critical to Surviving Dormatory Life
Posted by Debra Nussbaum at Philly.com, August 18, 2013

The rules for making peace with roommates are not much different from the basic etiquette that makes life better for everyone. To get you started this fall, try these tips from local students and Rutgers roommate agreements.

Ohio Politicians to Address Their Own Divisiveness With Help of National Civility Group
Posted by David Scott at Ohio.com, August 18, 2013

This year, a group of Ohio lawmakers is getting together to understand each other on a personal level…. Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley Twp., with help from former Ohio Rep. Ted Celeste, D-Lakewood, is arranging a bipartisan meeting of as many as 30 legislators in the Statehouse on Sept. 17 that will be an off-the-record attempt to learn more about each other, how they form their political views and how they can achieve greater cooperation.

Fan Civility
Posted by Tammy Kaehler at Two For The Road, August 19, 2013

I get that we all have a microphone now, and I do enjoy the conversation that is social media … I’ve gotten to meet (virtually and in person) a lot of great people because of those conversations. But I suppose there’s also the looming possibility that someone’s going to call me ignorant or an a—— because I’m expressing an opinion that’s different than theirs.

All I can say is, like and hate who you choose in the racing world. I won’t judge you, if you don’t judge me.

Political Incivility in Ghana
Posted by Nana Marfo at GhanaWeb, August 22, 2013

Common features of civility are having good manners, being willing to listen, and showing a concern for other people’s feelings and opinions. But political civility requires more than politeness and respectful listening; it also requires a realization that we must live together and ultimately compromise on some things where we differ in fundamental ways.