In the excitement preceding last month’s Civility Symposium in Washington, D.C., we here at The Civility Blog allowed one key story to slip through the cracks. Linton Weeks, political journalist and NPR correspondent, sat down with Institute co-founder Cassandra Dahnke to talk about the Trayvon Martin verdict, civility, and social protest.
The article, which appeared as part of NPR’s Protojournalist series, features Cassandra’s responses to questions of how to defuse volatile confrontation and how to weave civility into the national fabric.
Weeks writes that the events that took place that awful night in Florida, events now at the heart of the national dispute, show us how quickly confrontations can become tragedies. And he writes that the loud voices and rash reactions to the verdict threaten to escalate, with potentially tragic consequences.
Offering advice about how to deescalate conflict, even while expressing strongly held views, Cassandra told Weeks that civility must be our first and most natural approach to difficult situations and heated confrontations that might otherwise turn violent. Safety is always a primary concern, she said, but civility is, at the very least, worth a good first try.
Linton Weeks’s full article is available through NPR’s Protojournalist blog. Click here to have a look.