Last Friday I published a post on something I’d been thinking about for a while, and I called it ‘Why we need to be listening to bigots’. I was hoping folks would suggest more things to consider. I really appreciated the responses I got from friends, so I thought I’d post a summary here:
– taking the moral higher ground but refusing to engage in discourse is not going to get us anywhere
– the fact that someone supports a particualr cause (eg. Brexit) doesn’t mean they agree with all of the arguments that are being used to support that cause
– we’re not going to get very far if we enter conversation with the intention to fix the other
– listening to others in order to argue against them might not be the best idea, and it might be an indicator of arrogance
– these conversations can get scary, and we need to be aware of what we’re up for and when
– we could do more than just bitching about peers we disagree with – we could be contributing to our social groups’ views
– both ends of the poltiical spectrum engage in silly games where we pat ourselves on the back for being so enlightened dismiss the other as stupid and ignorant
– if someone is wanting to promote social justice and equality they need to hear why particular people feel excluded or the talk about social justice and equality is bullshit!
– we could be wrong about why our opponents have the views they do, and having a listen may clear things up
– if you don’t listen to the other side’s argument, you will keep losing the argument
– the left used to be conscerned for improving the lives of the working poor, but now the working poor are the butt of the left’s smug jokes – I think this is a big problem among leftists in the ALP, but even more so among members and supporters of my own party, the Australian Greens
– when we’re listening to others we need to hear their reasoning and feelings; and be able to share our differences; but it’s dangerous if we’re only listening so we can argue against them
– sometimes people support bigotry, but are otherwise quite nice people, and can be swayed when they personally get to know folks who are the target of their bigotry
Thanks Julian, Jen, Cheryl, Jason, David, Stephen, Marita and Kristie for your responses!
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Is there anything you’d still add?