Civility and Civil Disobedience: Not Mutually Exclusive


This is an excerpt from the original article, which you can find in full on Common Dreams' site at

*"*In contemplating an act of incivility, I need to ask myself if my purpose is primarily to generate a visceral feeling of righteous indignation. If so, my action risks being turned into a recruitment tool for the other side, especially if it becomes perceived as physically threatening or as public shaming that excludes the possibility of reconciliation.

On the other hand, an uncivil action may be a component of a consciously-organized strategy. Organized civil disobedience, bearing witness, and making politicians uncomfortable were critical to the civil rights movement. Politics is a transactional occupation, and politicians constantly weigh the costs and benefits of their actions.

There is no magic formula for weighing the potential benefits and risks of civility versus incivility, other than to remain mindful about one’s decisions. I will continue to exercise my love of country by promoting civil dialogue with people from across the political divide, and I will also exercise my right to protest against individuals and policies that I believe are harming our country."

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