The Breakdown of Discourse

Craig Jenkins, writing for Vulture.

Volatile speech carries with it the potential of inspiring volatile action — they’re branches of the same tree. Activist Shaun King’s brash tweet calling for the destruction of statues, murals, and stained-glass windows depicting Jesus as a white man was treated by right-wing media as a direct edict from Black Lives Matter. The net effect of speech that closes ranks; that reinforces misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia; that draws wedges between groups that ought to be allies in the struggle for justice is the disintegration of communication. Activism that ignores the concerns of the most vulnerable people in the community only reinforces the lines that divide us. If this generation is to overcome the flaws of the last one, the selfishness and fearfulness cleaving the country in half, it’ll be as a functioning unit, not as a network of bickering interest groups. The price of failure this time is the future.

Jenkins, Craig. (2020, July 29). We’re Witnessing the Total Breakdown of Discourse. Vulture.

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