By Naomi Rainey-Pierson, Long Beach Branch NAACP President
Political discourse appears to be unavoidable during election and for some politicians, but this does not warrant a complete disregard for civility. Our two-party system is one that can easily foster division and consequent opposition. Today, we see this opposition taking the form of aggression, antagonism, and bullying. This causes unrest and dissension among people and communities. However, we would benefit most by learning how to respectfully engage in discourse and embrace disagreement without giving into anger, offense, and inappropriate attacks. The truth is that our differing upbringings and diverse backgrounds will inevitably shape and create different political outlooks. No one’s perspective is inherently wrong, and when we acknowledge this, it is clear that attacking and antagonizing others is not productive.
This does not necessitate that you must accept or see the validity in another person’s political belief. However, it does mean that you can maintain yours without unnecessary aggression and a mean-spirited attack. We must agree to disagree and make our voices heard through our democratic processes, in our activism, and in our overall civic participation. We need to remember that the purpose of politics is to allow members of our society to collectively achieve important goals we cannot otherwise achieve individually. We can stay true to our convictions while also practicing harmony, peace, decency, and civility.