professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Bull fighting

I was horrified the one and only time I saw a bull fight. Wave a red flag to entice the bull to come nearer then thrust weapons into the bull until it is dead. Finally, sever parts of the bull to serve up to someone. And that is what has been happening of late on social media. Someone waves a red flag about a book using labels intended to bring folks closer to the discussion. Terms of late have been "white fragility," "racism," "storm troopers," and more. The flags have come from both sides of this discussion. And then folks move in for the kill using weapons such as name calling, finger pointing, and worse. The "prizes"? A book now reduced to one page, one sentence, one utterance. A character reviled for being somehow wrong. Authors and illustrators and educators silenced.

I know I have written about this quite a bit of late. I know I run the risk of beating a dead horse. I also run the risk of drawing the matador into my arena. But I feel the need to intercede in the bull fight with a white flag seeking some peace so that perhaps the discussion can proceed.

How I wish the discussion were not reminiscent of a bull fight. What is it were more like sitting down at a conference table and having the reasoned discussion. I want to know where I have failings without someone using daggered language (I do not know if this term even exists, but daggered is more dangerous and painful than pointed language) to accuse me of some subterranean motive.

All aspects of this discussion should serve to remind us all that words have power. Words have consequences as well. Words can wound and stab us. Words can also provide a healing balm to those wounds. Let's work to be balm.
Tags: discussion
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