• Bridging Differences

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    Deborah exchanges views with a different colleague, each for a month or two.  Her current correspondent is Harry Boyte, a Minnesotan (although his roots are southern). He has always been a friend and mentor, even though we come to stuff in different ways and even disagree on and off. He is a professor and an activist, a theorist and a practitioner, with a focus on democracy—beginning a long time ago when he worked with Martin Luther King. He has written or edited ten books on the topic and founded a Center on
    democracy which is now at St Augsberg College, but formerly at the University of Minnesota.  

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    October 5–7, 2017 National Conference Progressive Education Network: Boston, MA

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Liberty and Justice

The latest In These Times newspaper has an article by Marilyn Katz on why we need to defeat the right. One of the respondents familiar responses caught my eyes. http://inthesetimes.com/article/13628/whose_election_is_this_anyway. Here’s his (note the gender I have presumed) and my response.

True American • 4 hours agoThis socialist author wouldn’t know what liberty or justice for all is about. Amazing how a radical organizer has become so popular in the mediaavatar92.jpg?1345482499

Response toTrue American. What do you mean? What evidence do you have for such silly comments. Why do disagreements about the balances needed to provide the maximum Liberty and Justice turn into this kind of “You Are”, “I’m not” debates. Both are ideals that–as we explain to 4 year-olds–come with responsibilities. Both have to be balanced by the freedom that your freedom may impinge upon. Democracy was the answer that folks fighting for both long ago came up with. It’s a place-holder for a much more complicated discussion about the way both terms work out in real life, who it includes and the trade-offs we’re willing to live with. Since neither of us can point to a Utopia where all this has been finally happily settled, let’s agree that it’s complicated enough to spend more time in school educating for and about it. And maybe it’s worth reading and learning about the many experiments around the world–each in a different context–that have wrestled with this.


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