As many of my readers may know, I am administering a volunteer-moderated Facebook group I started early this year, Dialogue across Differences: Speaking from the Heart, which is dedicated to promoting respectful post-election dialogue across the many fissures that have developed over the years and were terribly exacerbated during the last election. Recently, in response to a question from a dialogue participant, I wrote this post, which I thought would be useful to many of you.
Conflict resolution experts ask President-elect Trump and other government officials to take a stand to reduce post-election violence
Hundreds of post-election reports of vandalism, beatings and threats since the US election have prompted dozens of leading experts in conflict resolution to urge Donald Trump and government officials at all levels to take an urgent, public stand against post-election acts of discrimination, harassment and violence across the US with significant spillover into Canada.
In an open letter to Trump, members of Congress,State Governors and other officials sent today, dozens of conflict resolution academics and practitioners from across the US, Canada and other countries are asking Trump and other officials to “to use their leadership positions to ensure public understanding that no elected or appointed leaders will condone violence or discriminatory acts or speech.”
The letter advocates that government leaders make “urgent and firm public statements that emphasize the rule of law and the US Constitution, including the First Amendment that guarantees peoples’ rights to freedoms of religion, speech, the press and peaceful assembly.” The experts also seek concrete steps to prevent acts hatred and to foster mutual understanding, respect and civility within the USA.
For the full text of the letter, click here.
Barbara Coloroso, internationally recognized speaker and best-selling author of The Bully, The Bullied, and The Not-So-innocent Bystander and Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide…and Why It Matters warned, “It is a short walk from hateful rhetoric to hate crimes to crimes against humanity. ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes,’ Mark Twain once said. We are on the precipice of a new stanza.” Contact Barbara Coloroso at info.kidsareworthit[
Dr. Michael Loadenthal, Executive Director, Peace and Justice Studies Association, stated: “As academics, activists, and educators committed to advancing peace and justice in our world, we are concerned that without an explicit, loud and recurring condemnation of recent hate crimes by the incoming administration, their silence will only encourage more acts of violent hatred.” Contact Michael Loadenthal at info[at]peacejusticestudies.org;
Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Distinguished University Professor and professor of law at the University of Windsor in Canada, and author of The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law commented: “It is not the unique insight of the conflict resolution community that there are profound fault lines of difference and privilege in American, and Canadian, society – differences of race, gender, ethnicity and even opinion. The election rhetoric and result, rightly or wrongly, has empowered those who exploit these differences in a hateful and aggressive way. These acts must be called out, and we expect the state – in both Canada and the US – to act to protect us all from harassment, threats and abuse.” Contact Julie Macfarlane at Julie.Macfarlane[
The Rev. Ken Howard, Executive Director of The FaithX Project and author of Paradoxy: Beyond Us and Them said: “This election has presented us with a crisis containing both danger and opportunity:
Professor Kevin Clements, Foundation Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand “urges the incoming administration to do all in its power to put an end to the divisive environment in which we are seeing racism, intolerance and challenges to taken-for-granted constitutional rights. The consequences are global. Here in New Zealand, which prides itself on harmonious race relations, new groups have emerged since the election that are stirring up hatred against indigenous peoples and Asian migrants to New Zealand. For the sake of American and global harmony, all leaders in the US must now work to put a stop to rhetoric that fuels prejudice and discrimination.”
For more information, contact:
Catherine Morris, Director, Peacemakers Trust, Canada, office[at]peacemakers.ca;