No one is born hating or fearing people. That has to be taught - and those harmful lessons seem to be similar, though they're given in highly disparate cultures, languages, and places. Leaders around the world use particular kinds of rhetoric to turn groups of people violently against one another. But this rhetoric is, of course, nothing new. The vocabulary varies, but the same themes recur: members of other groups are depicted as threats so serious that violence against them comes to seem acceptable or even necessary. This rhetoric has even worked its way into American politics, where it continues to drive polarization. In this talk, Dr. Cathy Burger will outline a framework for identifying Dangerous Speech (any form of expression that can increase the risk that its audience will condone or commit violence against members of another group), discuss how the topic relates to contemporary American politics, and then conclude with a discussion of possible ways to respond.
Sponsor: University of Connecticut Center for Judaic Studies