By: Lucie Lewis, Contributing Writer…
There was a time in our social discourse when civility was a benchmark standard. That standard has changed giving rise to questions about where has civility gone. During the time that the media was assassinating the character of Michael Jackson, Diamond and Silk asked the same question. They felt that something in the public discourse had been lost and needed to be restored. The question of where civility has gone was at the center of the 1997 research article, The Meaning of Civility, by Drs. Guy and Heidi Burgess, Co-Directors of the Conflict Research Consortium at the University of Colorado. The article states that:
In short, any reasonable definition of civility must recognize that the many differing interests which divide our increasingly diverse society will produce an endless series of confrontations over difficult moral and distributional issues. Often these issues will have an irreducible win-lose character and, hence, not be amenable to consensus resolution. While continuing confrontation is inevitable, the enormous destructiveness which commonly accompanies these confrontations is not. http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/civility.htm
This observed destructiveness of our speech is what prompted Diamond and Silk to develop a public platform to shed light on the problem and create a space for open discussion. Their biggest complaint is that the media appears to engage in accusatory speech in which “people are labeled racists and bigots” when a different opinion is offered. They believe that “this type of rhetoric keeps the country divided.” Drawing on the concept of free speech, these Afro-American sisters from North Carolina draw the distinction between free press and the controlled press they see emerging. They are quick to say that, “You may not like what people say but the media has no right to bash them.” They go on to explain that they believe we “do not need to agree, but we do need to agree to disagree.” In order to combat the controlled narrative, together they began a YouTube channel to encourage greater dialogue about the tone of political discourse in the United States.
Diamond and Silk describe themselves as standing with the silent majority, a phrase coined by President Richard Nixon during another period of national strife and discord — his 1968 presidential campaign — when the issue tearing at the fiber of the country was division over the Vietnam War. The sisters explain that they, too, feel the pain of the silent majority. They say that pain stems from the racial divide, from the feeling of being silenced when what you want to say is not politically correct and from being unable to speak when your beliefs and opinions differ. They also feel the pain of the bickering and character assignations that are rampant now in the public conversation and feel strongly this needs to be brought to an end. Their most deeply held belief is that we are one people that should be united and that race, color and creed should not define how we get along or speak to and about one another.
Diamond and Silk have appeared on many TV and radio shows including CNN, Fox, the View plus they use social media like Facebook, Periscope and Instagram to share their message.They have their own YOUTUBE channel and over a million subscribers, Although their focus currently is the political process, they also address women’s issues. Currently they are on a US tour for Q&A for their fans.
Their goal is to restore true unity, civility and respect to the United, not Divided, States of America, as they do not like the great divide they see tearing at our country again. For more information, visit http://www.diamondandsilkinc.com, view their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOQcVAtsYL8, or learn about their political positions at http://www.diamondandsilkinc.com/how-to-switch.
Reprint origional HCWM 2016