Our view: Stop the divide and unite RR - Albuquerque Journal

Our view: Stop the divide and unite RR

Yelling at each other never solves a society’s problems. It can, however, add to them.

Recently, we’ve seen people lashing out, even to the point of violence, across this country. In Rio Rancho, we’ve heard hateful, divisive language and seen individuals come to the edge of violence.

If we can’t unite to solve our problems, they will likely never be solved.

People need to quit stereotyping each other. Black people, White people, law-enforcement officers, protesters — people in whatever classification someone may use — aren’t just one thing and aren’t all the same.

Treating someone as an enemy or inferior because of skin color, job title or even political affiliation is unjust. So is judging people before observing what they do and say.

It widens divisions in society, making us that much weaker.

Divisive rhetoric and overly broad accusations alienate people who would otherwise want to help make improvements, as they feel vilified and unwelcome.

The issues of racial equality, law and order, justice and peace shouldn’t even involve “sides.”

In a just society, there’s no room for hate, prejudice and vitriol directed at anyone over race, external appearances or preconceived notions.

Surely, we all want a just society to enjoy life and liberty, and pursue happiness in peace. That’s a foot of common ground, and a starting point.

We can’t keep forming opposing camps and screaming accusations at each other. We must set aside preconceived notions, speak respectfully and listen to people of all demographics, views and experiences.

Then we have to work together toward solutions.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Findings from a study at The University of Texas at Austin Center for Media Engagement suggest five guidelines for speaking with someone with opposing views:

  • Focusing on people: Build relationships and get to know others with different views. Don’t take comments in a political discussion personally. Share your relevant experiences. Also, use information you learned while getting to know the other person to offer relatable hypothetical situations.
  • Finding common ground: Attempt to bond over less polarized issues and be open to listening and understanding what the other person says. Ask questions to better understand. Focus on shared beliefs.
  • Sticking to facts and avoiding confrontation: Convey information that can be verified and back up opinions with evidence. Try to limit discussion of emotion and avoid confrontational or divisive language.
  • Being an advocate, not an opponent: Adopt a conversation style based on the other person. If someone seems calm, pauses in conversations and uses casual language, speak in a similar manner, but not to the point of mockery. If someone speaks in an academic pattern and is clear and direct, adjust your conversation style to better convey a message.
  • Pick your battles: Focus on local politics, where citizens have the most influence, instead of national politics. Most importantly, focus on policies, not parties. Pick your battles on hot-button issues and avoid them when possible.

Following these guidelines, people are more likely to reach an understanding. Please consider trying them in your next discussion.

Home » Rio Rancho Observer » Our view: Stop the divide and unite RR


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Fire threatened priceless seeds saved for West's post-fire forests
ABQnews Seeker
Researchers moved fast to relocate millions ... Researchers moved fast to relocate millions of samples from Mora facility
2
Order aims to lighten teachers' administrative burden
ABQnews Seeker
Gov. Lujan Grisham calls for a ... Gov. Lujan Grisham calls for a 25% reduction in the administrative tasks
3
PNM, advocacy groups differ on bond sale
From the newspaper
Issuance timing would affect consumer rate ... Issuance timing would affect consumer rate reductions
4
Garcia Holmes, Sanchez seek to turn ABQ-based district red
2022 election
Inflation, high crime top issues for ... Inflation, high crime top issues for GOP hopefuls
5
PNM sued over deadly Ruidoso-area blaze
ABQnews Seeker
Suit: Powerlines poorly maintained Suit: Powerlines poorly maintained
6
Lujan Grisham: Feds liable for wildfire damage
ABQnews Seeker
Governor says it's 'problematic' emergency ... Governor says it's 'problematic' emergency aid isn't designed to fully cover losses
7
Viewers to experience 'natural high' of flying
ABQnews Seeker
“Over New Mexico and the Southwest,” ... “Over New Mexico and the Southwest,” will be screened at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Natural History Museum
8
County assessor candidates have experience with office
2022 election
Stephen A. Sais and Damian R. ... Stephen A. Sais and Damian R. Lara are vying to fill the seat being vacated by Tanya Giddings, who cannot run again because of ...
9
District judge candidate acknowledges 2018 tax lien
2022 election
Journal alerted by opponent's campaign manager Journal alerted by opponent's campaign manager
10
Mistrial declared in 1997 homicide case
ABQnews Seeker
jurors failed to reach a unanimous ... jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the case against the man accused of killin