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Thoughts on the Harper's letter

This past week Harper’s magazine posted a letter signed by over 150 academics and artists from across multiple disciplines urging respect for diversity of opinion and open debate, and it garnered quite a bit of negative attention, from multiple political perspectives. I’ve had a number of thoughts about it, and I’ve struggled to put them together in a coherent and thoughtful way (to be honest, I’ve been struggling quite a bit lately to assemble thoughts about almost anything in a coherent way). So here’s my best shot, assembled in bullet point form.

I care deeply about racial justice. I want to see tangible policy changes made that will end unjust policing and work to undo economic harm deeply rooted in our nation’s history. I also believe in a free society where people can seek the truth without fear of reprisal. A commitment to justice is inextricable from a commitment to truth. And a commitment to truth sometimes means we need to acknowledge that there are empirically verifiable realities that will not fit comfortably with the story we want to tell.

I know I have more thoughts, and I haven’t done justice to them, but I only have so much time and cognitive bandwidth to write.

So, what to do? For those who say they are committed to a just, pluralistic society, I make the following suggestions:

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