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Here's what to say in an era where many people are too afraid to say anything.
24 July, 2019
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
- In a diverse world, we run the risk of accidentally saying something that will offend someone. That does not mean you should automatically be disqualified from continuing in the discussion. We cannot have a 'one strike you're out' reaction, says Allison Stanger.
- If you offend someone inadvertently, it's extremely important that you apologize and say 'That was not my intention.' Apologizing is the foundation for being able to move forward, and if the offense caused was accidental, there's no reason not to apologize.
- If you are the person who has been offended, realize that people make mistakes when they think out loud and engage in discourse. We cannot stamp out implicit biases but people can grow self-aware and learn from their mistakes. Try to be more generous to people who accidentally offend you.
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Allison Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College, a New America Cybersecurity Fellow, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also the author of "One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy" and has contributed to Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post.