Welcome to Magazine Monday, a feature I created to highlight magazine articles that caught my interest.
This week I was struck by an article in The Nation by Melissa Harris-Perry entitled It Takes a Village Inn. The writer discusses the importance of the state of Virginia, her home state, in the upcoming Presidential election; and though she works in politics for a living, she went to a diner in the city of Virginia Beach to take the pulse of the local citizens.
She speaks to supporters of both Republicans and Democrats as well as to undecided voters, all with their own reason for the opinion they stated. What amazed her, however (and amazed me) was that in this one place people of differing political views and races were able to move beyond the differences, as revealed in this exchange:
I sat in a booth talking with an older black man and his daughter about their unyielding support of the president. He mentioned that his last name was Chapman. An elderly white woman in the neighboring booth immediately interrupted. “Chapman! I’m a Chapman”, she exclaimed. Despite her disgust for Obama, which she shared with me in curt, dismissive tones, she warmed immediately to Mr. Chapman, and they chatted amicably across the banquette.
THIS is what the United States needs. Of course we won’t all have the same political views, so why do they need to completely define a person? (Allow me to get up on my soapbox for a moment) Aren’t there enough other qualities and areas of common ground that we can at least connect with other citizens on a civilized level? Both sides of the political divide are guilty of the polarizing that is happening to this country, and if we don’t even talk to people with differing opinions – about anything other than politics – the polarization will only get worse and nothing will be accomplished.
Did any magazine articles catch your eye this week?