SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY MD – Lately, I have been reflecting on what I have in common with extremists. It turns out that the list is longer than one would think. I hold their same passions for change, an ability to withstand discomfort–put more bluntly, tolerance for risk of pain that some term masochism–and I share a lack of tolerance for passivity and denial. Extremists are people of action. I am a person of action. I empathize with their demand to be heard and seen. They want us to feel their pain, even to the point of killing us to further their cause. As a pacifist and humanist, where I differ radically is in the choice of tactics.
ERIC K. WARD – Take seriously â€” and warn others â€” that the attempt to create an inclusive American democracy is now on a precipice. Words and actions carry real consequences that could drive us over the edge and to a point of no return.
STEPHANIE VAN HOOK and MICHAEL NAGLER – When we hear that the Neo-Nazi movement is coming to our town, most of us naturally feel calledâ€”or pushed– to some kind of action. But not every action is going to be effective, especially if we are walking into a situation where the level of dehumanization is extremeâ€”where people are prepared to harm or kill others. How then can we draw from the power of nonviolence in a situation of escalating violence?
ANDREW MOSS – When silent complicity prevails, the gates to authoritarianism are opened wide. Yet the choice to speak on behalf of the other can still be exercised if citizens act in time. In such choosing we can see not only the movement of the individual conscience. We can also see how democracy itself â€“ the culture and institutions sustaining human rights â€“ can be kept alive as well.