[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Trump's "talking" versus "speaking"



Reminds me of one of the more salient and important philosophical
discussions on the difference between hearing and listening:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hohb_gOI0dQ

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 3:44 PM David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> When people (including people on this list) use the word text, they usually
> don't literally mean ink and paper. For example, Obama said (and Trump
> repeated it in his CIA speech a few days ago), the Constitution is a
> precious thing but "in the end" it is just parchment if people don't
> believe in who they are. A more technical way to express this idea is to
> say that a text is a semantic rather than a lexicogrammatical or a
> phono/graphological one.
>
> But Vygotsky argues that after about age one, children develop human,
> cutural-historical consciousness, and this consciousness is "systemic" (it
> involves the ability to choose, such as being able to choose to treat the
> visual purview as ink and paper or as a set of signs) and it is "semantic"
> (it involves seeing objects as meaningful; that is, as standing for
> something more). So what this means is that human consciousness is not
> simply a neurological or even a "cognitive" phenomenon, like animal
> consciousness. It's a semantic one. It's not just that texts are made by
> human minds. Sociogenetically, ontogenetically, and even
> "microgenetically", human minds are made of text.
>
> Halliday says that experience is "the reality that we construe for
> ourselves through language". That's why text really is pertinent to a
> discussion of perizhivanie. We could use the Dilthey definition and treat
> perizhivanie as "man's presence in his present". But how would we study it?
> On the other hand, if we treat perizhivanie as a reality that we construe
> for ourselves through language the path is much clearer. Perezhivanie is a
> moment of text, and the structure of perizhivanie can be studied through
> the structure of text.
>
> When I sat down to analyze Trump's speech, I had to ignore a lot of the
> non-textual material it presented. Take, for example, Trump's
> gesticulations. He has a tic of using his left hand to form a circle
> (suggesting female genitalia, I suppose) and his right hand to to display
> an erect index finger. This is distracting and probably about as important
> as the fact that he sniffled through the presidential debates: these are
> not central to the reality that Trump construes through language. On the
> other hand (no pun intended), he uses those gesticulations to "beat" the
> cadence of stresses, particularly in the last four syllables of each
> paragraph, as Mussolini and Hitler were wont to do. Obama remarked that
> Trump's way of communicating is "powerful stuff". That's not an
> analysis--but it's probably not a compliment either. It is just the way
> Obama construes the way Trump is able to construe Trump's reality through
> language.
>
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
>
>
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 3:41 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
>
> > David's analyses also give more than just text, I believe.
> > A
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > on behalf of Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> > Sent: 25 January 2017 19:19
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trump's "talking" versus "speaking"
> >
> > Chris,
> > I think you are very right, everything about this situation is not so
> much
> > about the formal text... but still, as others have been pointing out
> > throughout the discussion, particularly in the parallel thread on the
> role
> > of the Learning Sciences, we need to do what we can, locally, globally,
> and
> > elsewhere. And so one way to do something we know how to do is analysing
> > the speech not as text, but as *contexture*. We remarked bringing up
> > Martin's points, and also using an example, that the point is to see
> > societal possibilities of hearing a speech. And that includes bringing in
> > so much more than just formal text. One example was Roth's analysis of a
> > song by rap artist Eminem, http://www.qualitative-
> > research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1213 .
> > A
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > on behalf of Christopher Schuck <schuckcschuck@gmail.com>
> > Sent: 24 January 2017 16:22
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l]   Re: Trump's "talking" versus "speaking"
> >
> > Another irony that hasn't been mentioned is that this distictive
> speaking/
> > talking style flagged by McWhorter made him unusually effective as a
> > campaigner where the goal was to create chaos and premature action, yet
> > would undermine his ability to be an effective (or safe) president and
> > doesn't "fit." This is relevant insofar as it emphasizes the new
> experience
> > of hearing him speak this way *as president* as opposed to
> > president-wannabe. In the inauguration speech, this person who is known
> for
> > talking not speaking attempts to speak formally, which creates yet
> another
> > split between taking that pseudo-formal language literally and taking it
> > ironically.
> >
> > So it is not just the difference between reading him literally and
> reading
> > him ironically, but that what is formal and what is literal (as well as
> > what is informal and what is indirect, and whether he is a "formal"
> leader
> > or informal television personality) become tangled up with each other as
> he
> > transitions from celebrity to this official role.That is one reason why I
> > wonder whether looking at the formal text of this official speech
> (however
> > fascinating) is such a useful way to explore the perezhivanie of the
> Trump
> > experience, because it's so uniquely not about the written text. I
> suspect
> > even many of Trump's supporters were not particularly interested in the
> > speech.
> >
> > On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
> > <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','a.j.gil@iped.uio.no');>> wrote:
> >
> > > Richard,
> > > what this linguist says and you comment on Trump's talk is pretty close
> > to
> > > what I was just writing to Francine in the main "trump's speech" thread
> > > about hearing him literally and hearing him as irony. If you stick to
> > > hearing in the same he seems to treat his recipients, then you may have
> > to
> > > believe that each word conveys an idea and that one word suffices to
> give
> > > the idea, like "it's true". It seems to be enough. As per your
> question,
> > > yes, it's a very scary question. It also is very scary that he may say,
> > > "it's true" and so be it.
> > > Alfredo
> > > ________________________________________
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> > > on behalf of Richard Beach <rbeach@umn.edu>
> > > Sent: 23 January 2017 23:09
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l]  Trump's "talking" versus "speaking"
> > >
> > >  In a New York Times op-ed <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/
> > > 01/21/opinion/sunday/how-to-listen-to-donald-trump-every-day
> > > -for-years.html>, the linguist, John McWhorter, distinguishes between
> > > Trump’s informal, spontaneous “talking” versus “speaking” that involves
> > > employing a more formal register associated with written language. He
> > cites
> > > the example of Trump’s talking: “Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a
> > > great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at M.I.T.;
> > good
> > > genes, very good genes, O.K., very smart, the Wharton School of
> Finance,
> > > very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican,
> > if I
> > > were a liberal, if, like, O.K. …”
> > >
> > >
> > > What’s problematic here is that Trump’s off-the-cuff “talking,” as well
> > as
> > > his use of tweets, can convey messages with problematic uptakes from
> > > others, resulting in taking action without careful thought or
> > consultation
> > > with others. As McWhorter notes: “All understand that his speech is
> > > structurally ungraceful. It may be harder to grasp that Mr. Trump, as
> > > someone just talking rather than artfully communicating ideas, has no
> > sense
> > > of the tacit understanding that a politician’s utterances are more
> > signals
> > > than statements, vehicles meant to convey larger messages.”
> > >
> > > When one of his hotels is another country is attacked by “terrorists,”
> > > will Trump, as someone who perceives himself as the prime actor,
> > > spontaneously declare war with little or no consideration of the
> > > consequences of his actions?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of
> > > Minnesota
> > > rbeach@umn.edu
> > > Websites: Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com/>, Media
> > > literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com/>, Teaching
> > literature
> > > <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com/>, Identity-focused ELA
> Teaching
> > <
> > > http://identities.pbworks.com/>, Common Core State Standards <
> > > http://englishccss.pbworks.com/>, Apps for literacy learning <
> > > http://usingipads.pbworks.com/>, Teaching about climate change <
> > > http://climatechangeela.pbworks.com/>
> > >
> > >
> > > > On Jan 23, 2017, at 12:52 PM, lpscholar2@gmail.com wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Andrew, Andy,
> > > > I also want to pursue the example of James Lawson.
> > > > What struck me was his relationship to both parents as formative.
> > > > Moving to Trump’s inauguration, what struck me was the bodily gesture
> > he
> > > was expressing walking down the hallway just prior to speaking.
> > > > This body language that i was reading before he spoke a word.
> > > > I hope some of you watched the Frontline documentary on PBS EXPLORING
> > > both Trump’s and Clinton’s early family life.
> > > >
> > > > Trump’s father was only interested in ‘winners’ and to come second
> was
> > > to be a ‘loser’. The father sent Trump as a young man to a military
> > academy
> > > that would teach his son how to be a ‘winner’ a lesson that Trump
> > inhabits
> > > and is incarnating in his every gesture.
> > > >
> > > > His emotional, cognitive, and performative symmetry captured in his
> > > facial expression as he walked forward to give his inaugural address.
> > > >
> > > > In other words, James Lawson, Donald Trump, and Martin Packer’s book
> > > review i see as overlapping themes.
> > > > When we explore ‘expression’ and ‘intentionality’ and ‘language’ i
> want
> > > to include the family upbringing as formative.
> > > >
> > > > Now as an aside, Simmel would say both James and Donald are
> inhabiting
> > > (fictions) that INform their experiences, but that may be a leap too
> far.
> > > Simmel was following the philosopher Vasinger (spelling?) who focused
> on
> > > how we live our lives (as is) or (as though) but to take this turn
> would
> > be
> > > for another thread.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> > > >
> > > > From: Andrew Babson
> > > > Sent: January 23, 2017 9:08 AM
> > > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: James Lawson and perezhivanie
> > > >
> > > > Andy, thank you for the timely post, especially as we move forward in
> > the
> > > > shadow of authoritarianism here in the USA. Lawson's example of
> > choosing
> > > > non-violent protest, following Gandhi, is helpful. Consider the
> > > > effectiveness of millions of people last weekend peacefully taking to
> > the
> > > > streets with few if any arrests (side note: we all went as a family
> > here
> > > in
> > > > Philly, it was great). Contrast the Black Bloc member's sucker punch
> of
> > > > neo-nazi Richard Spencer: people are cheering it, but those same
> people
> > > > probably realize it's not a scalable strategy. Different tours de
> > force,
> > > > different effects, the gender connotations of which are interesting.
> > > >
> > > > *P <http://goog_1035151535/>**erezhivanie
> > > > <http://wiki.lchc.ucsd.edu/CHAT/Perezhivanie> *is a new term to me,
> > > which I
> > > > link here to the XMCA blog for those other also unfamiliar with it.
> It
> > > > seems like a pretty clear gloss of a term I do know well, *Erlebnis,
> > > > *"experience"
> > > > (I dislike the gloss of that Dilthey-an term as "lived"
> > experience...but
> > > > that's for another discussion).
> > > >
> > > > It's fascinating to learn about Lawson's vocational decision-making
> > > > process, and to consider the possible effects of violent and
> > non-violent
> > > > dissent. But perhaps you could clarify for us Andy why you thought
> > > Lawson's
> > > > story was an example of *perezhivanie*? Where's the point of
> analytical
> > > > traction? If it means more than "experience", how can we apply that
> > > broader
> > > > meaning here? It seems like he had a Pauline metanoia/conversion
> > > > experience. Is that what you mean?
> > > >
> > > > Andrew
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------
> > > > Andrew Babson, Ph.D.
> > > > Lecturer
> > > > Graduate School of Education
> > > > University of Pennsylvania
> > > >
> > > > On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 4:40 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > James Lawson is the Methodist preacher who trained the young members
> of
> > > the
> > > > SNCC in non-violent action and wrote their constitution. I paste
> below
> > > and
> > > > attach an excerpt from my book "The Origins of Collective Decision
> > > Making"
> > > > which narrates Lawson's life up until April 1960. Perezhivanie was
> not
> > > the
> > > > topic under discussion so it is not mentioned in the text, but
> xmca-ers
> > > > should be able to see it, an example of perezhivanie:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > James Lawson was born in 1928, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. His
> father,
> > > > James Snr., was the grandson of an escaped slave, and a Minister for
> > the
> > > > African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New England.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Via the Free African Society(FAS) the Methodists had recruited freed
> > > slaves
> > > > in Philadelphiain 1787, but as a result of a racist incident, some
> left
> > > to
> > > > found the African Methodist Episcopal Church(AMEC). Nonetheless, many
> > > > African Americans stayed with the United Methodist Church. The AMEC
> > split
> > > > started in Philadelphia and the AMEC Zion Church was a split that
> came
> > > out
> > > > of New York. It was to AMEC Zion, James Lawson was born.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > However, Lawson returned to The United Methodist Church, created by a
> > > 1939
> > > > merger of several branches of the Methodist Church, which set up five
> > > > regional ‘jurisdictions’ of Methodists in the US, organized to
> maintain
> > > > regionally identity and a sixth, called the ‘Central Jurisdiction’
> > which
> > > > combined the Black annual conferences, thus building segregation into
> > the
> > > > constitution of the Church.The Methodists went through a long and
> > painful
> > > > process, carried out in accordance with the Methodist Code of
> > Discipline,
> > > > which mandates the principle of Majority, to re-integrate the white
> and
> > > > Black, but it was not till after 1964 that Black conferences started
> to
> > > > merge into white conferences. At the local level, congregations
> > continued
> > > > much as before. So it was within the Black section of the segregated
> > > United
> > > > Methodist Church, that James Lawson became a Methodist.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > James Snr. was a militant preacher; he packed a 38 pistol and set up
> > > > branches of the NAACP wherever he was assigned to preach. After
> serving
> > > at
> > > > St. James AMEZ Church in Massillon, Ohio, he transferred to the
> > Lexington
> > > > Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist
> > > > Church. James Snr. was no pacifist and according to Lawson he
> “refused
> > to
> > > > take any guff from anyone, particularly on the point of race” and
> > > “insisted
> > > > that he was going to be treated as a man.”
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lawson’s mother, Philane May Cover, on the other hand, was decidedly
> > > > nonviolent. Lawson’s challenge, which was to form his character, was
> to
> > > > reconcile his father’s militancy with his mother’s nonviolence.
> Lawson
> > > grew
> > > > up in Massillon. One day, at the age of 10, Lawson was asked by his
> > > mother
> > > > to run an errand:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > A little white child in an automobile yelled ‘nigger’ out the opened
> > > > window. I walked over ... and, since I was in a hurry running my
> > mother’s
> > > > errand, I smacked the child and went on my way. When the Lawson kids
> > got
> > > > called ‘nigger’ on the streets or at school, we usually fought. I
> don’t
> > > > know where we got that from, except that we figured that it was
> > something
> > > > to fight over. (Lawson, cited in King, 1999)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On the return trip home, aware of possible repercussions, Lawson
> tried
> > to
> > > > find the parents of the offending child, to talk to them, but the car
> > was
> > > > gone. Once home, he told his mother of the incident. Lawson’s mother
> > > > replied, “Jimmy, what good did that do?”
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > She talked about who I was, the fact of God’s love, that we were a
> > family
> > > > of love and that such an incident could not hurt me, because of who I
> > > was.
> > > > I don’t remember anyone else being around, but a stillness took over
> my
> > > > being at that moment. It was, as I realized much later on, a mystical
> > > > experience. In a very real way, my life stood still. I realized in
> that
> > > > stillness that I had changed forever. One of the phrases my mother
> used
> > > in
> > > > her conversation with me was that ‘there must be a better way’. I
> > > > determined, from then on, that I would find the better way. (Lawson,
> > > cited
> > > > in King, 1999, pp. 187-188)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > He first became acquainted with Gandhi’s experiments in nonviolence
> as
> > a
> > > > child, thanks to the African-American press which the family
> discussed
> > > > around the dinner table, and had read Gandhi’s autobiography as a
> > > teenager.
> > > > At Baldwin Wallace College, a liberal arts Methodistcollege in Berea,
> > > Ohio,
> > > > he studied Thoreau, Gandhi and Tolstoy, and the pacifist theologians
> > > > Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Reinhold Niebuhr. At age 19, he became a
> draft
> > > > resister, refusing service in the Korean War. Executive director of
> > > > Fellowship Of Reconciliation (FOR), A. J. Muste,frequently visited to
> > > > lecture at the College:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > All of us in history classes were required to hear Muste. I was
> > thrilled.
> > > > He made me realize that I was not alone in my experimentation, that
> > there
> > > > was a world movement, and a national movement. ... He acquainted me
> > with
> > > > the Fellowship Of Reconciliation, which I joined on the spot in 1947.
> > > That
> > > > meant that I got exposed to their book list.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > After hearing a lecture by A. J. Muste, he joined FOR and CORE. Muste
> > was
> > > > instrumental thereafter in strengthening Lawson’s nonviolent
> > orientation,
> > > > directing him towards Gandhi and later facilitating his entry into
> the
> > > > sit-in and boycott movement beginning in the South. In the late 1940s
> > and
> > > > early 1950s Lawson had organized sit-ins and protests directed at
> > > > establishments that discriminated against blacks in Massillon, long
> > > before
> > > > the Montgomery bus-boycott.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > He was also active with the National Conference of Methodist Youth.
> > > > Although a member of a segregated Methodist Church, he found plenty
> of
> > > > support for his stands against racial discrimination and war from his
> > > white
> > > > colleagues and church fellows. While he was in prison serving
> thirteen
> > > > months of a two and a half year term for draft resistance in 1952, he
> > was
> > > > re-elected as Vice-President of the NCMY.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Wesleyan Methodism was central to Lawson’s outlook. Just as John
> Wesley
> > > had
> > > > sought to cleanse individuals of iniquity, so could society be purged
> > of
> > > > the social sins of slavery, segregation, poverty, and war.Generations
> > of
> > > > African American Methodists from Harriet Tubman (AMEZ) and Henry M.
> > > Turner
> > > > (AME) in the nineteenth century, to Rosa Parks (AME) and James Farmer
> > > > (MEC), were led to social justice activism by this Methodist
> heritage.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lawson used his prison time to read and think. Writing from prison in
> > > 1952
> > > > aged 23 years old and yet to enter the seminary, Lawson said he
> aspired
> > > to
> > > > emulate “the life of Jesus, St. Francis, George Fox, Gandhi,
> Buddha...
> > > and
> > > > other great religious persons.” These figures attached little
> > importance
> > > to
> > > > “theology but (to their) experience with God.”Further, he noted
> > > “religious
> > > > failures today are in (the arena of) experience and practice, not
> > > > theology.” When Lawson entered prison, he was a Christian pacifist.He
> > > told
> > > > Mary King however, that his “first commitment was to work on race,”
> and
> > > > conscientious objection came second.By the time of his release, he
> had
> > > > advanced to Gandhian nonviolence. He wondered “why can’t a mass
> > > non-violent
> > > > revolution be staged throughout the South where the segregation
> pattern
> > > is
> > > > much like the ‘untouchables’ of India? Such a movement would have to
> > > start
> > > > with one person who had the Christian vision to make such a
> revolution
> > a
> > > > reality in his own life.” Gandhian nonviolence became the
> synthesizing
> > > > factor for Lawson’s religious thinking: the militancy of his father’s
> > > > Methodism and the Christian pacifism that he drew from his mother.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Muste arranged for Lawson to visit India after his release from
> prison
> > > with
> > > > a letter of introduction to activists in the Gandhian movement, and
> he
> > > > remained in India from May 1953 to 1956, working at Hislop College in
> > > > Nagpur, reading Indian literature and working with Gandhi’s movement.
> > > > Lawson’s practice would remain deeply religious; his nonviolence was
> > > > saturated with the message of Christian love, and blended with
> > principles
> > > > synthesized from a broad range of religious and secular sources, both
> > > > Eastern and Western. His aim was the “mass education and training of
> > > people
> > > > in the use of nonviolent direct action techniques.” Lawson insisted
> > that
> > > > “you are fighting a system, not an individual, not a race, or not the
> > > > people of another country, but a system.”
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > He continued his study of pacifism and Gandhian nonviolence at
> Oberlin
> > > > College, Ohio. While still in India, he had read about Martin Luther
> > King
> > > > and his successful leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott.King’s
> > > lecture
> > > > at Oberlin on February 6, 1957, fortified his long-held intention to
> > work
> > > > in the South for transformative social change. After King’s lecture
> to
> > a
> > > > packed audience, he and Lawson talked together at dinner.Though
> Lawson
> > > was
> > > > contemplating study for a Ph.D., King told him “don’t wait, but come
> > > south
> > > > now!” adding that there was no one else like Lawson.Muste arranged
> for
> > > FOR
> > > > to hire Lawson as southern field secretary to be stationed at
> Nashville
> > > in
> > > > January 1958. Upon his arrival, he found that Glenn Smiley, national
> > > field
> > > > director of FOR, had arranged for Lawson to run a full schedule of
> > > > workshops ‒ including one to take place early that year at the first
> > > annual
> > > > meeting of the SCLC in Columbia, South Carolina.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > At the SCLC meeting, King made an exuberant introduction of Lawson as
> > > FOR’s
> > > > new regional representative and discussed the organization’s role in
> > > > Montgomery, telling delegates to be sure to attend Lawson’s workshop
> on
> > > > nonviolence. King took his seat in the first pew, waiting for the
> > > > three-hour session to start:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Martin did that at every SCLC meeting as long as he lived. He would
> ask
> > > me
> > > > to conduct an afternoon workshop, usually two or three hours, and he
> > > would
> > > > arrange for it to be ‘at-large’ so that everyone could attend, with
> > > nothing
> > > > else to compete. He put it on the schedule himself. A few minutes
> > early,
> > > he
> > > > would show up and sit alone, as an example, in the front row.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Back in Nashville, Lawson continued with Monday evening workshops
> > during
> > > > the autumn of 1959 in which he trained the students who were to be
> the
> > > core
> > > > of the Nashville sit-in movement. As a result of his involvement with
> > the
> > > > sit-ins Lawson was expelled from Vanderbilt, but he enrolled with
> > Boston
> > > > University to finish his degree in theology,while continuing to work
> > with
> > > > the students. Several professors in the School of Theology resigned
> > over
> > > > his expulsion.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The techniques that the students deployed were drawn from Lawson’s
> > > > workshops. In 1958 and 1959, Lawson mobilized all that he knew about
> > > > Christian pacifism, Gandhian nonviolence, and Methodist social
> ministry
> > > and
> > > > blended them into an unprecedented curriculum that influenced the
> civil
> > > > rights movement in Nashville and beyond.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Blending Christianity and interreligious sources, he did not present
> > its
> > > > philosophy and practice as a secular doctrine, but as the essence of
> > > > religion itself. Core to nonviolence was mirroring God’s love for
> > > humankind
> > > > and exhibiting it through concrete relationships of human solidarity
> > and
> > > > community. “Nonviolence,” Lawson taught, is the aggressive,
> forgiving,
> > > > patient, long-suffering Christ-like and Christ-commanded love or
> > > good-will
> > > > for all humankind even in the face of tension, fear, hatred, or
> demonic
> > > > evil.” Moreover, “it is the readiness to absorb suffering with
> > > forgiveness
> > > > and courage rather than to inflict suffering on others.”
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lawson divided his instruction into four modules: how nonviolence
> > reacts,
> > > > training for nonviolence, the virtues of nonviolence, and the methods
> > of
> > > > nonviolence. Practitioners prepared themselves by jettisoning anger,
> > > > hostility and fear thus “minimizing the effect of an attack,” valuing
> > > love,
> > > > courage, fearlessness, and forgiveness, and pursuing redemptive
> > suffering
> > > > which “releases unknown elements for good.” Preparation included
> > > meditation
> > > > and prayer, study of the scriptures, practicing nonviolence through
> > > > challenges to segregation in bus transportation and in other public
> > > > facilities.The practice steps included fact-finding, negotiation,
> > > education
> > > > of the community, and various methods of nonviolent direct action
> > > including
> > > > sit-ins, boycotts, strikes, and civil disobedience. Lawson provided
> an
> > > > extensive bibliography including relevant verses from the Bible, the
> > > > Bhagavad Gita, and from the Chinese philosopher, Mo Ti and the Hebrew
> > > > prophet, Isaiah.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The Nashville sit-ins and those led by students in other southern
> > cities
> > > > convinced Ella Baker of the SCLC to call a conference in April, 1960,
> > at
> > > > Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Out of this meeting
> emerged
> > > the
> > > > Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.Lawson delivered an opening
> > > > keynote address that helped to frame SNCC’s nonviolent
> > trajectory.Later,
> > > > Lawson summarized discussions and consensus that emerged out of the
> > > > conference, and his synopsis received the approval of everyone there.
> > > > Lawson’s overall comments said that “nonviolence as it grows from
> > > > Judaic-Christian tradition seeks a social order of justice permeated
> by
> > > > love.”
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > It was Lawson who delivered the keynote address and framed SNCC’s
> > > > nonviolent orientation.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The whole group, perhaps 120 participants, all in the room, asked me
> to
> > > > draft a statement. Eventually, three different drafts emerged. The
> > > > Nashville group was cohesive. The extant draft was the third,
> > influenced
> > > by
> > > > the Nashville group, after two earlier conversations. (Interview with
> > > King,
> > > > June 2014)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lawson’s synopsis was approved by the Conference.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > In a private email message Mary King told me:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > He [James Lawson] was reading from the FOR booklist from a young age,
> > > but I
> > > > don’t think that he was influenced on notions of Consensus by
> Quakers,
> > > > because the connection was too abstract. Let me underscore that he
> says
> > > it
> > > > was for him Methodist origins. (Private email, 15 April 2014)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > In his interview with Mary King, Lawson confirmed that the origin of
> > > > Consensus in SNCC was the Nashville Central Committee, confirming
> what
> > > Mary
> > > > King had told me in April. As to the roots Consensus in Lawson’s own
> > > > experience, he emphasized that:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > It was the Methodist youth and student movements with which I had
> grown
> > > up,
> > > > and this is how they made decisions. They knew the rules of
> > parliamentary
> > > > procedures, but they wanted to find a common mind. (Interview with
> > King,
> > > > June 2014)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The Methodist Church to this very day still mandates Majority
> > decisions,
> > > > but this would never have entailed children voting ‒ in general
> > > youngsters
> > > > in these organizations were simply told what to do. The Black
> > > congregations
> > > > had operated separately for more than a century, so there was some
> room
> > > for
> > > > Lawson to develop a consensual model of collaboration in working with
> > > young
> > > > people. It is also possible the Black congregations, like other Black
> > > > Churches in America, drew on other traditions of decision making.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Andy Blunden
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > http://home.mira.net/~andy
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>