CoastLine: Beneath The Surface II

It's the second edition of our year-long civil discourse experiment.  

For this series, we've assembled a citizens' brigade of diverse and thoughtful listeners—young and older, black and white, politically left, right and center, teachers, artists, and engineers—who've all agreed to be part of a year-long roundtable exploring a range of local and national issues.

Our goal is not to debate the issues or change peoples' minds.  It's not so much about what people think. It's our attempt to understand how peoples' lives shape their views...to listen more thoughtfully to the “whys and wherefores” behind our neighbors' thoughts and opinions.

A program note:  Unlike our traditional Coastlines, these conversations are pre-recorded.  But we hope you will email us your thoughts and reactions.  We look forward to sharing your views on subsequent programs.

Our conversations start with what our panelists believe -- sometimes passionately. But our interest is in exploring how they've arrived at their views.  Where and how were they raised?   What were their economic circumstances?  Did they interact with people of other races?  How did their experiences lead them to today?

The conversations aren't always easy, and we're learning as we go that people seem more comfortable talking about what they think -- not why they think it.   We're also learning that in these polarized times, peoples' first instinct is to debate rather than to reflect. And conversations don't always go where we think they will.

This month our topic is education:  neighborhood schools, busing,  charter schools and the larger issues of educational equality and opportunity. 

BTS Participants:

Segment 1 & 2:  Khalisa, Connette, Darrell

Segment 3:  Morgan, Jim, Connette

Listener Response to BTS Part I:

Last month, we took on the topic of Confederate Monuments – what their fate should be based on their history and meaning.  If you missed it, the complete show is posted on our website. There was some expected—and some unexpected—listener response. 

Moxy wrote,  “These statues are sacred to our Southern heritage and therefore should stay where they are. They were erected for a purpose, and that purpose was to reflect on the hardships these men fought for!”

Jane had a different take.  She wrote:   “I… am 83 years old, grew up with segregation in High Point, NC …  had a great-grandfather from Granville County who fought for the Confederacy and a grandmother who joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy late in her life.  I think all of the confederate statues should be moved to museums or historical parks.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to help heal the wounds that racism causes in our country.”

Walt said that the important thing was having the conversation.  “I have for a while,” he wrote, “been in conversation with a good friend of mine whom I would consider very right wing, and whom would consider me very left wing.  Our conversations… get heated sometimes but we have been hanging in there since Trump was on the campaign trail.”

You can send comments about the discussions to coastline@whqr.org