In so many ways we pay lip service to dissent in this country. Too many individuals are far too certain of their infallibility. If we are to bridge the many gaps — social, economic, political, and religious — that characterize our national culture, then we must find ways of using language in ways that neither denigrate nor ignore difference.
Far too often thoughtless speech finds its way into our public discourse. The fix we find ourselves in these days is the irresponsible application of language in search of reasonable solutions to common problems. It is time to use language to bring us together, not tear us apart.