While researching another project, I encountered an October 2018 article from The Megaphone, Southwestern University’s campus newspaper. The article’s title is “Opinion: SU Students Confuse Disagreement with Hate Speech.” The article’s author is SU student, and Nacogdoches High School alum, Kay Teekell. I would like to share the first two sentences from this article. “Too often we confuse disagreement with hate speech. Becoming angry at what we feel is an attack on our beliefs, we lash out and strike preemptively instead of pausing to consider what was spoken.”

One thing my father always told me was to examine a situation from all possible scenarios. This is how I became an independent moderate. While I believe Ms. Teekell produced a brilliant article, I also believe she overlooked one crucial detail: both sides — liberals and conservatives — are guilty of such behavior.

Ms. Teekell’s article caused me to reflect upon many letters I have seen in the Sentinel over the years, along with many political posts I have seen on Facebook over the years.

Instead of providing factual information to support their arguments, liberals and conservatives alike resort to petty trash talking.

Do people really believe childish behavior will encourage others to support their viewpoints? If we could have positive and civilized discussions about our differences, instead of attacking each other, this world would be a much better place.

I will gladly sit down with anybody who possesses different viewpoints to have a respectful and courteous conversation. I pray the other person would also be respectful and courteous.

J. Patrick Capps


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