One of my favorite columnists has done it again. Leonard Pitts Jr. received a letter from a young writer from a school newspaper. It seems the young man wrote a piece that attracted some negative attention. David seeks advice from Leonard and we find the text of the reply in a recent column. One particular paragraph stood out as sound advice and even more apt description as to the way some engage issues, or don’t.
If you approach writing your column as I do mine, you see it as an attempt, not to hammer the other side down, but to persuade persuadable minds. Unfortunately, persuadable minds are an endangered species these days. You and I have the misfortune to live in a time and media culture when people think that the loudness of the argument matters more than the coherence of it, when threats and intimidation substitute for logic and reason, a time of made-up ”facts” and ideological ”truth,” a time when critical thinking is a lost art and ignorance is ascendant.
Those who spend even a little time filtering through conflicting parties would do well to note this advice in their own settings.