Reply To: Language: A Reminder…

DeeAnn Hopings

Yes, it isn’t the complete story, but it is a starting point. It is certainly a lot closer than my direct experience (Black, midwesterner, born in 1948). I would think that virtually all social activity has a cultural context.

I was chair of our Public Arts Commission for 2 years. For the 2nd year, my ViceChair was a Native American woman who had held various offices in Tribal Government for her tribe. During meetings she was sometimes painfully direct, and I emphasize Painfully. We talked about this and I reminded her that our meetings are public, recorded live and are available on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch. What I learned is that the people that she served with in various tribal functions were frequently relatives and often at least friends. The conversations have a much different tone because of that. I liked that she always spoke her truth and that you could count on that, but the issue is how you do that. Had we not had the conversation, I would have had no context and background for what I was seeing.

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