Past Event

Choosing Our Words Carefully

The Consequences of Heated Rhetoric

9:30 - 11:00 AM EST

EVENT POSTPONED: Due to inclement weather this event has been postponed to a future date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

On Thursday, January 27, 2011, the Center for American Progress will host a discussion that explores politicians’ recent promises to restore civility to policy debates, and delves into the harm caused by heated rhetoric on Capitol Hill and across the United States.

Too often, immigrants, Muslim Americans, gays and lesbians, African Americans, Arab Americans, and others are portrayed as alien and dangerous to our democracy and society. Such bombasts inflame a toxic political environment and thwart pragmatic policy solutions. The assassination attempt against Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords jarred the political class, forcing public officials to commit to more comity across political party lines. Yet a return to their legislative arenas reminded them that past attempts at civility failed because compromising on contentious issues is seen as political weakness rather than a statesmanly reach for solutions.

Panelists will challenge the stereotypes against whole groups of people, provide historical perspectives of current attempts to restore civility, and suggest how to move forward on unresolved issues.

Featured panelists:

Jim Kolbe, Former Arizona Congressman
James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress


Vanessa Cárdenas, Director, Progress 2050, Center for American Progress