Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Heated Rhetoric and the Immigration Debate
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Heated Rhetoric and the Immigration Debate

Please join the Center for American Progress for a special presentation:

Choosing Our Words Carefully

The Consequences of Heated Rhetoric

April 12, 2011, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

About This Event

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 country, 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. Notwithstanding calls for more civilized public discourse, Kansas State Rep. Virgil Peck suggested that hunters could control illegal immigration as they control wild swine—by shooting them from helicopters. In Orange County, CA, Councilwoman Deborah Pauly called a fundraiser of the Islamic Circle of North America “pure, unadulterated evil,” adding, “I know quite a few Marines who will be willing to help these terrorists to an early meeting in Paradise.”

On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, the Center for American Progress will host a discussion that explores politicians’ broken promises to restore civility to policy debates, and delves into the harm caused by heated rhetoric on Capitol Hill and across the United States.

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

Robert P. Jones, CEO and Founder, Public Religion Research Institute

Andrea Nill, Immigration Researcher-Blogger,

Moderator: Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.


RSVP for this event
For more information, call 202.618.1611.


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