NPR

When Civility Is Used As A Cudgel Against People Of Color

For people of color, "civility" is often a means of containing them, preventing social mobility and preserving the status quo.
Source: LA Johnson

The value of civility is one of the few things Americans can all agree on — right? That's the common assumption. And yet it's an assumption that depends on everyone thinking they're a full member of the community.

But what about when they aren't?

For many people of color in the United States, civility isn't so much social lubricant as it is a vehicle for containing them, preventing social mobility and preserving the status quo. The furious white pushback atin the 1960s wasn't about the grilled cheese sandwiches that sit-in protesters weren't going to be served — it was about their presumption that they could sit at the counter at all. As equals.

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