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> The Power of Making Friends with Ideological Enemies
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Brett-Butler
post Sep 11 2017, 06:16 PM
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I came across this article about a remarkable man who's making a real difference in the world. Darryl Davis is a black man who has struck up friendships with members of the KKK & other white supremacists, and as a result has led to over 200 people leaving the KKK. Read the article in full, it's a wonderful story, and I'm now going to seek out the documentary on Netflix to find out more about this amazing man.

I've pulled out a key quote from the article below (and one that I've spoken about before, that it's easier to change someone's mind if you show them kindness. Also of note - music is a real uniting force -

QUOTE
...people feel obliged to treat you the way you treat them. So, if you treat them with kindness and humility, most people will offer you the same courtesy. On the other hand, if you treat them with contempt, well.....

It's almost too obvious, but it turns out that if someone likes you personally and believes that you like them, it's easier to convince them that your way of thinking is worth considering. One easy step towards being liked is to listen to others and find common ground through shared interests. This can be a bridge -- or a shortcut -- to getting other people to see you as a friend or part of their tribe.

Many of those robes now hang in Daryl's closet.

You might think somebody like Daryl Davis would have nothing in common with a KKK member, but according to Daryl, if you "spend 5 minutes talking to someone and you'll find something in common," and if you "spend 10 minutes, and you'll find something else in common."

In the film, he connects with several people about music, and you can see these connections paying off -- breaking down barriers and providing many Klan members with a rare (and in some cases only) opportunity to interact with a black man as a human being worth respecting instead of an enemy.

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StillJupiter
post Sep 12 2017, 09:12 AM
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Aye. Obviously put your own mental health first, but you've a better way of changing someone's mind if you can appeal to parts of them and sit down at a table.

I would also say there's limits though. Talking helps on a person-to-person level, but I don't feel that extends to giving people a platform on national media to spread hateful speech or incitement to discriminate, be racist, homophobic etc. That's a different sense of 'starting a conversation'.
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