Lessons in the Delicate Art of Confronting Offensive Speech

What if Billy Bush had just changed the subject? As unlikely as that may seem to anyone who has heard the now infamous 2005 recording of Donald Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women (to the giggling encouragement of Bush), it just might have stifled Trump because a body of psychological research shows that even mild pushback agains offensive remarks can have an instantaneous and dramatic effect. Researchers have long detailed the difficulty of confronting prejudicial statements, but they have also found that even the most polite of objections–or subtle corrections of loaded words–can quickly curb a speaker’s behavior. People can thus develop tactics to shut down unsavory talk without ruining relationships, even when the offender has more status or power. Read the full NYTimes Article Here These are the types of conversations that Epoch Education is trying to make easier with their Conversation Starters card deck. The cards are designed to facilitate the type of conversations that people would normally avoid. The goal is to engage someone from an authentic and compassionate place while practicing and developing skills to respond to difficult situations. It is only through mindful conversation–not confrontation–that one person can begin to educate one another.  Consider donating to our campaign to put our cards in the hands of 5,000 teachers!