Mar. 23, 2021
TO THE EDITOR:
This is to announce that at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 8th, the Beaufort Culture Club will be launching a “Truth and Reconciliation” initiative. The Beaufort Culture Club has open meetings each week. We appreciate having a space to talk civilly about difficult social, political, historical and racial issues. It is our hope that now that certain divisive political events have peaked, we can maybe find a way to come together again. Our current project is thus “Truth and Reconciliation.”
The goal is to create a place where people of various political leanings and opinions can express their concerns, their anger, their fears, their regrets – without having angry and violent arguments or repercussions. We tend to believe that just saying, “Let’s all get over it,” is not enough. We need to understand what different people are thinking, and how we got here – and maybe then find a way forward.
This initiative, and the discussion group in general, is not intended to support any one party or point of view. We all need to learn from each other, and, goodness! it seems that everybody has something to be upset about these days. Dark thoughts fester in darkness – time to bring them into the light.
The basic method during our “Truth and Reconciliation” meetings is that people may, one at a time, express themselves openly and honestly, even expressing anger and outrage, so long as they attack no specific individuals. Each speaker has the absolute option to speak without interruption or response. Each speaker also has the option to allow or choose a “clarifying facilitator,” who can ask questions that help clarify the speaker’s meaning, or follow through on a point. Each speaker also has the option of accepting written questions from the audience.
Generally, people will be encouraged to explain where they are “coming from,” and what they may believe in or find upsetting or even enraging about events of the last year or so. Speakers are free to express regret at their own actions and situations, or those of others, so long as no one in the meeting is personally attacked or called out. People may explain why they support, for instance, the belief that the election was stolen, or that black lives matter, or that all lives matter, or that the storming of the capitol was treason, or not, etc., etc. What people CANNOT do is advocate for any kind of violence or law-breaking. Also, you can oppose a certain President or policy, but you cannot say, “Unlike that gentleman over there who spoke before.” You can express yourself, but you cannot speak specifically in opposition to anyone at the meeting.
At the end of each presentation, we will sit in silence for a time.
Got it? Please come; encourage your neighbors and friends. The meetings will be held outside, behind Cru Café, 120 Turner Street, Beaufort. Generally, the Beaufort Culture Club meets at 6 pm Thursdays behind Cru. The first Truth and Reconciliation Meeting, as described above, will be held on Thursday, April 8th. It is outside so masks are optional. You can learn more about the Beaufort Culture Club by requesting to be admitted to the Facebook Group, “Port of Beaufort Culture Club.”