Intellectual diversity is vital to the future of the Views Section
August 29, 2018
Few spaces still exist where readers can find well-reasoned but conflicting voices featured side by side. This absence of discourse, often called an echo chamber, deprives us of the chance to challenge our opinions. When we are only met with confirmation, it is almost impossible to step beyond our own perspectives. We get comfortable having our opinions reinforced and we begin to label everyone we disagree with as immoral, malicious or even dangerous. We lose our ability to grow, our ability to change and our ability to coexist with people who challenge our beliefs.
The Views section has a responsibility to push back against the echo chamber. Over the next semester, we are committed to publishing diverse and conflicting opinions. Our goal is to prompt thought instead of prescribing it. To this end, each issue of The Tulane Hullabaloo will feature two Views articles side by side which take opposing stances on a critical issue. This plan starts immediately, which is why we have published an article arguing directly against this one. Although we are firm in our commitment to intellectual diversity, we want to provide readers with a chance to hear the arguments against our course of action and come to their own conclusions.
To truly understand any controversial topic, it is necessary to hear all sides of the issue. When we choose to promote only one perspective, we fail to provide readers with a complete understanding of the debate. Alternatively, when we choose to publish contrasting opinions, we can provide readers with a deeper, more nuanced image of the topics we cover.
That said, this project is about more than providing readers with deeper information. Ultimately, we want to foster empathy. Empathy is the foundation of a healthy society. By stepping outside our own limited perspective, we can learn to understand the values of our ideological opponents. We can learn about the history and experiences that brought them to differ with us. We can begin to see them as people we disagree with instead of opponents we should block out This sort of insight gives us the ability to understand each other, to work with one another and even build a better future together.
For many of us, the country fractured just as we began contributing to the national dialogue. We are coming of age in a very different country than the one we were raised in. If we want our country to change, it is essential that we learn to empathize across the aisle. The new Views section is designed to assist in that process.
Such lofty ideals may sound unrealistic during this period of historic division. It’s the present state of discourse, however, that compels us to demand change in the way we think about media and culture. The Views section must do its part to move away from destructive partisanship by creating a space for respectful and passionate disagreement. The scope of our influence is limited, but we hope our commitment to empathetic discourse encourages others to do their part in mending our torn culture.