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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

The Lost Art of Civility

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a sharecropper’s son who rose to become a civil rights champion and the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee died Thursday, October 17th of complications from longstanding health problems at the age of 68.

Cummings was a formidable orator who advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore and more well-to-do suburbs.

Recently in response to heightened tensions in our country’s political discourse, Cummings went on the record by admonishing government officials to stop making “hateful, incendiary comments” that distract the nation from its real problems. He also said that, “Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear and using language that encourages reprehensible behavior.”

While known throughout most of his career as a champion for justice and human rights, he may best be remembered as an advocate for civility in our nation’s discourse.

It would serve our country and society well if we as individuals perfected the art of civility and learned how to disagree with one another without being disagreeable.

(Portions of these thoughts are from AP News)

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