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Conflict conference planned for February

The San Diego-based National Conflict Resolution Center is hosting best-selling author and Washington Post columnist Arthur C. Brooks in an online forum to discuss perceived polarization in America on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.

The online forum is part of the center’s A Path Forward initiative created in response to events that happened in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn as well as racially-driven events throughout the country.

Center President Steven Dinkin, who will be leading a question-and-answer session after Brooks’ keynote speech, said our country has become increasingly polarized and remains so even in the aftermath of the recent election.

In San Diego County, neighborhoods such as Santee received national attention for two separate racially-charged March incidents, one in which a man wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood to a grocery store, and one in which a man wore a mask marked with a swastika to a different store the following week.

That same community hosted over a dozen Black Lives Matter-associated police brutality protests between June and October with hundreds of participants, as well as several organized in support of local law enforcement agencies by Defend East County, a vigilante group with some members who recently participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in a protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“The 2020 presidential election is over, but the learning has just begun,” Dinkin said.

According to event information, Brooks will engage in dialogue with NCRC President Steve Dinkin to “explore this provocative idea: that to bring our country together, we shouldn’t try to agree more, but to disagree differently” during the forum.

In his book, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt, Brooks said although we may not ultimately agree on every issue, we can still come to understand one another.

“We may disagree— we should disagree— over how best to achieve safety, prosperity, and happiness for the most people, and we should compete over the best way to help all people build better lives. To do so, however, we must maintain the shared objectives and moral core around which a true competition of ideas should radiate,” Brooks wrote.

Dinkin said our country has become increasingly polarized and remains so even in the aftermath of the recent election.

Visit: for more information or to register for the free event.

Source: East County Californian

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