Dean Beardsley’s Statement on the Events in Charlottesville on August 12

Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

The terrible events of the past 24 hours in Charlottesville have shaken us all, and are shocking in this place that we know, love and work to build as members of this incredible community. I am appalled, saddened and sickened by the racism, hatred, bigotry and violence that have taken place in the wake of the Unite the Right rally and condemn it unambiguously. My — our — hearts go out to the families of those who lost a loved one and those injured.

To our knowledge, members of the Darden Community are safe, and the areas around Darden in North Grounds have been safe. However, the weekend is not over and many of the trouble-makers have indicated that they will remain in Charlottesville through Sunday; we will be happy to see them leave. I urge you to read the statements delivered by UVA President Teresa Sullivan, as they contain important safety information.

UVA Community Message From President Sullivan, Saturday Afternoon
Statement Regarding Change In Academic Division Operating Schedule
Message From The University of Virginia, Saturday Morning
Message From President Sullivan, Friday Night

The safety and well-being of our students, staff and faculty and our University community are our top priorities. Due to ongoing public safety concerns in downtown Charlottesville and as result of the State of Emergency declared in Virginia, UVA cancelled all scheduled events and programming today. Please visit the Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness webpage for updates. But in general, stay at home or indoors this weekend.  Things should be back to normal soon.

For those who are experiencing Charlottesville for the first time, including our arriving First Year students, please know that Charlottesville — and the University of Virginia — are actually wonderful places; most of the protesters from the Unite the Right group are from other places and many have unfortunately imported hooligan-like violence to our lovely town.  While we respect free speech, the values and ideology of the so-called “alt-right” and the images broadcast on media around the world are in complete opposition with Darden’s values, which include unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by mutual respect. We will not bend our values. We will emerge from this even stronger as a community.

I know everyone is living recent events in a very personal way. Some are scared. Some wonder if they have made the right choice to live, work and/or study in Charlottesville. Last night, protesters were on our doorstep on the Lawn (we live in Pavilion I, touching the Rotunda). My brother and nephew who were trying to visit our home were turned away by police. Like many of you, my family in Europe saw pictures of flames in front of our home on their national news, and the grim images of violence today. But it will take a lot more than that to break the spirit of the Darden Community, and to stop us at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business from educating the next generation of responsible leaders the world — and the United States — need more than ever.

Darden thrives in part because we are a supportive and diverse global community. Our fundamental values for inclusion, respect for individuals and exploration of diverse perspectives are completely at odds with the racist ideologies expressed by the white supremacist groups that have traveled to Charlottesville this weekend; all races are welcome at Darden. We did not invite such hatred, and we will overcome it. I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at the Community dialogue at Abbott Auditorium Monday afternoon, and to hearing your perspectives and lived experiences.

Please be safe and know that your Darden community is here to support you.


Scott C. Beardsley
Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
P.O. Box 6550, Charlottesville, Virginia 22906 USA
Shipping: 100 Darden Boulevard, 22903

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UVA Reflection Conversation Schedule, August 12, 2017

On Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the University is offering a day of events displaying its commitment to mutual respect and inclusion. Faculty and staff will facilitate discussions on constitutional rights and citizenship; community dynamics and polarization; local history; and other related topics, all focused around the overarching theme of peaceable democracy. The discussions are free and open to the public. See Events Planned for August 12 for more details.

Schedule of Events for On-Grounds Teach-In on Saturday, August 12
*Indicates a “teen friendly” event

11:00 a.m.:

  • Panel on Local African American Heritage
    • Niya Bates, Clemons 407
  • “Shame or Dialogue? Paradoxes of Activism”
    • Rachel Whal, Clemons Vislounge
  • The Charlottesville Clergy Collective
    • Pastor Alvin Edwards, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “Intolerance of Intolerance”
    • Provost Tom Katsouleas, Alderman 421
  • “Creating a New Future: Addressing the Problem Behind the Problem” *
    • Suzanne Moomaw, Alderman Journal Room
  • “The New Smokestacks? Race, Place and the Social Responsibilities of Universities and Medical Centers”
    • Guian McKee, Alderman Scholar’s Lab
  • White Like Me (Film Screening)
    • Followed by a Discussion with Joanna Williams, Harrison Small Auditorium

12:00 p.m.:

  • Community Pot-Luck on Clemons Terrace (until 2:00 pm)
    • Sponsored by Student National Medical Association (SNMA), Mulholland Society, Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), qMD and UVA Health System’s Discriminatory Behavior Committee and Task Force with funding from the Offices of Diversity of the School of Medicine, McIntire, Nursing, Darden, and Engineering
  • “Intolerance of Intolerance”
    • Provost Tom Katsouleas, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “A Refugee’s Journey: Fleeing War, The Long Wait, and The Hope of Starting Over in America” *
    • Christine Mahoney, Clemons 407
  • “Race and Education” *
    • Natalia Palacios, Clemons Vislounge
  • “Eugenics and Diversity”
    • Gregory Townsend, Alderman 421
  • “History and the Value of Shame”
    • Richard Handler, Alderman Scholar’s Lab

12:30 p.m.:

  • “From the Many, One Pluralism and American Identity in the Coming Century”
    • Chuck Mathewes, Clemons 407
  • I am Not Your Negro (Film Screening)
    • Followed by a Discussion with Joanna Williams, Harrison Small Auditorium

1:00 p.m.: Student Voices

  • Green Dot Training
    • Galen Green and Care Shoaibi, Clemons 407
  • If You’re Reading This
    • Ryan Keen, Alderman Journal Room
  • UndocuAlly Training
    • Mel Borja, Alderman Scholar’s Lab

1:00 p.m.:

  • “What Democracy Sounds Like: Gentle Collectivity Through Improvised Song”*
    • Michelle Kisliuk, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “Freedom of Speech and Assembly: What is Protected and What is Not”
    • Douglas Laycock, Alderman 421

1:30 p.m.:

  • “Mad or Madisonian? Deliberating Across Difference” *
    • Lynn Sanders, Alderman Journal Room

2:00 p.m.:

  • “The Future of Health Care Reform”
    • Mimi Riley, Clemons Vislounge
  • “I Dream America: A Story of Unrequited Love”
    • John Gates, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “Power of the Margin: How to Change Institutions When You are the Minority”
    • Martin Davidson, Alderman 421
  • “History of the KKK in Charlottesville: Past and Present”
    • John Mason, Alderman Journal Room

2:30 p.m.:

  • “The Demographics of Race in Charlottesville” *
    • Qian Cai, Alderman Scholar’s Lab

3:00 p.m.:

  • “What’s Right about Conservatives Today?”
    • Bill Antholis, Clemons, Vislounge
  • “Bioethics in a Divided Society: Deciding about Death, Genes, and Health Inequalities” *
    • James Childress, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “Enfranchising Citizens in the United States: A Short History” *
    • Brian Balogh and Ed Ayers, Alderman 421
  • “Encouraging Diversity through Communication of the Value of our Science and Engineering” *
    • Pamela Norris, Alderman Scholar’s Lab

3:30 p.m.:

  • That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town (Film Screening)
    • Followed by a Q and A Session with the Filmmakers (Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren), Harrison Small Auditorium

4:00 p.m.:

  • “What Do They Believe? Beliefs Held by “Unite the Right” Groups” *
    • Gabriel Finder, Clemons 407
  • “Democracy Under Siege: Gleanings from African American Prophetic Thinkers” *
    • Xavier Pickett, Clemons Vislounge
  • “Jazz is Black Music: Acknowledging the Gift!” *
    • John D’earth, Clemons 4th Floor Seating
  • “Brave Space”*
    • Valencia Harvey, Alderman 421
  • “Organ Donation: A Community Built from the Ashes of an Impossible Day” *
    • Javier Provencio, Alderman Journal Room
  • “On the Importance of Public Space” *
    • Sophie Trawalter, Alderman Scholar’s Lab

4:10 p.m.:

  • An Outrage (Film Screening)
    • Followed by a Q and A Session with the Filmmakers (Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren), Harrison Small Auditorium

4:30 p.m.:

  • “Immigration: Facts and Fiction” *
    • David Leblang, Clemons 407
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Understanding the Context for the Unite the Right Rally: A Summary

Earlier in 2017, Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to rename Lee and Jackson parks in downtown Charlottesville to Emancipation and Justice parks, respectively. The vote came following a previous decision to remove statues of Confederate Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

Many communities are debating the removal of Confederate monuments, which number in the thousands across the United States (there are more than 200 in Virginia). Alt-right groups—a loosely defined group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of white nationalism—are among the leading voices opposing their removal.

As the debate over what to do with these monuments continues, it is important to understand their history. Most were erected in the early 20th century when so-called Jim Crow laws prevented equality for minorities, specifically African-Americans. Historians agree the monuments were often erected to intimidate nearby African-American communities and to advance a movement to depict Confederate leaders as chivalrous heroes who fought the Civil War as a conflict over states’ rights, rather than slavery. Emancipation Park opened as Lee Park in May 1924, when Lee’s statue was unveiled before thousands of attendees during a gathering of the Sons of the Confederacy.

We hope this short history helps those of you who are new to the Charlottesville area understand the context surrounding the upcoming rally. For more context, please see The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “In Charlottesville, UVa Grapples with Its History and the Alt-Right,” which features an interview with UVA President Teresa Sullivan on the topic.

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Recap of the July 10 Community Conversation

Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

On Monday, July 10, the Darden community in Charlottesville convened to discuss the experience and impact of the July 8 rally in Charlottesville by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). As many of you know, the event transpired fairly peacefully with 50 KKK members rallying, and over 1,000 Charlottesville area citizens present and voicing opposition to the racist organization. My goal in writing to you is to recap the Monday conversation and to provide an update on the plans for action moving forward. In particular, many community members had constructive ideas on what we could do in advance of the “Unite the Right” rally to be held August 12.  The following links provide more information about that rally and its organizers. Portions of the content may be offensive to some readers and viewers:

Community Conversation Review

 On July 10, we expected about 20 people to come together in the South Lounge, and 70-75 people attended. People from throughout the enterprise attended, bringing a diverse set of perspective to the discussion. The conversation centered around three questions: What was it like to be at the KKK rally? What reactions did you have as this emerged in our community? What can we at Darden do in advance of the August 12 rally?

A variety of people expressed perspectives in heartfelt and honest ways. Community members shared a numerous powerful stories, some drawn from experiences of being at the rally, others from past personal experiences. The goal of the first half hour was to tell our stories to one another and, as a community, we did so with grace and authenticity.

At about the halfway mark—and in tune with several people noting they were worried about what was coming on August 12—we began to brainstorm what we could do at Darden and a many ideas emerged. Since this was brainstorming, we did not have adequate time to discuss and gain any consensus. What we choose to do as a school remains to be decided and I will share more in my next update. But some of the ideas expressed included:

  • Start of School Year Preparation:
    1. Provide orientation to our new students about the events, U.S. history, race, politics, free speech and the First Amendment;
    2. Help all students understand that if they attend the event, they must be properly prepared.  All students should know University protocols if they face any threats and should know how to make the bets decisions in what could be tense moments;
    3. Engage Second Year student leadership to support the community;
  • Darden Protest: Be present at the rally as a Darden community, make our presence known publicly;
  • Learning Sessions: Convene informational conversations about the issues underlying the rally and the resistance to it. Discussions or learning sessions that highlight topics such as “what is the ‘alt-right?’” “Who is Richard Spencer and what is the UVA connection?”) Many people lack information about or context for the rally;
  • Small group conversations throughout the year: Sustain energy and effort toward being more inclusive at Darden. One idea was to formalize small group conversation — over meals at Darden, at people’s homes, or other comfortable venues. People learning together and building relationships and bonds makes events like this less disruptive to the daily flow at Darden.
  • Law Enforcement Information Session: Invite a conversation with law enforcement about how to function if community members want to attend the rally;
  • Personal Preparation: Fortify ourselves personally in advance of the rally by talking not only with Darden colleagues, but with family, friends, and children, about what’s happening. Entering these conversations (especially with children) with questions and inquiry.

We are in the process of planning next steps. There will be an additional communication about next steps in the next two weeks. Please check the Darden Diversity Blog for information and resources. The ongoing objective of all of this is not to simply get through this rough patch. Rather, it is to use this as one of many opportunities to build skill and capacity for leveraging difference throughout the Darden School community and enterprise.

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Invitation to a Community Conversation for July 10, 2017

To: Faculty, Staff and Students

Subject: Invitation to a Community Conversation

Message From Dean Scott Beardsley and Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson

Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

At Darden, we strive to build and sustain a resilient, diverse and inclusive community. From time to time, events occur that provide us an opportunity to practice what those words mean. One such event will take place this weekend. Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in North Carolina, plan to hold a rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, 8 July. The stated purpose of their rally is to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park. The nature of such a gathering makes it likely that tensions in and around the rally will run high. The leadership at Darden agrees with President Sullivan’s recent message, published on UVA Today and included at the end of this note, and we echo her denunciation of the rally in the strongest terms.

At Darden, living the principles of resilience, diversity and inclusion is not solely about confronting ideologies of hatred and racism like those that may be on display this weekend. We condemn those ideologies, make no mistake. We also use these events as occasions to learn and to strengthen our community. Like our larger society, Darden is a work in progress. Often, disturbing incidents take place in the world and we fail to seize the moments to talk with one another about them.  We tend to go about the day “business as usual,” ignoring the fact that many of us feel the distressing impact of such incidents, whether they occur across the globe or — as in this case — in our hometown.

The rally this weekend presents an important moment for us to exchange thoughts about — and share reactions to — what transpires.  Please come together for a community conversation on Monday, July 10, in the South Lounge from 3–4 p.m. Martin Davidson will facilitate the discussion. Dean Scott Beardsley will attend virtually.

This will be a chance to speak, listen and learn. Being present with one another is how we form a habit of having healthy, frank and constructive conversations together. We create stronger bonds as members of a professional and educational community, bonds that serve as critical building blocks for a more inclusive Darden.

All voices matter in this conversation, and we hope you will join in.

Scott Beardsley
Dean, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Martin Davidson
Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer


University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan on Tuesday, 27 June, issued the following message to the University community regarding a scheduled Ku Klux Klan rally on July 8 in Charlottesville. The message can also be found on UVA Today.

 To the University community:

Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in North Carolina, plan to hold a rally in Charlottesville on July 8. The stated purpose of their rally is to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park.

The KKK represents ideologies of hatred and exclusion that run directly counter to the principles of mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion that we espouse and uphold at our University. The KKK has a long history of racial violence and murder. As a unified community, we condemn the detestable beliefs of the KKK as well as the group’s message of intolerance and hate.

We also support the First Amendment and the principle of free speech, and we know that the members of this group have the right to assemble and speak. We abhor their beliefs, yet we recognize their right to express those beliefs in a public forum, and the City of Charlottesville plans to protect their right to do so.

I urge UVA community members to avoid the rally and avoid confrontation on July 8. To listen and respond to these outsiders would only call more attention to their viewpoint and create the publicity that they crave. Instead, I encourage you to support the alternative events that Charlottesville leaders are planning.  These tentatively include a program at the Jefferson School African-American Center and a community picnic at Ix Art Park. Details are available here. The Albemarle-Charlottesville chapter of the NAACP and other organizations are planning additional events for the community.

There is irony in the timing of the KKK rally, which falls only four days after Independence Day, when we celebrate our nation’s hard-won freedom and our founding belief that all people are created equal and entitled to unalienable human rights. As a community, let’s remain confident that the voice of justice and equality will drown out the voice of hatred in the end.

Teresa A. Sullivan

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How to Fight Racism and Intolerance–A UVA Example

Today,  Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in North Carolina, plan to hold a rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, 8 July. The stated purpose of their rally is to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park. Many university community members have come together to repudiate the racism and hate this group espouses, planning a variety of events at the university and in Charlottesville.

The University of Virginia Student Council has worked throughout the summer to plan activity and provide helpful information. They shared the following in an email sent to the University student community yesterday.


Dear University Community,

We hope you are finding ample opportunities to both relax and explore exciting opportunities this summer. As you may be aware, many students return to Grounds after the first major summer session to reconnect with friends in a time we affectionately call “Midsummers.” While this is a great opportunity for many of us to catch up, we would like to remind students to exercise caution while partaking in the weekend’s activities. If you are planning to attend, be sure to brush up on student safety resources provided on the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) website and the Gordie Center website; drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the July heat; and make a plan with friends to get home safely. Safe Ride will operate 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. starting both Friday and Saturday evenings.

We also write to address the plans of a North Carolina “splinter group” of the Ku Klux Klan to assemble in downtown Charlottesville tomorrow afternoon, July 8. The oldest hate group in the United States has intimidated, threatened, and inflicted violence in its most extreme forms upon a great many Americans, particularly targeting communities of color. Their impending presence in our community may have you feeling angry, confused, or fearful. We empathize with you, and are here to walk alongside you to protect the values of peace and inclusion that make UVA a safe place to learn and flourish. Members of this hate group will seek out and capitalize on any sign of engagement from you they can provoke. To give their hateful rhetoric a platform and “take the bait” will only serve to further their derisive message. They have a long history of twisting peaceful protest to suit their divisive message. Student Council firmly echoes the recommendation that President Sullivan made in her statement on June 27 “to avoid the rally and avoid confrontation on July 8.” If you do feel compelled to participate in counter-protest events, we urge you to seek out a larger Charlottesville-based group with an organized counter-protest plan that you will be able to join. If you experience verbal threats or physical assaults at any point in time, immediately contact a nearby police officer or call 911. The Dean on Call also is available to respond to student crisis situations 24/7. Your safety and well-being come first. To “affirm and uphold the values of equality on our Grounds,” as the Black Student Alliance has invited students to pledge, we have outlined a number of peaceful community events taking place tomorrow:

  1. The City of Charlottesville’s “Unity Day: Unity Day will begin with programming at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center at 10 a.m.; continue at IX Art Park for a community potluck beginning at 11:30 a.m.; and conclude with a free Unity Day Concert at the Sprint Pavilion on the downtown mall beginning at 2 p.m.
  2. Peaceful Counter Rallies: 2 to 5 p.m. at Jack Jouett Middle School led by Charlottesville NAACP.
  3. Multicultural Student Center: This space in Newcomb will be open for students to gather throughout the day.
  4. Mellow Mushroom Pizza at 1515: Come get a free slice starting at 4:30 p.m.

Our University maintains an undeniable duty to defend the values of equity and inclusion. By standing beside our Charlottesville neighbors in celebration of difference as our excellence and strength, we will send a collective message far more powerful than that of any group seeking to bring hate to our community. Should you be in Charlottesville this weekend, we hope you enjoy reconnecting with friends and look forward to seeing you on Grounds in August.


Sarah Kenny, President Student Council

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Beyond Heated Conversation….

During the past few days, articles have appeared in the local and national news about a torchlit protest and subsequent candlelit vigil in Charlottesville that took place over the course of this past weekend. It’s important to understand what has prompted these events. Over the course of the past several months, the Charlottesville City Council and city residents have been having a dialogue regarding a historic Confederate statue in the city and whether it should be removed. The council voted to remove the statue but there is now legal action preventing these actions from occurring for six months. The city’s decision has drawn both concern and support from a variety of groups and political figures and the events of this past weekend (both the protest and vigil) are outcomes of the decision.

What shouldn’t be lost in these events is that dialogue has been part of the process and should continue. The University is part of the broader Charlottesville community – our students are interns, employees, gym members, shoppers, patients etc. While we may not be able to prevent these types of incidents from occurring, as a community it is important to have open conversations about them and not turn a blind eye – but to have our eyes, hearts, and minds wide open. The physical and emotional safety of our students is paramount to the leadership of the Darden School. We agree that all have the right to express opinions but not instill fear. At Darden, we embrace the challenging discussions surrounding diversity, equality, and justice that face not only our city but our society because it is our mission to develop leaders who are prepared to lead responsibly through the most difficult issues confronting business and the world. When we disagree we must summon our better selves and reject previous paths that have been incendiary and divisive.

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Global Business and Culture Club Holds First ‘Global Week’

Darden’s Global Business and Culture Club (GBCC) hosted its first Global Week to celebrate the school’s cultural and ethnic diversity through a series of events. The week was jam-packed with events, including a kick-off spearheaded by Dean Melissa Thomas-Hunt, a global food festival, a speaker series throughout the week, and an Indian dance workshop to name a few. The club’s President, Roshini Rajan, sat down to talk about how Global Week came to fruition. She emphasized the importance of this event happening in the beginning of the semester to help International students feel welcomed at Darden. She felt this event was, “the perfect opportunity to highlight the global nature of the school!” The events held throughout the week were well received by students and faculty alike. One of the highlights of the week was the Global Food Festival (GFF). More than 150 participants representing over 25 countries had the opportunity to showcase their authentic ethnic cuisine, traditional costumes and cultural performance to nearly 500 attendants. A key goal throughout the week was to embrace the abundant diversity throughout Darden and highlight the ways in which diversity is paramount in a successful workplace and academic environment. During the week, GBCC held a speaker series entitled “Leveraging Diversity in the Global Marketplace” hosted by Judy Shen-Filerman from Dreambridge Partners. The session aimed to raise awareness about critical cross-cultural norms that affect business interactions through experiential dialogue. The events held throughout the week focused on preparing Darden students to step up as leaders and effectively lead in a global context. The events throughout the week provided international and domestic students with a platform to showcase their backgrounds. GBCC helped foster a welcoming environment for all students as they prepared for a successful semester. Global Week served as the impetus to GBCC’s yearlong goal of promoting and showcasing Darden’s diversity.

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Expanding Your Mind: J.D. Vance’s TED Talk “America’s Forgotten Working Class”

J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor city in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to many of the social ills plaguing America: a heroin epidemic, failing schools, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence. In a searching talk that will echo throughout the country’s working-class towns, the author details what the loss of the American Dream feels like and raises an important question that everyone from community leaders to policy makers needs to ask: How can we help kids from America’s forgotten places break free from hopelessness and live better lives?

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Expanding Your Mind: Rob Willer TED Talk “How to have better political conversations”

Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values — typically a source of division — can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics.

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