Re: Re: Diversity
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 15:58:01 -0600 (MDT)
Just to add clarity for anyone who is wondering-I have "spoken"  to both
Cheryl and Tim off-list and am not nursing any wounds or grudges here. I
feel we've covered this topic pretty thoroughly and certainly to my
satisfaction. Though feel free to discuss anything you wish, of course...


> From: Fred H Olson <fholson [at]>
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 08:42:19 -0500 (CDT)
> To: -cohousing-L mailing list <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Re: Diversity
> "Cheryl A. Charis-Graves" <ccharis [at]>
> is the author of the message below.
> It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at] 
> because the message included HTML ;      PLEASE do not post HTML, see
> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
> Just for the sake of clarity, my unfortunately muddled point spoke more to
> the idea of not allowing a politically-conservative group to meet in the
> common house, with sponsorship of a community member, because of discomfort
> with their political agenda.
> As I tried to state in a later message, groups that espouse activities that
> are clearly harmful or threatening to others would justifiably be excluded.
> That seems obvious to me.
> However, I feel that disallowing a member from holding a meeting in the
> common house because their affiliation is not politically in tune with a
> majority of the community could be a topic worth exploring.
> I wasn?t really talking about gun dealers or porn smugglers or racial
> supremacists, which I wrongly assumed was self-evident. Don Miguel Ruiz told
> me not to assume anything, but there I went and did it again!! And I?m not
> sure that a community member would be sponsoring such activities in the
> common house, and that?s a requirement in our community. I was talking about
> staunch Republicans or Libertarians or even land developers. These people,
> when a sincere effort is made at communication, sometimes feel marginalized
> by our assumptions about what is right and good. And then they retreat into
> their stereotyped views of us, which ultimately ends communication.
> I don?t always feel like going into a discussion on such things. That?s my
> right and privilege, as an individual and as a community member. I respect
> others? boundaries in such matters. However, I do make a specific effort to
> listen when such people talk. I want to understand their motives, why they
> believe what they believe. Tree Bressen talks about the importance of
> listening for the truth in the words of the person with whom you are in
> conflict. It makes sense to me that we will only make real progress in the
> way things are in the world and in our communities when we do so. To
> exacerbate our differences in these arenas creates bigger walls. I?d like to
> find a way to bring those walls down, to create a larger community that
> shares common values of respect and valuing one another?s unique
> though-sometimes-difficult-to-understand contributions.
> This seems to me an intuitively good idea. I?m certainly not the first
> person to advocate for it. The experiences of the past year seem to me to
> offer a strong rationale for the idea.
> Think globally, act locally. And that, really, was my point.
> Cheryl
> -- 
> Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the
> barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ? Rumi
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