DO THINGS CHANGE WHEN PEOPLE EXPRESS DIFFERING POLITICAL OPINIONS?
“Everyone knows there isn’t any more racism in America. And protests are silly and useless. You should come with us to play basketball instead.”
That’s your brother, Tyler. You agree on most everything with him – the movies you see, the music you love and how embarrassing your parents can be sometimes. But he’s got no use for politics. He thinks politics is just voting and that everything else – protests, letter-writing, newspaper articles – well, it’s all a waste of time.
“I don’t know,” he said, “it might make you feel better about yourself, but it’s not going to change anything.”
Clearly there’s no way you can convince your brother to come to the anti-racism rally that’s happening in your town tomorrow. You’ve never gone to a rally like this and you’re excited to see what it will be like. At first, you thought you might be able to get Tyler to come with you, but that’s OK. You know you’ll probably meet some new friends at the rally.
The conversation with Tyler did leave you with some doubts, though. Does it matter when people express their political ideas? Do things change? Is it a good thing when groups that oppose each other both express their opinions even when they disagree?
Investigate the primary sources and think about the U.S. as you know it now. When people have expressed their opinions, do you think it’s ever helped to create real-world change? Make your case.
Have your students take this challenge and make their case! To begin, send your students to this website with this challenge’s code.
Political opinions are the thoughts you have about the management of government.