While politics doesn’t come up much on Legal Andrew, I felt compelled to respond to something Penelope wrote today. She posted that we shouldn’t discuss politics at work because it can be racist. In today’s politically correct world, Penelope’s probably right. Even saying that I don’t support an increased minimum wage might offend someone, possibly for an unforeseen racial reason.
But should we be silent?
Just yesterday, some friends and I were discussing that democracy relies on discussion. We need information to make decisions about our government, elections, etc.
Sitting here at Thomas Jefferson’s university, I wonder what ol’ T.J. would think about being silent on politics. Would our country exist if people held their views in, for fear of offending someone? Would we have even declared independence from Britain? I’m sure the Declaration offended a whole bunch of people, but I’m glad the Founders stood up to be counted.
With that said, there is a time and place for everything. I’m not saying that we should discuss politics any time of the day, especially during the middle of work. However, is it bad to discuss something during lunch? What about a coffee break?
In the proper time, discussing politics at work (or just with coworkers) shouldn’t be offensive. But be sure to tackle sensitive matters in a polite way. Respect differing viewpoints and especially ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
Now that I’ve spouted my thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think. Am I being crazy? Do you discuss politics at work? Do you completely stray from it?
Please post a comment or drop me a line.
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