Crossing the Aisle: A Reading List
Contribute to this list by editing the original document. Leave a comment with your name and contact info so I know who to thank.
I put this list together because I saw myself having a different reaction to the news today. When faced with a different point of view, instead of digging my heels deeper into the left, my instinct was to try to understand that alternate view, and was there was a window that connected us both?
I saw others who felt the same — people who grew up in conservative towns who now live in big cities asking friends and family to fight less, listen more. But they were few and far between, and I wondered why. I realized it’s because there was no space for it. No outlet for people who cared more about understanding than the satisfaction of being right. No outlet for sensible conversation about our differences and how to come together. Online and on TV, the message was clear: the only choices are left or right; You’re either with us or against us. That just didn’t make sense to me.
So I made this list from what I could piece together from around the internet. If you have something to add (it doesn’t have to be an article — it can be a book or a video), I’d love if you could add to this by editing the original document here.
A few pieces to get you started:
The white flight of Derek Black
As Scott F. Fitzgerald put it, “The challenge is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Nikki Sylianteng (@nsylianteng)
Oprah follows up with partisan voters in Michigan by 60 Minutes
"There's no difference around that table than what you would hear in any place of work, dining room table, college campus… The difference is that the people in Michigan really want to listen to each other."
Guns and Empathy a video by New York Magazine
Why Do We Keep Having The Same Argument About Guns? by Anne Helen Petersen
Why Colin Kapaernick Took A Knee posted by Matt Orfalea
“It was US Army veteran, Nate Boyer who suggested to Kaepernick to take a knee as a sign of respect. Kaepernick’s protest was no statement on the military but to call attention to police brutality in America where cops are getting paid leave for murdering unarmed Americans.”
The white flight of Derek Black by Eli Saslow
White People a short documentary by Jose Antonio Vargas for MTV
He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported. by Monica Davey
What I Heard From Trump Supporters by Sam Altman
How a Muslim Doctor Changed Minnesota Minds by Stephanie McMrummen
I know why the poor whites chant Trump Trump Trump by Jonna Ivin
The Messy Truth a video series by Van Jones
Listening to Trump by Christian Parenti
What so many people don’t get about the US working class by Joan C. Williams
Hillbilly Elegy a book by J.D. Vance
The smug style in American liberalism by Emmett Rensin
I’m a coastal elite from the Midwest: The real bubble is Rural America by Patrick Thornton
How poor whites see themselves a tweetstorm by John Paul Brammer
Race and the Race Rebecca Carroll and Van Jones
The sun comes up a This American Life podcast episode
Arrival a film
Everyone believes they’re the good guy by Amaryllis Fox, former CIA undercover officer
The End of Identity Liberalism by Mark Lilla
WHO TO FOLLOW
Jon Stokes Founder of Ars Technica, former wired editor, gun owner
Van Jones CNN commentator and founder of The Messy Truth and author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together
Christian Picciolini Reformed white supremacist, founder of peace advocacy organization Life After Hate