Daryl Davis is a well known journalist and presenter who carries a core message: respect is key to dialogue building. In the TEDx talk below, Daryl Davis shares how a journey across many years built a pathway to dialogue and trust between himself and the KKK’s Imperial Wizard, which is the highest rank of the Ku Klux Klan in the U.S.
Davis kicks off his remarkable story about respecting in dialogue by sharing his own experience. He recalls how at the young age of 10, his parents sat him down and talked to him about racism.
“I had no idea what they were talking about,” recalls Davis and he confides to the audience that the notion of racism was so alien to him that he didn’t believe people actually believed these things — until he experienced it for himself.
His curiosity and interest in human stories and the people behind them led him to meet the KKK’s grand master and, ultimately, the imperial wizard.
Davis captures the audience’s attention and imagination as he describes that first meeting with the imperial wizard and how a slow rapport built through the years until one day …. well, you’ll have to listen to Daryl Davis’ story to learn how it ends!
A core message in Davis’ story is that, yes, respect is the key to dialogue, but also that fear and ignorance is what makes violence and hate possible. If we can use dialogue to dispel fear and inform the ignorance, it is very difficult to actually hate someone.
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