Second “Speak Your Peace” Lecture Takes Place Tonight

Presentation Part of Community Foundation-Sponsored “Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project” Series

A second lecture in the “Speak Your Peace” series by Dr. Jeff Kleiman will take place on Tuesday November 28 at 7 pm at UW-Marshfield/Wood County. Entitled “The Lies of Compromise: How Slavery Caused the Civil War,” the presentation will address slavery and how it prompted the conflict between the North and south to control the Federal Government. Also to be discussed is the myth of the “Lost Cause” and states’ rights, along with other related issues.

Kleiman is a 30-year resident of Marshfield and a professor at UW-Marshfield/Wood County. He earned his doctoral degree from Michigan State University, where he studied American urban history. He also harbors an intellectual interest in the holocaust and antisemitism.

“Beyond personal experience with antisemitism, I have studied the issues of race, religion, and ethnicity in America ever since my undergraduate days,” said Kleiman. “Especially important have been the pseudo-scientific claims put forward to justify a range of discriminatory behaviors—from restricted housing or job opportunities, through to the use of imprisonment and even death.”

Through his lecture series, Kleiman hopes to enlighten and inform Marshfield residents about the presence of prejudice and other issues right here in Central Wisconsin.

“No place in America is free from prejudice. While not quite as dramatic as elsewhere, one can hear and observe voices of prejudice,” said Kleiman. “Perhaps the best takeaway for folks who attend would be an honest appraisal of where we stand as Americans, a country working to fulfill the highest standards ever set for nation.”

“The phrase ‘all men are created equal’ has inspired the world since 1776,” he added. “We are a nation of immigrants, many people who came without regard to formal border crossings, many did not become citizens of the United States, who proudly carried on their own traditions and languages. Yet, as often happens, we ignore our own national and personal histories to strike out in anger. Perhaps we need a little honest introspection to ask why we are upset with demands for equality of opportunity and equality before the law?”

Kleiman invites everyone to attend this free event, and provided the following background for the presentation: “Recently, some prominent political figures have asserted that the civil war could have–and should have–been avoided. Yet somehow, the lack of compromise made this impossible. The nation could have been spared the violence and trauma of the bloodbath that killed more American soldiers than any other American war.”

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