Mom's racist rant latest in political hate speech causing stress and stoking outrage

Mon, 2018-06-11

When the mother of Palisades Park’s mayor recently posted a screed on Facebook attacking the community’s Koreans after her son’s primary race against a Korean-American candidate was deemed too close to call, it was merely the freshest example of the sort of virulent, politicized, insult-infused rant that can spread quickly on social media.

The incivility in America’s public discourse has grown so prevalent and toxic that a majority of Americans across political lines now consider it a crisis — and many feel physical and emotional stress because of it.

And while experts say President Donald Trump’s penchant to bully political foes via Twitter has emboldened some Americans to follow suit, they also say there is an upside: Growing numbers of concerned citizens are joining groups designed to elevate civil discourse across the country.

“We need to get the word out that there is a better way,” said David Nevins, founder of the Bridge Alliance, a network of 89 organizations working to improve America’s democratic institutions and civil discourse.