Chapter 11: Attitudes Toward Dissent
Students should be able to express their own views about dissent and the repression of dissent.
Part of one class period
1. Ask the students :
• What is your attitude toward dissent?
• Towards "extremists" - should they be allowed freedom to express themselves, to meet, to publish their views, to march, to run for public office?
2. Do the following activity TWICE - once using the Ku Klux Klan and once using the Communist Party.
Draw a line along the length of the blackboard. Starting from the end of the line on the left, write the following as you move along to the right hand end of the line:
• OUTLAW GROUP
• ALLOW THEM TO MEET BUT NOT TO PUBLICIZE THEIR VIEWS
• ALLOW THEM TO WRITE AND SPEAK, BUT NOT TO ASSEMBLE AND MARCH
• ALLOW THEM TO MARCH BUT NOT TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE
• ALLOW THEM UNIMPEDED FREEDOM
Ask the students to get up and stand at the part of the line which expresses their opinion if the group in question is the Ku Klux Klan.
Then ask them to do the same thing with the group in question being the Communist Party.
Students should be given the opportunity to explain their views. If they took a different position on the line the second time, they should say why.