Interrupting Others

Interrupting others, regardless of who they are and how much we disagree with them, is a disrespectful and an uncivil act. It is just so embarrassing and so ignominious to see people with university degree provoking and doing such an act.

I really hate to be in the environment where I feel that my self or any other speaker will be continuously interrupted by someone else. I really don’t understand why interrupting others has become an accepted phenomena in our society.

Now, I understand that some speakers have nonsense or wrong thoughts but if we want to engage in a discussion with them, we have to listen to their speech until they finish.  Then, we can ask them tough questions that will really show the weakness of their arguments.

It is very simple. If you agree to engage in a discussion with someone, you have the obligation to listen to his argument until he finish. If you just interrupt him every minute he speaks, then what is the point of the whole discussion in the first place. Also, keep in mind, that you may look foolish to others because of the way you handle the discussion.

What got me to write this post is the way UC  students behaved during the Israeli ambassador Michael Oren‘s speech. Oren has been interrupted continuously by (Arab or Muslim) students. I just feel their interruption made Oren looks like a hero to other students. They could have done a better job if they had ask Oren tough questions about human rights issues in Palestine and the criminal killing in Gaza.  These questions will really challenge Oren and put him in a very embarrassing situation.

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8 thoughts on “Interrupting Others

  1. Countrygirl

    This isn’t the first time or won’t the last time that a pro israel speaker is interupted during his/her speech….it’s happening all around the main universities in western countries…maybe they interrupt his speech because they can’t formulate a valid question or they are afraid of his answers…and even if they would ask some interesting question they would interupt him anyway. In many liberal (aka lefty) universities there is a mounting antisemitism fueld by lefty teachers, in them it’s ok for a known terrorists or supporters to hold speech but when a pro Israel speaker or organization want to held a rally or an event there’s always be problems with security i’m wondering why?

  2. Jerry M

    Like it or not, Israel is popular in the US. If Muslims want to make their voice heard they need to act like adults not like a bunch of noisy brats. I’ve heard Michael Oren speak some years ago, when his book, Six Days of War, was new. I’ve read it, I have my disagreements with it. In particular I think his take on the USS Liberty attack is a whitewash. (I don’t know enough about the other parts of the book to have my own opinion.)

    He is an Israeli (American born and educated) and defends his country with skill. He critized the UN fact finding report on Gaza, those at this meeting should have tried to take his arguments apart one by one. Instead they acted just like Americans now expect Muslims act when they disapprove of something.

  3. Continuous interrupting is a tactic just as overtalking is. It is one designed to control the conversation, prevent rebuttal, and allow one to repeat one’s talking points ad nauseum in the hope of convincing some, creating a “truth” from repetition, or wearing the other person down/running the clock down.

    It is in my opinion a low level tactic, but sadly can be effective. One of the worst for this in any forum–panel speaker, formal debate, group discussion, individual speaker, pundit–is Alan Dershowitz, who has the smarts and the training to do better.

    On campus, sometimes a group just walks in and lines up against the back wall then turns their back on the speaker, other times they stand en masse in the audience and turn their backs. This is dramatic but ultimately an ineffective rebuttal in my opinion.

    On a related theme, I hope you and your readers will read and comment on my post on Israel Apartheid Week, which is a global action, often on campus, especially in North America, to focus attention on the plight of the Palestinians, and highlight the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign to pressure Israel to: recognize the right to exist of Palestine and the human rights of Palestinians, and take down the Wall, recognize the right of return of Palestinians (UN Resolution 194), and increase international pressure.

    Israel Apartheid Week 2010: 1-4 weeks of focus on Palestine

    All respectfully stated opinions are welcome.
    And it is hard to interrupt a posted comment! LOL 🙂

  4. Jerry M

    One of the better known Muslim organizations in the US, CAIR, shows it is tone deaf to what free speech means by trying to support the protestors.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-nlg-ask-calif-university-da-to-drop-charges-against-irvine-11-84310337.html

    University’s action against protesters selectively and disproportionately penalizes students, harms free speech

    ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and the Los Angeles office of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG-LA) on Friday sent a letter to University of California, Irvine (UCI) Chancellor Michael V. Drake urging him to drop charges against 11 students who peacefully protested at a UCI-sponsored event. A letter was also sent today to the Orange County District Attorney’s office by CAIR-LA.

  5. Ali Alyami (Saudi Student in US)

    I would like to say that what those students did was absolutely disrespectful and irresponsible.

    When I first watched that video, it was hard for me to make a judgment since I was trapped in between the American freedom of speech and the civilized act of respecting speakers and listening to them regardless of who they are.

    But then, I remembered when Ahmadinejad gave a speech at Colombia University in New York about two years ago. Everybody of the audience was listening respectfully with no interruptions in a civilized way. That was when I figured out for myself that the act done by those students did not represent freedom of speech whatsoever.

    They could have listened to the speaker and then asked questions. Or they could have asked the speaker to come to an arranged meeting under the authority of the university.

    Failed!

  6. i agree their is a lost art of listening, that we severely lack. although i disagree with their ways, i think those kids we’re frustrated and desperate to make a statement.

  7. Michelle

    My husband interrupts me constantly. If he doesn’t interrupt me in mid-sentence, he will interrupt my train of thought. In otherwords, I am rarely allowed to finish a thought process without interruption and often dismissal of what I just said. Despite agreeing to stop, he rarely does. It is a habit he doesn’t do with anyone else, especially mean people.

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