August 14, 2023

Is There a Better Way to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

Kwame Anthony Appiah, NYT columnist, shares how he deals with religious intolerance and homophobia while building a more tolerant nation.

In This Episode...

In this episode, Eboo Patel discusses the pros and cons of different paradigms of diversity and social change with the prominent social philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah. What are the relative merits of Appiah’s cosmopolitanism vs Ibram X Kendi’s antiracism. Should minorities focus on loudly demanding change and respect from dominant groups, or highlighting commonalities? Appiah draws on everything from European philosophy to stories from his childhood in Ghana in this wide-ranging conversation on pressing contemporary issues.  

Eboo explores these ideas further in this piece from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

About Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah is a British-born American philosopher, novelist, and scholar of African and African American studies, best known for his contributions to political philosophy, moral psychology, and the philosophy of culture.  

Appiah tackles life’s dilemmas in The Ethicist column in the New York Times magazine. And in his book The Ties that Bind, he illustrates how identities are defined by conflict, while Cosmopolitanism is a proclamation that every single one of us matters and that we are responsible for our collective wellbeing no matter the differences.  

Appiah is the son of Joseph Appiah, a Ghanaian-born barrister, and Peggy Cripps, daughter of the British states-person Sir Stafford Cripps. He attended Bryanston School and later Clare College, Cambridge, where he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1982. He taught philosophy, African studies, and African American studies at Yale University (1981–86), Cornell University (1986–89), Duke University (1990–91), and Harvard University (1999–2002). In 2002 he joined the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, where he stayed until moving to New York University in 2014. 

You can learn more about Appiah on his website.  

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Is There a Better Way to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?​


Eboo Patel: Welcome to a special teaser for season two of Interfaith America with Eboo Patel. This season we’re going to explore democracy, identity, and religion in an even deeper way than last season. I wanted to put out this episode early while we produce the full season which will include guests like Rainn Wilson, Danielle Allen, and Jonathan Eig. This special teaser is with one of my favorite thinkers, New York Times ethicist columnist Kwame Anthony Appiah. 


Eboo Patel: Today we have one of my favorite thinkers on the show, Kwame Anthony Appiah, is a Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. He writes the Ethicist Column for The New York Times Magazine, and he’s the author of several major texts on diversity, including Cosmopolitanism and The Lies That Bind. 

Appiah grew up in both Ghana and in England. His work has literally defined an approach to diversity. One way to think about it is that diversity is about cooperation across differences. It’s interesting to consider that paradigm alongside the paradigm that’s currently in favor right now power, privilege, and oppression. 

One of the things that Appiah and I talk about in this interview is, what would it look like for college campuses and other types of institutions to follow a cosmopolitanism approach when it comes to diversity work? One of the interesting parts of Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism is how it centers religious diversity. That is, of course, especially relevant for the Interfaith America Podcast. Let’s get into the conversation. 

[00:01:18] Kwame Anthony Appiah: You can’t be against racism if you aren’t against Islamophobia, or homophobia, or sexism, or disrespect for people with disabilities, and so on. I think if someone claims diversity for their particular agenda, they’re doing [chuckles] something that sort of violates the real spirit of the thing. The real spirit of the thing in a society like ours is we want to live with and accept the fact that we’re all doing our own thing. We’re different from one another, we’re not trying to make us all the same, and we can collaborate with people with whom we disagree very deeply. 

Couldn’t be a deeper metaphysical disagreement than the disagreement between atheists and theists. The universe is very different if theism is true from the way it is if atheism is true. Theists and atheists can and do have and will be able to collaborate each from their own position. That’s the point, right? That means that the argument for an atheist for why she should respect theists is obviously different from the argument for theists about why they should respect atheists in some sense because they’re starting from a different place. 

Of course, it depends on which particular form of theism and what particular religious tradition you come from. All the major world traditions of moral thinking, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and so on, all of them have within them more and less cosmopolitan traditions. All of them have a kind of exclusivist, what we nowadays often call fundamentalist set of traditions, and a set of traditions that are open to collaboration, to working with others. 

All of the great Abrahamic scriptures talk about our duties to strangers and about when Jesus is asked, “Who is my neighbor?” He tells a story about someone, a Samaritan, who’s the kind of person that the people he’s talking to don’t think of as one of them, and think of them as inferior and outside. 

[00:03:30] Eboo: Not just that impure. They followed a different God. 

[00:03:33] Kwame: They followed the wrong God. 

[00:03:34] Eboo: They followed the wrong God. 

[00:03:38] Kwame: We can find parallel texts in the way that the Quran treats people of the book who are other non-Muslim, theists, monotheists, and many of the traditions of Judaism and, of course, the Buddhism. Confucianism, the same. Confucianism talks about our having a duty of benevolence to all under heaven. That means everybody on earth, but the point is the deep argument for cosmopolitanism for a Protestant is going to depend on their view of the world, on their theology, and so on, and that’s fine. 

My deep conviction that I owe respect to people who have, in my view, the wrong view about lots of things, that too has to come, from my metaphysical position, has to come from where I come from, but we can do it. The point is that cosmopolitanism isn’t about sharing a single theory of how to get along. It’s just the commitment to getting along from our various positions, recognizing that no time soon, and I hope not ever, will everybody be all the same. 

[00:04:45] Eboo: One of the things that strikes me and this is very much how you’re speaking now is that in lots of ways cosmopolitanism begins from religious difference. As you say, there’s no greater difference than atheists and theists. Then you write about this over and over again in The Lies that Bind and in Cosmopolitanism. Muslims go to Mecca, Catholics go to Mass, and they think different things about that, and that is a very different beginning point for arranging the world. 

Incidentally, that is the heart of the work that we do at Interfaith America. The big idea is that a religiously diverse democracy was thought of as impossible for centuries, and centuries, and centuries by the category of people you fit in, which is philosophers. Philosophers thought it was impossible, and after the European wars of religion and you write about this eloquently in many places a different set of arrangements were set up in different parts of the world. 

In Europe, it was one religion per state. The United States embarks on something different which is a multi-religious democracy. What is interesting is how little many people in the world of diversity work think of these issues right now. What’s missing in our era of diversity work when there is scant attention to that very fundamental root of American democracy? 

[00:06:05] Kwame: There’s a tradition in modern political philosophy of urging us to keep religion out of the public sphere, for example. What’s the point of telling people who take seriously the thought that they have a duty to follow the word of God that they mustn’t talk about that when they’re talking about the important things in our society? Of course, if you start from your assumptions and you know I have different ones, you’ll know that much of what you say won’t be very convincing to me, but I, certainly, would like to know what actually motivates you. [chuckles] 

I don’t want you to pretend that you don’t believe in things. I want my fellow citizens to be honest to me anyway, about what they really care about, and then I want to think about how we can live in a world which can accommodate their picture and mine. I think it’s obvious, for example, that if it’s important to someone that they display religious signs, that they wear a turban for a Sikh, or some kind of veil for a Muslim woman, or a crucifix for a Catholic. It seems it’s obvious that if that matters to them, then we better organize the public sphere so they can do that, and that’s what I think is wrong with the way the French think about these things. 

[00:07:27] Eboo: One of the things I want to continue to kind of push on and maybe see if there’s something concrete that might be enacted out of this is, cosmopolitanism as a paradigm that sits as an alternative to current DEI work. Again, my goal here is not to disparage current DEI work or anti-racism. I want to be descriptive and analytical, but I’m curious, you’ve taught at universities forever, Princeton and now NYU. 

It’s totally plausible that the president of a university would approach you and say, “Hey, listen, I think that we’ve staffed our diversity office with 30 or 40 people, and a lot of what they’re doing is work on behalf of some identity groups in opposition to other identity groups.” Their President might say, “I think that that’s fine, but I’ve been reading Cosmopolitanism recently, and I, actually, like your approach better. 

I like the idea that diversity work is not just, let’s say, Black Lives Matter activists shouting down police officers, it is Black Lives Matter’s activists of all identities, incidentally, particular ideology, but multicultural having conversations with police officers, and I don’t like the bias response teams that we have at my university that comes out of a particular paradigm, and part of what we’re getting is a lot of, frankly, frivolous complaints. 

A professor is telling a student that their paper isn’t very good, and that student is filing a biased response claim.” I’m curious this university president says to you if Cosmopolitanism is a paradigm? If we can create a diversity program which would include freshman orientation, and RA training, and panel discussions that would follow on from Cosmopolitanism instead of, let’s say, antiracism. Would you take that gig? 

[00:09:18] Kwame:  

[00:09:19] Eboo: Would you be that consultant? 

[00:09:21] Kwame: I’m happy to help think about that, and I do think that it’s important to focus not on, as it were, crisis management, but on building community, and building community means you’re talking to each other. Now, as it happens, at my university, the Christian priests, and ministers, and the rabbi, and the imam do do a lot of this, and they were encouraged to do so by our president. When they started, we’ve had two presidents since, but– 

[00:09:52] Eboo: Yes. By the way, Rabbi Sarna and Imam Latif, they’re close personal friends. Excellent people. 

[00:09:56] Kwame: Okay. Good. Well, I’m admire of both of them.  I was an admirer of the president who, I think put that all in place because again, he’s an interesting character because he’s a devout Catholic who built us a campus in a Muslim country. [chuckles] Even while he was president, flew there regularly in order to teach classes on that campus out of his deep conviction of the importance of exactly what you are talking about. 

It probably is relevant that he had a–she died young, unfortunately, but he had a Jewish wife and I have a Jewish husband. I think I very much value that work. The trouble is the conversations that don’t happen, I think are the ones between people for whom religion is important and people who say it isn’t important to them. That’s an important conversation too. It’s not just about dialogue among the faithful. Increasingly in our country, we have what Edward Putnam calls the nones, N-O-N-E-S, who says none of the above when you ask them what their religion is. 

Now, they’re not mostly atheists. They don’t believe in God, but they don’t believe in any church, mosque, temple, synagogue. They don’t believe in the organized church. I think persuading those people that they too should be talking to people who are faithful in various ways, is a thing that the University can do. Now, that paradigm of talk across difference tends to be handled in our society in a way that, generally speaking, pick sides. That is to say, “I’m gay and I don’t like homophobia, but some people have principled objections to gay sex and gay marriage, and I should be willing to listen to them, and they should be willing to listen to me.” 

[00:11:55] Eboo: Anthony, can I just say, that is a remarkable statement in this era. That’s the kind of thing that Obama does when he goes to Notre Dame in 2009, 2010. He basically says, “Look, I’m pro-choice in your pro-life, we’re going to find lots of ways to get along, but there’s going to be some things that are just going to be deeply different in the most respectful way.” 

Again, that is, in my mind, the essence of the cosmopolitan ethos. Which is, here’s my identity and there is yours. I’m going to learn about yours even when it, not just opposes mine, but is insulting to mine. I just want to say that that is a remarkable statement in an era in which the trigger finger is how are you oppressing me? I’m just curious what you think of the turn to how quickly people are saying, “I don’t want to understand you, I want to call you an oppressor”? 

[00:12:45] Kwame: Yes. Well, I don’t know. Of course, it’s easier than the hard work of dialogue [chuckles] That’s one reason people do it. Also, I’m afraid one reason people do it is because we’ve set up a paradigm and there are people as it is worth teaching people to do this. Institutions whose point is to get you to be cross about other people oppressing you. Now, like you, I want to insist that course, none of this is any defensive oppression, it’s just a recognition. Well, two things. I think. 

One is, as my grandmother would’ve said, “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” No words do hurt people, but still, we ought to be in a diverse society, we ought to be thickening our hides. We ought to be not leaping to accusations of hostility and microaggressions, and so on, as it were the first move. I think the first move is to figure out whether, in fact, that’s what’s happened. Whether, in fact, what the other person said can’t be interpreted in a charitable way, [chuckles] as opposed to leaping to the uncharitable interpretation. 

[00:13:59] Eboo: To take a prime example of this, and we did a big episode on this a few months back. It was about the depiction of the prophet Muhammad shown in a class at Hamline University. It was a conversation about what happens when an art history professor teaches art. By the way, the art of a civilization in which people within that civilization in this case, Islamic civilization, have a disagreement about which kind of art should be shown. For centuries, Muslims like me, have not only depicted the prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon Him, in an artistic manner, but for the reasons of piety. 

In the case that takes place at Hamline, a student says, “I’ve never seen this before in my life, and it offends me.” Incidentally, you go to college to see things you’ve never seen before in your life. That’s part of what an education is. It gets escalated to not only the president’s office, it gets escalated to a public forum in which a Muslim activist says that depicting the prophet Muhammad is akin to pedophilia and Nazi-ism, and the adjunct gets dismissed. That seems to me like literally the opposite of cosmopolitanism. 

[00:15:10] Kwame: Yes. Well, look, notice that the key to that story is a whole parcel of ignorance. If you go as I have to the museum in Doha, the Museum of the Islamic World, you’ll see representations of the prophet done by Muslims in a whole bunch of traditions. Now, of course, it is true that there is an anti-iconoclastic tradition in Islam as there is in Christianity. We must remember that huge numbers of images of Joseph and Mary, for example, were destroyed by Protestants in English Revolutions. 

This is a thing that goes on all the time. People fight about how to represent these things. That young man or woman who said those things was among other things expressing massive intolerance towards other Muslims never mind anybody else, because within the very broad range of just Sunni tradition, there are lots of representations and of course, Islam is novel Sunnis. 

The point is, this is ignorance. Somebody once complained to me that I was using the N word when I used the word negro in a discussion of Du Bois when I was discussing his book, The Negro. [chuckles] This person just didn’t know anything about the history of that word and interpreted it in the context of their particular background, where this word is stigmatized by Black people, and wasn’t willing, as it were, to respond to the thought that, “They should think about all that history before complaining,” or, “They should learn some of history before complaining.” 

What this hypersensitivity encourages is acting, as I say, in this super sensitive way and without openness to making sense of what the other person was up to and without any serious historical grasp of, in that case, traditions of iconography in Islam, but in many other contexts other things. We’re encouraging people to focus on how they feel rather than on learning and thinking which seems to me what colleges are for. 

I talk about identity, of course, in my classes, and at the beginning of every class, I say, “Look, we may upset each other, but let’s assume that we’re all acting in good faith. If you are upset, let’s think about it, and let’s use it as an occasion for learning. Let’s not use it, as it were, going to start a fight.” 


[00:17:49] Eboo: After the break, Anthony and I get into the opposite of what cosmopolitanism might be and the relevance and implications for the anti-racism paradigm. 


[00:18:03] Eboo: If the root problem was only ignorance, then there’s a ready solution, which is education, Which is, actually, let me teach you about the many groups within Islam and the many artists within the civilization who’ve depicted this. The root problem is not just ignorance because the professor got fired. The professor was, actually, involved in an act of education, and enlightenment, and enrichment, and illumination. 

Doing what a professor does, teaching something that students don’t know. That the students based on their legitimate religious interpretation, even as it is smiley Muslim who believes that depictions of the prophet are both beautiful and reverential, I like you, have great respect for people who come from a different mother, but different theological or legal tradition. 

[00:18:54] Kwame: Yes. 

[00:18:54] Eboo: Now, that shouldn’t prevent me from depicting the prophet, but I should take your view seriously. The problem here is not just, you don’t know about depictions of the prophet, it’s that you have the power to cancel, to call out, to fire, to exclude, to shame. That in Walzer’s terms is a regime. We’ve moved from anti-racism as a critique, which, by the way, I support as a critique. I think it’s a very useful critique. 

The anti-racism as a paradigm, it explains all sorts of things the anti-racism as a regime. If you don’t abide by the language and modes that I think are best, I can punish you. That again, seems to me like, literally, the opposite of cosmopolitanism. This might be a bit of a dangerous reference, but reading some of John Lewis’s work recently, he writes about Stokely Carmichael’s taking over SNCC in the mid-’60s. He was like, “It was a regime change.” It went from a nonviolent. We are all included in the  American experiment to a totally different mode to Black power. There are things to recommend Black power incidentally, both as a critique and as a symbolic form. I almost wonder if that’s part of what’s happened in the shift from the Obama era to what might be called a resistance? From a cosmopolitanism ethic to an anti-racism ethic? It’s a shift from John Lewis to Stokely Carmichael and SNCC. I’m curious what you think of that. 

[00:20:27] Kwame: I can see the analogy. There’s a vast range of things going on under the rubric of anti-racism, many of which are just fine I think. I couldn’t be fired for doing what that person did because I have tenure and I assume this person didn’t have tenure. Otherwise, it’s not just a scandal, but a contract violation if the person was fired. These things do happen, they don’t lead to firings all that often. 

[00:20:56] Eboo: They do lead to public shamings with some regularity. 

[00:21:00] Kwame: When these difficult things happen. I think that everybody, including the people who are being unjustly criticized needs to take a step back and try and figure out in a serious way what’s going on and try to understand it. The trouble in the episode you talked about is that pretty quickly nobody’s trying to understand anybody. They just line up sides so at that point, conversation is impossible. 

At that point, the job of the university is to say to everybody, “This is a space where people can say things that they believe to be true. If you don’t like it, you can say what you believe to be true, but we don’t kick people out for saying relevant things that they believe to be true.” The universities are not doing their job in this respect. Our job is to create a space in a society in which many people live much of their lives, despite the diversity of our society, in relatively homogeneous circumstances. Most Christians have not been to a synagogue or a mosque. Most Muslims don’t make regular visits to church, most Jews don’t either. Most atheists only go to weddings at religious institutions- 

[00:22:19] Eboo: [laughs] Right. 

[00:22:20] Kwame: -and, occasionally, perhaps the odd first communion or Bar or Bat Mitzvah. As you know society is relatively racially homogeneous at the micro level. For many young people, college is the first time they’re, actually, in the seriously multiracial community. Many of them are delighted by that they, they’ve been waiting for it. They want it, they want to be able to talk to people of many kinds, that’s part of the pleasure of university for them. We need to create space in which we use that diversity more actively, where we encourage more conversation between people who have not just different thoughts about the world, but different ways of being in the world, different practices. 

I’ve been attending a Seder often in my own home for the last more than 30 years in the first place in my parents in-law’s home. I’ve learned a lot thinking about freedom from Seders and also a lot about family. A lot of the value of learning to live with difference comes from being with difference, not from arguing about things or discussing propositions or even learning things. It’s just being together, learning to be together with people who are different from you. 

My own view is that my ease with this, just is the result of an enormous piece of good fortune, which is that I grew up in a multi-religious, multicultural city, and I had Muslim cousins and cousins in a bunch variety of different Christian denominations. My mother had Jewish cousins in England. I grew up in a family in which people knew that people you loved could [chuckles] be of different faith. 

[00:24:04] Eboo: Right, and the deep disagreements that go along with it. 

[00:24:07] Kwame: Absolutely, my– 

[00:24:08] Eboo: I loved all your stories about that, that it’s the Muslims who are called to reverse the spells in Ghana, right? 

[00:24:14] Kwame: Yes. My uncle, Aviv, who was very, very devout. He’s the Muslim who grew up in Lebanon, but married in Ghana and lived there. His religion meant an enormous amount to him, but he was a tolerant, loving, wonderful uncle and we loved going to them. We used to go to them in Ramadan because the food is better. [chuckles] That’s a privilege. I want to insist, that was a privilege and not everybody has that privilege. Some people grow up in very homogeneous places, and so it’s harder perhaps, so that’s not less natural. 

The way to do it is probably the way I did it which is I didn’t discuss religion with Uncle Aviv. I just sat around with him as a child and he put food on my plate and made me eat. [chuckles] We were at peace with one another and then we knew, at that point I was brave about Christian. We knew that we disagreed about that, but so what, as it were? God was going to figure all that out in the end. [chuckles] 

[00:25:18] Eboo: Right. one of our key lines here is, the only way to have a diverse democracy is to be able to disagree on some fundamental things and to work together on other fundamental things. 

[00:25:26] Kwame: Yes. To want to know that, if something matters to you and you’re my fellow citizen and it’s relevant to some matter of public policy, why on earth wouldn’t I want to know? Why on earth wouldn’t I want to figure out whether there’s a way round? We shouldn’t force Sikhs to wear the motorbikes helmets, obviously. That seems so obvious to me that when people deny it, I don’t know how to proceed. 

We shouldn’t ran Sikhs who want to wear turbans to wear a motor bicycle helmet. There’s no other religious tradition in our country for which it matters that you should not wear these things on your head that I’m aware of, and so it’s only a small number of Sikh relatively speaking. It doesn’t damage our insurance regime or our safety regime more than a tiny amount, not to permit an exception of that sort. 

[00:26:19] Eboo: When you are encountering somebody who has a deeply felt identity, that is, in fact, hurtful to yours. Somebody, and this is something you write about frequently in the ethicist. Somebody with a particularly conservative religious identity could be Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish, or otherwise who loves you as a human being, does not want to recognize your marriage, or to accord a sense of what you would consider respect to being a gay man. What are things you think and do in your mind to be able to have a conversation with that person? Are there mental tricks you use? 

[00:26:57] Kwame: If they love me that means I know them, [chuckles] and that means that we have many things we have done together that have nothing to do with my sexuality, or my marriage, or anything like that. These are precisely the people that I might be able to have a conversation with in which I can say to them and I’ll do it for the Christian case which I know best. 

What do you think about those Christian thinkers who churches that now recognize gay marriages and have gay clergy? What’s the mistake you think they’re making? Because it seems to me that it’s possible to be a Christian to follow in the way of the Lord and have a different view from you. I’m not going to ask you to give up, as I have, the Bible as a source of authority. 

I’m going to ask you to think about people in your tradition who have read the same book, and grown up with many of the same practices, and sing many of the same hymns who have a different view. Because I was raised as a Christian, I can have that conversation with them because I know the relevant passages and I know the relevant theology and I can take them seriously if they’re willing to have me take them seriously. That’s the first thing I would say. 

[00:28:20] Eboo: I love that. I’m just going to repeat that. I can take them seriously if they’re willing to have me take them seriously. That’s a great line about somebody else’s identity. 

[00:28:30] Kwame: Yes. Look, conversation is an activity that involves consenting adults. Both parties have to be into it, if the person doesn’t want to talk to me about this, then, apparently, that I’m remember they love me. Apparently, I’m a friend of theirs already, I’m not going to stop being their friend because we can’t agree about– For one thing, the thing they don’t think is a thing that I don’t think matters, they don’t think it’s a sacrament. I don’t care whether it’s a sacrament, sacraments mean nothing to me. Why should I worry about what someone thinks about something that doesn’t matter to me. 

[00:29:06] Eboo: When somebody says to you, “They’re denying your humanity,” which is a frequently used phrase– [crosstalk] 

[00:29:11] Kwame: That’s preposterous, they’re not denying my humanity. They love me, we go to the movies together we discuss- 

[00:29:20] Eboo: Other things. 

[00:29:20] Kwame: -other things. I think that often you can have these conversations with people if you’ve already built up the relationship around other things. There’s no point in starting a conversation with someone your first meeting by saying, “Here are my non-negotiable demands.” You have to recognize that gay people are fine. You have to treat my marriage seriously. No sane person would do that. If you are going to get to know somebody, you’re going to get to know them about talking about something. You don’t start with the hard things, you get to know one another. That cohabitation that being together thing is really,  psychologically powerful. The genius, in a way, of the gay rights movement in the America in the ’60s was they argued for coming out. 

Why? Because it would turn out that if enough people came out, lots of people would realize that they already knew and liked some gay people. 

They just didn’t know they were gay and they were already committed to their relationships with them. They didn’t go up to strangers who identified as gay and start talking to them. 

When it turned out that your cousin, Joe, was gay and you always liked him and you would pick him on a basketball team, in a way, to me, one of the most surprising identity phenomena of my adult life is how three-quarters of Americans now believe that gay marriage is fine. 

That means not just that young people have grown up thinking this, but that some older people have changed their minds because there aren’t enough young people to make that 75%. They have. This is true, by the way. A majority of the evangelical young people, conservative evangelical young people, believe in gay marriage because they believe in marriage. [chuckles] The fact that their congregations may not be teaching this, but they don’t care about that. Why is that? I think it’s because they’ve grown up knowing some gay people and it’s old news. 

[00:31:25] Eboo: Right. It became old news, as you said, very fast. 

[00:31:28] Kwame: Surprisingly fast. Notice that this is a political judgment. It’s not a judgment about the value of gay relationships or the sinfulness or non-sinfulness of gay sex. It’s a political view. It’s a view that the state should acknowledge these relationships, whatever I think of them. That’s the paradigm of a cosmopolitan attitude. 

[00:31:57] Eboo: I love this conversation. Anthony shared some really great tools for having conversations with people who you might disagree with. Think about starting the conversation from a place of familiarity and curiosity. Ask questions and remember that no one can take your humanity away from you. Let us know how it goes in the comments or wherever you live on social media. 

You can find us on Twitter @InterfaithUSA and Instagram @InterfaithAmerica. Read Appiah’s books, The Lies that Bind, and Cosmopolitanism available everywhere. To read more about this conversation and to find resources and stories about bridge building and our religiously diverse democracy, visit our website, I’m Eboo Patel. 


Intro/outro music provided by Mysterylab Music and composed by Mott Jordan.

Credit music provided by Die Hard Productions.

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