Recurring ‘Shark Tank’ Entrepreneur Daniel Lubetzky Launches a Movement to Fight the Culture Wars: ‘Start With Us’

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EXCLUSIVE: Entrepreneur Daniel Lubetzky is launching a movement with figures from business, Hollywood, politics and more to fight America’s culture wars, telling Fox News that fostering independent thinking and communication is key to confronting “mistrust , blind tribalism and dehumanization” in American culture today.

Lubetzky, the founder of KIND Snacks and a recurring “shark” on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, said he was creating “Starts With Us” to try to help bring Americans a “very concrete set of toolboxes” in order to take charge of “this culture of contempt”.

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The businessman has been involved in peacebuilding work for decades, particularly in the Middle East, but now he brings that experience to the United States.

Daniel Lubetzky is starting a movement with figures from business, Hollywood, politics and more to fight the culture wars in America.”/>

The contractor Daniel Lubetzky is starting a movement with figures from business, Hollywood, politics and more to fight the culture wars in America.
(Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

“Our country suffers from this culture of contempt that metastasizes into very nasty things that you see in both extremes,” Lubetzky said. “‘Starts With Us’ will try to help us all recognize that every citizen has the power, and with that power, the responsibility, to help America realize its full potential.”

Lubetzky, the son of a Holocaust survivor, immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 15.

“There’s all this smugness, this rigidity, and what we’re trying to do is go back to the America that I immigrated to,” Lubetzky told Fox News. “The America where you can have very strong beliefs, but you have the kindness, the courage and the strength – not the weakness – the strength to be able to respect the other side, and to respect that maybe other ideas have a role.”

He added: “To me, it’s really ironic that when I came to America, I never thought I would need to fight for the core principles here in my own country.”

Lubetzky said the current “culture wars” inspired him to create “Starts With Us.”

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“This tribalism and these echo chambers of social media, the echo chambers of cable news, the way politics is getting – we all like to think we have all the answers and the other side must be infidels “, did he declare. “It’s very unhealthy and it’s very, very dangerous.”

In 2002, Lubetzky founded the “OneVoice Movement”, a nonprofit initiative that sought to amplify the voices of moderates in the Middle East in an effort to find a way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lubetzky told Fox News that more than half a million people, including Israelis and Palestinians, have embraced the peace movement’s vision of promoting “nonviolent conflict resolution.”

Lubetzky told Fox News that the signatories “still disagree on some issues,” but said they were “united” by a common belief that “an extreme approach will never lead to progress.”

Lubetzky said "start with us" will help give Americans the toolbox to approach differences with compassion, curiosity and courage.

Lubetzky said “Starts with Us” will help give Americans the toolkit to approach differences with compassion, curiosity and courage.
(“Start with us”)

“OneVoice was created by this confused Mexican-American Jew from New York,” Lubetzky said of himself. “But it taught me, it taught me fascinating things.

“Now, 20 years later, I see that a lot of those things we learned about how to navigate differences, how to collaborate with courage, how to strengthen moderate thinking and voices so that we can fight to learn how to not give up on your values, but learn to fight for your values ​​with nobility, with kindness and respect – I find that we need that more than ever here in the United States, ”he explained.

Lubetzky warned that “we all suffer because social media algorithms serve us what we want to hear, rather than what we need to hear, i.e. viewpoints that inform rather than confirm our beliefs”.

“So we’re all desensitized and trained to think like robots rather than being critical thinkers,” he said. “We have the best, most entrepreneurial nation. We allow the market of ideas to win, and that’s why we have historically had the best form of government – because we allow people to debate things and ensure that ‘they are not ostracized because they agree or disagree with our opinion.

“We allow the possibility that you disagree and you’re still a great person, right? Not like you disagree, you’re bad,” he said. he declares. “And so, it’s really essential that we bring those values ​​back.”

Mark Cuban is a founding partner of "Start with us."

Mark Cuban is a founding partner of “Starts with Us”.
(Getty Images/GP Images)

Lubetzky rallied the support of dozens of his peers, as well as experts in bridge building and conflict resolution, some becoming founding partners of the organization, including businessman and shark “Shark Tank” Mark Cuban, “Shark Tank” shark Lori Greiner, “Seinfeld”, actor Jason Alexander, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics founder Bobbi Brown, rapper will.i.am, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, chef Jose Andres, polarization researcher Peter Coleman and many more.

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“We have 160 or more leaders, from business leaders to musicians, to celebrities, to academic thinkers, to sports personalities, and what they all have in common is because they span a spectrum voice, a lot of people seem to assume they’re this or that, but they’re breaking all the stereotypes,” he explained.

“We span a political spectrum, and it brings together conservative, progressive, Republican, Democrat, and independent people,” he continued. “And what they all bring are the values ​​that we want to promote — that kind of critical thinking and curiosity. They welcome debate and cherish it.”

Actor Jason Alexander told Fox News that "the world suffers from a problem of fear," who said that "always turns into anger, as we have seen constantly."

Actor Jason Alexander told Fox News that “the world has a fear problem,” which he says “always turns into anger, as we’ve seen all the time.”
(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Actor Jason Alexander told Fox News that “the world has a fear problem,” which he says “always turns into anger, as we’ve seen all the time.”

“If we can all stop shouting, start listening, and try to find common ground, I think we can change the world,” Alexander told Fox News. “That’s why I joined Daniel and other founding partners of the The movement starts with us.

Alexander added: “It really starts with us, and I want to be part of that change.”

Of the founding partners, Lubetzky told Fox News that they “have been able to have compassion for everyone, even people who disagree with them, and have the courage to work across differences. “.

Rapper will.i.am is a founding partner of the organization.

Rapper will.i.am is a founding partner of the organization.
(Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough Award)

Lubetzky told Fox News that “Starts with Us” will “enable” individuals to practice the “3Cs.”

“The three Cs are compassion, curiosity and courage, and they’re actually very intertwined,” Lubetzky explained, urging individuals to have “curiosity even about ideas you don’t agree with. , compassion even for people different from you, and courage even in the face of discomfort.”

"shark tank" shark Lori Greiner is also a founding member of "Start with us."(Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage)

“Shark Tank” Lori Greiner is also a founding member of “Starts with Us.” (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage)

The grassroots movement is poised to use media and technology to “reach out and galvanize people” through storytelling – especially real-life stories of individuals practicing the “3Cs in radical ways.”

Lubetzky said “Starts with Us” will also share “evidence-based exercises” on social media to help people “discover their own power” and “show themselves differently to difficult conversations and interactions.”

The organization is also developing an app that will allow one-to-one live conversations.

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“Starts With Us” also partners with workplaces, universities, high schools, faith groups and more to integrate its programming.

“If so many of us are fed up with the extremism gripping our country, if we speak out, politicians will come to us, politicians will follow us,” he explained. “We have to be the leaders – we, the people, have to be the leaders and demand from politicians the values ​​we want to live by.”

He added: “It’s the only way.”

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