Sep. 11th, 2013 09:35 pm
draggonlaady: (Teddy)
[personal profile] draggonlaady
Ganked from popehat.com (ie, nothing below this line was authored by me!)

Everyone who's been through high school literature likes to talk about Emmanuel Goldstein when it's a member of their own cultural tribe that's being persecuted, but it's a lot harder to note that the person being vilified by the combined mechanism of the state, the media, and popular opinion might be innocent when it's a member of the other tribe.

When the telescreen tells us that a gang of black youths went "wilding", people on the left see innocent kids caught up in a witch hunt, but people on the right believe Big Brother.

When the telescreen tells us that a white Hispanic with a gun assaulted and battered his wife and father-in-law, people on the right see an innocent man caught up in a witch hunt, but people on the left believe Big Brother.

It's hard, I know. I'm firmly in one cultural camp, and I've got a knee-jerk reaction to these things. We all do.

My suggestion: we, as a society, would be better off if we all toned down our immediate rush to judgement, and maybe even routinely tried to construct alternate hypothesises to explain what the telescreen tells us.

If you are in the cultural right, the next time Drudge tells you about a flash mob of 100 black youths raiding a convenience store, consider that it might be perfectly true. …or it could be an exaggeration, and it was two kids, both white, who did it.

If you are in the cultural left, the next time Kos tells you about a white guy who called a black kid a racist name before punching him it might be perfectly true. …or it could be an exaggeration, and it was a fight over a parking space where both parties are to blame.

And so on.

You'll fail. I know this because I fail. But worse than repeated failure is believing the narrative from your own cultural camp with out question.

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