Why Conspiracy Theories DEMAND Understanding!

๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐š๐ง๐๐ฒ ๐‡๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐„๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐. โณ

I remember watching the news coverage, the feelings of horror, the shock among the country that such an event happened. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I even remember the news wrongfully attributing the killerโ€™s potential motive to his diagnosis of autism. โŒ

It wasnโ€™t easy for many people to comprehend. Who would want to let the feeling sink in that someone was actually capable of committing such horror on innocent lives? ๐Ÿ˜ซ

“๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’Š๐’• ๐’”๐’–๐’„๐’‰ ๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’„๐’•?! ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’‚๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’†๐’?!”

It was around the same time this event happened that I was browsing YouTube one day and noticed a popular video trending on their home page. The video was over a half hour in length, a video I would not normally take the time to watch. ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ

But the title of the video caught my attention: โ€œSANDY HOOK EXPOSEDโ€. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I clicked on itโ€ฆand for the next half hour I was entranced watching the entire video! ๐Ÿ˜ต

๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐’๐š๐ง๐๐ฒ ๐‡๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐. ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

I remember watching the lengthy YouTube video and being shown a bunch of chopped-up news clips. I remember the video’s sound being muted, the subtitles of the video feeding me various questions and answers ๐Ÿ’ญ:

โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’–๐’?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’”๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†!โ€ โ€œ๐‘บ๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’˜๐’“๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!โ€

I remember watching a clip which showed a father whose daughter was killed in Sandy Hook seemingly go from smiling to crying in seconds. Again, the subtitles were ready to tell me what to think: โ€œ๐‘จ ๐’๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’๐’ ๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’…๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”!โ€ โ€œ๐‘ฐ๐’” ๐’‰๐’† ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ?!โ€ ๐Ÿ’ญ

I remember another clip which showed the mother of the daughter, but she was smiling and saying words you couldnโ€™t hear because the audio was muted. Again, the subtitles were ready to tell me what to think: โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’˜ ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’”๐’ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’š ๐’‚๐’• ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”?!โ€ โ€œ๐‘บ๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’˜๐’“๐’๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!โ€ ๐Ÿ’ญ

I also remember the shocking realization I felt watching the video. There was this excitement, this sense of thrill within me that I was learning something the general public was not aware of. Only me and other viewers of this YouTube video were now privy to this private information! ๐Ÿ“š

The video brought me to the conclusion it wanted me to come to: that Sandy Hook never happened, that it was a hoax. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

…Looking back on this memory in hindsight, Iโ€™m glad I watched the video.

โš ๏ธ ๐๐Ž, ๐’๐€๐๐ƒ๐˜ ๐‡๐Ž๐Ž๐Š ๐–๐€๐’ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐€ ๐‡๐Ž๐€๐—! โš ๏ธ

But watching this video helped me learn a valuable lesson early on in my life about how alluring conspiracy theories can be, how attractive they are on the surface, yet how hollow the cynicism lays underneath them. ๐Ÿ˜ 

Thankfully, at the time I watched this video I had enough skepticism to get additional perspectives on the videoโ€™s claims.

I quickly learned there was a TON of misinformation in the video. (For information on the video, you can refer to the Snopes article here: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sandy-hook-exposed/ )

๐Ÿ“Œ The father who went from crying to smiling? There could be any number of reasons why that happened. ๐‘จ ๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’๐’† ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’† ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‡๐’‚๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’๐’๐’• โ€œ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’๐’‡โ€ ๐’‰๐’†โ€™๐’” ๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’๐’“ ๐’๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†โ€™๐’” ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’…๐’Š๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’.

๐Ÿ“Œ That mother who was smiling in the muted video clip? If you got to hear the video clip unmuted, youโ€™d quickly understand she was smiling because she was sharing positive memories about her daughter. ๐‘ฐ๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’๐’“ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’‰๐’๐’‚๐’™ ๐’—๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’ ๐’๐’†๐’‡๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’–๐’…๐’Š๐’ ๐’Š๐’, ๐’š๐’๐’–โ€™๐’… ๐’†๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’”๐’†๐’† ๐’‰๐’๐’˜ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’”๐’๐’†๐’….

๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ โ€œ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ญ๐กโ€ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ-๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐๐ž๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐จ๐ซ๐๐ข๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐š๐๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐จ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฎ๐ฉ. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

๐–๐‡๐€๐“ ๐ˆ๐’ ๐€ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐’๐๐ˆ๐‘๐€๐‚๐˜ ๐“๐‡๐„๐Ž๐‘๐˜?!

We can use Merriam-Websterโ€™s definition: โ€œA theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–

We can also use Britannicaโ€™s definition: โ€œAn attempt to explain harmful or tragic events as the result of the actions of a small, powerful group.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–

Letโ€™s also add in Dictionary.comโ€™s definition: โ€œA theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot.โ€ ๐Ÿ“–

The reason I wanted to give you all these definitions is thereโ€™s also a conspiracy theory online that the CIA created the term โ€œconspiracy theoryโ€ to silence people during the JFK assassination. This is False. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

(Source: https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/03/16/did-the-cia-invent-the-term-conspiracy-theory/ )

Even more, thereโ€™s a conspiracy theory that the source Iโ€™ve been citing above, Snopes, has a โ€œleftist propaganda political agendaโ€. This is again False. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

(Sources: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/jun/19/viral-image/no-factcheckorg-didnt-bust-snopescom/

Snopes

https://www.allsides.com/news-source/snopes )

If youโ€™re starting to notice a pattern, the problem is that ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  can be made into a conspiracy theory. The fact I’m even discussing it right now makes me susceptible to someone accusing me of being a โ€œshillโ€ or a โ€œsheepโ€. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

If you share contrasting information with a conspiracy theorist, they can easily dismiss it as just being part of the conspiracy. They can claim every fact-checking source I cited above as โ€œfake newsโ€ simply because it doesnโ€™t fit with their worldview. โŒ

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐”โ€™๐‘๐„ ๐’๐Ž ๐‚๐Ž๐๐ƒ๐„๐’๐‚๐„๐๐ƒ๐ˆ๐๐†, ๐ƒ๐Ž๐๐€๐‹๐ƒ! ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‚๐“ ๐‹๐ˆ๐Š๐„ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐’๐๐ˆ๐‘๐€๐‚๐ˆ๐„๐’ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐„๐—๐ˆ๐’๐“!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ

Let me clarify: ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ% ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about Project SUNSHINE in 1956, where the United States Atomic Energy Commission wanted to measure the long-term effects of nuclear radiation on the body. The way they did this included collecting tissue from deceased childrenโ€™s bodies without permission from grieving families.

๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about Prohibition in the 1920s, where the federal government pressured manufacturers to add poisonous substances to their alcohol to make it undrinkable. Unfortunately this did not stop people, and it is estimated thousands died from drinking this tainted alcohol.

๐Ÿ“ I could tell you about MKULTRA, a CIA-sponsored program which started in the 50s and ended in the 70s, where experiments were done on human test subjects including the use of LSD, hypnosis, and electric shocks to develop methods the government could use for future interrogations.

All of these happened! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Itโ€™s not that I donโ€™t believe conspiracies have never happened or that I believe world governments have never done anything shady before. They have! And thereโ€™s a lot of classified information we as the general public will never be aware of. ๐Ÿ‘

Citing the incidents above, itโ€™s very reasonable for a person to start feeling cynical towards the government or people in authority. They’re the ones we’re supposed to place our trust in, yet knowing these past wrongs makes it a lot harder to, right? ๐Ÿ‘

The difference with my perspective is ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž-๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐จ๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

Itโ€™s important to remember when we demonize โ€œthe governmentโ€ weโ€™re also referring to thousands of people, from the postal service to the armed forces to Congress, each with their own separate positions and functions, each with their own families and set of values, each of them living their own individual lives. ๐Ÿ‘ช

Itโ€™s this very problem of overgeneralizing I even have to remember myself! I’m guilty of it too! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

I’m aware I have a habit of criticizing what I often call โ€œthe mediaโ€. I need to continue to remind myself it’s not a singular entity, that it consists of thousands of news outlets and thousands of individual people with different intentions and agendas. ๐Ÿ“ฐ

It would be foolish of me to assume the negative actions of 1 or 2 journalists was a reflection of the entire field of journalism, right?! ๐Ÿ˜…

My point is: donโ€™t let your obsession over a few bad apples spoil the entire bunch. Or as I always say: ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐›๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฐ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

The other day I watched the Netflix documentary โ€œBehind the Curveโ€ about Flat Earthers, people who believe the world is flat and that this truth is being covered up by NASA. ๐Ÿš€

I think for many of my friends youโ€™ll be quick to laugh even hearing that such a community exists. But I actually did take a valuable lesson watching the film, and Iโ€™ll tell you whatโ€ฆโฌ‡๏ธ

Sure, the Flat Earther arguments lack critical thinking. Sure, itโ€™s very easy to disprove their claims with less than five minutes of research online. Funny enough, the Flat Earthers even disprove themselves after they conduct a science experiment in the documentary! ๐Ÿ˜…

But putting all that aside, there is one valuable lesson I took away from the film: ridicule of Flat Earthers is NOT a helpful solution! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

In fact, telling someone theyโ€™re wrong can cause them to dig their feet deeper into their beliefs. Showing them contradictory evidence can strengthen their affinity for their beliefs. It is what’s known as the Backfire Effect. โ†”๏ธ

My point is: we need to apply this same understanding with the people around us. ๐ŸŒŽ

๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐š๐›๐›๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ.

It’s not to say their ideas don’t lack critical thinking or that these ideas don’t cause harm to others. They do. It’s to say, as the saying goes: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” You won’t change anyone’s mind by ridiculing them. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Mick West says the same thing in his book โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Holeโ€. The former co-founder of Neversoft Entertainment, Mick first became introduced to conspiracy theories when he was studying aviation weather for his pilotโ€™s license. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โœˆโ€

He was introduced to the Chemtrails conspiracy theory, the belief that condensation trails left by aircrafts are toxic chemicals being sprayed by the government to poison people. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

What initially started as a website he created to debunk the theory led him to debunking many more theories. As of today, Mick is the founder of Metabunk and has spent over 10 years debunking conspiracy theories. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

But thereโ€™s a difference between Mick and many others who just want to prove conspiracy theorists wrong online. ๐Ÿ›‘

From his many interviews with current and “former” conspiracy theorists, he advocates for understanding and respectful communication. โค๏ธ

In his book โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Holeโ€, he argues weโ€™re ALL susceptible to conspiracy theories. Like while I myself personally don’t believe in most conspiracies, even I still at times am prone to feeling cynical towards pharmaceutical companies, to give one example. ๐Ÿ’Š

๐‘พ๐’† ๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’“๐’‚๐’„๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’‡๐’” ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’๐’”๐’‘๐’Š๐’“๐’‚๐’„๐’š ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’‰๐’†๐’๐’‘ ๐’–๐’” ๐’”๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’‡๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’†๐’™ ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’…. ๐Ÿ˜จ

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’—๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’–๐’” ๐’‡๐’†๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‘๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’Š๐’•๐’–๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‡๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’‘๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“. ๐Ÿ˜จ

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’—๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’–๐’” ๐‘ช๐’†๐’“๐’•๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘บ๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’‡๐’Š๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’†’๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’‚๐’“๐’† “๐’‚๐’”๐’๐’†๐’†๐’‘” ๐’•๐’. ๐Ÿ˜จ

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’–๐’” ๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’–๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’… ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’‚๐’“๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’„๐’‚๐’“๐’š ๐’‘๐’๐’‚๐’„๐’†, ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’†’๐’“๐’† ๐’‚ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’๐’‡ ๐’Š๐’๐’…๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’…๐’–๐’‚๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’‰๐’ ๐’Œ๐’๐’๐’˜ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’•๐’“๐’–๐’†, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’“๐’๐’†๐’…. ๐Ÿ˜จ

๐‘ฐ๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’…๐’—๐’Š๐’†๐’˜, ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‚ ๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’“ ๐’Š๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’„๐’๐’๐’”๐’†๐’•. ๐Ÿ˜จ

The unfortunate part is just that some individuals fell deeper down the rabbit hole than most of us ever did. ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ

So, Mick’s personal mission with his work is not about shaming conspiracy theorists but rather on helping them climb out of the rabbit hole their cynical minds have become stuck in. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚โ€

His biggest piece of advice: be respectful and understanding. Remember: it couldโ€™ve just as easily been you under the same circumstances. ๐Ÿ‘ค

๐Ž๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ. โค๏ธ

Apart from our susceptibility to conspiracy theories, we all as human beings suffer from whatโ€™s known as cognitive biases. They are patterns of thinking which psychologically distort how we view the world. ๐Ÿ‘€

Some of the most common biases include:

๐Ÿง  Negativity Bias. Weโ€™re more likely to give attention to negativity than we do to positivity.

๐Ÿง  Confirmation Bias. Weโ€™re more likely to believe information which reinforces our worldview and more easily dismiss information which goes against it.

๐Ÿง  Black-and-White (Dichotomous) Thinking. Weโ€™re more likely to see the world in polar opposite extremes. Good versus Evil. Us versus Them.

๐Ÿง  Illusory pattern perception. Weโ€™re more likely to see patterns among things which have no relation to each other. Itโ€™s why in science thereโ€™s the principle: โ€œCorrelation does not mean causationโ€.

But one of the biggest culprits, especially being illuminated now in our culture, is:

๐Ÿง  The Dunning-Kruger Effect. Weโ€™re more likely to overestimate our ability at something weโ€™re actually really bad at. The unintelligent individual is more likely to overestimate his intelligence, while the intelligent individual is more likely to underestimate his intelligence.

Or as philosopher Bertrand Russell put it back in 1933 as a response to the rise of Nazi Germany: โ€œ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’ƒ๐’๐’†๐’Ž ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’ ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’… ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’•๐’–๐’‘๐’Š๐’… ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’„๐’Œ๐’”๐’–๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’†๐’๐’๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‡๐’–๐’๐’ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’…๐’๐’–๐’ƒ๐’•.โ€๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚โ€

Again, we ALL suffer from these biases, some of us worse than others. They are not limited to conspiracy theorists, although they may be more greatly illuminated through their example. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

But the reason Iโ€™m sharing this all with you today is because during times of stress and anxiety, especially during these times of COVID-19, conspiracy theories are far more prevalent and far more likely to be embraced as truth. ๐Ÿ‘

Conspiracy theories increased after 9/11. They increased after Sandy Hook. They increased after the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. And they are now increasing during COVID-19. Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ve already seen the 5G conspiracy being shared. ๐Ÿ“ก

More than ever, itโ€™s going to be easy to fall into these cognitive traps so I want to remind us all to be extra mindful of this. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚โ€

This is NOT a “conspiracy” problem; it’s a human problem, deeply rooted in cynicism, distrust, and paranoia. ๐Ÿ˜จ

As Dale Carnegie reminds us: “๐‘พ๐’‰๐’†๐’ ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’†, ๐’๐’†๐’• ๐’–๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’Ž๐’†๐’Ž๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’„. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’…๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’, ๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’‹๐’–๐’…๐’Š๐’„๐’†๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’—๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’‘๐’“๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š.”

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐”โ€™๐‘๐„ ๐๐ˆ๐€๐’๐„๐ƒ ๐€๐†๐€๐ˆ๐๐’๐“ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐“๐‘๐”๐“๐‡, ๐ƒ๐Ž๐๐€๐‹๐ƒ! ๐–๐€๐Š๐„ ๐”๐!โ€๐Ÿคฌ

The questions I challenge everyone to ask themselves:

๐Ÿค” Do you possess your beliefs? Or do your beliefs possess you?

๐Ÿค” Are you able to step outside your own ideology and understand your criticโ€™s points of view?

๐Ÿค” Are you able to steelman your opponentโ€™s arguments and understand their position thoroughly before dismissing them completely?

In addition, I challenge you:

๐Ÿ’ช To get sources from multiple points of view, including information that may go against your beliefs. Not all information is created equal.

๐Ÿ’ช Stay aware of your cognitive biases and genuinely seek to understand other people’s points of view. See if you can steelman their argument.

๐Ÿ’ช Give others who disagree with you the benefit of the doubt. Donโ€™t automatically assume malicious intent. Perhaps you may learn something from them you didnโ€™t know before.

This is not just a reminder for you all, but also for me! I need to hear these reminders at times too! Again, Iโ€™m not immune to a lack of self-awareness. It’s an ongoing process! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER! โค๏ธ

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Below, I am providing resources which have greatly helped me develop my critical thinking skills! โฌ‡๏ธ

๐๐Ž๐Ž๐Š๐’

๐Ÿ“˜ โ€œEscaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respectโ€ by Mick West – https://amzn.to/3hKPnNS

๐Ÿ“™ “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts” by Carol Tavris & Elliott Aronson – https://amzn.to/2X7QFuj

๐Ÿ“• โ€œHow to Think โ€“ A Survival Guide for a World at Oddsโ€ by Alan Jacobs https://amzn.to/39DdBXr

๐Ÿ“— โ€œThinking, Fast and Slowโ€ by Daniel Kahneman – https://amzn.to/30UV4lG

๐Ÿ“™ โ€œYou Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways Youโ€™re Deluding Yourselfโ€ by David McRaney – https://amzn.to/3hLuQbV

๐Ÿ“˜ โ€œThe Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Darkโ€ by Carl Sagan – https://amzn.to/3jR8Oq8

๐Ÿ“• โ€œThe Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religionโ€ by Jonathan Haidt – https://amzn.to/2P2Ddna

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๐Ž๐๐‹๐ˆ๐๐„ ๐‘๐„๐’๐Ž๐”๐‘๐‚๐„๐’

๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Navigating Digital Information โ€“ A 10-episode series dedicated to teaching critical thinking skills for browsing the Internet. https://bit.ly/2EnmatQ

๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Philosophy โ€“ A 46-episode series dedicated to teaching philosophical ideas, which in turn practices your critical thinking skills. https://bit.ly/3faLlwH

๐Ÿ“ผ CrashCourse Media Literacy โ€“ A 12-episode series dedicated to teaching the history and psychology of media. https://bit.ly/3f3YuYg

๐Ÿ“„ A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Psychological Research on Conspiracy Beliefs: Field Characteristics, Measurement Instruments, and Associations with Personality Traits – https://bit.ly/30WLrCR

.

๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ๐„๐Ž๐’

๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack โ€“ What Makes REAL Science? – https://bit.ly/3hR3pxz

๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – How Conspiracies Changed & The Decline of Expertise (Flat Earth, Anti-Vaxxers) – https://bit.ly/335qcl1

๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – How Fake Science (Pseudoscience) Can Fool You! – https://bit.ly/330Puki

๐Ÿ“ผ Wisecrack – The Internet was a Mistake – https://bit.ly/39EfzqC

๐Ÿ“ผ SciShow โ€“ The Science of Anti-Vaccination – https://bit.ly/2X6IQ8i

๐Ÿ“ผ SciShow Psych – Why Do So Many People Believe in Conspiracy Theories? – https://bit.ly/3gmdPEM

๐Ÿ“ผ Late Night with John Oliver – Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories – https://bit.ly/3fbTjWj

BOOK REVIEW: White Fragility

This book is being recommended like mad at the moment! ๐Ÿคฏ
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It has been #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List for 12 weeks straight and #1 on Amazon Charts for 3 weeks straight. I decided to buy a copy on Kindle and was genuinely expecting to learn something new.
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First, let me share what I wholeheartedly agree with in the book. โค๏ธ
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๐Ÿ“Œ ๐„๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฒ, ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ญ.
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We’ve all had different lives, different life experiences, so everyone has the potential to teach us something. Some of us have had privileges and opportunities others have never had. Some of us have experienced forms of suffering others cannot even begin to fathom.
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So is important we continue to develop our emotional intelligence so we can stay aware how our actions and ignorance can unintentionally influence and affect how we treat other people.
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๐Ÿ“Œ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐ฌ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ.
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We all carry unconscious prejudices and biases, even when we think we don’t. When we’re not aware of these things, we will project them out onto the world without even being consciously aware we’re doing so.
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A fantastic book that discusses these concepts more in-depth using psychology experiments is “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)” by Carol Tavris.
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๐๐จ๐ฐ, ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐š๐ข๐…
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This book notes from the beginning it is going to be “unapologetically rooted in identity politics”.
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(In the same tradition, I should note to you I am reviewing this book as a Liberal, Hispanic, Gay Male with 3 clinically diagnosed mental disorders including Autism.)
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๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ต, ๐˜ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ.
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It begins with a Red Pill trope in which the author shares a growing realization she’s had about white people over the course of her career when it comes to talking about racial issues. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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For every white person she’s spoken with, she’s noticed some white people get particularly defensive with her. ๐Ÿ˜ 
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She wanted to understand why, and with this book she without a doubt believes she’s found the answer: ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด “๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ”.
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DiAngelo presents the following arguments:
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๐Ÿ“– White people are defensive about being called “racist” because they cannot accept their “whiteness”, their repressed feelings of “white superiority and entitlement”.
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๐Ÿ“– “Racism” is not the Dictionary’s definition. In her definition, it is not limited to discriminatory acts towards people based on the color of their skin.
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In her definition, racism is like a disease, ingrained and embedded in everything: our society, our cultures, our institutions, and our souls. (Look up “concept creep” to understand more about expanded word definitions)
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๐Ÿ“– We are all racist as the result of living under a white supremacist society. White people need to especially be taught about this because they were born into privilege. They need to realize how blind they are to their whiteness and their racism, even when they don’t think they are.
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๐Ÿ“– The ideals of individualism, objectivity, and MLK’s Dream to choose not seeing others based on the color of their skin but on the content of their character are the reasons people have failed to see how deep racism goes.
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In the author’s defense, she justifies these broad and sweeping generalizations with little to no evidence based on her being a sociologist. ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ
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That said, I honestly sympathize with any sociologists who do their very best to remain objective and evidence-based in their observations about society. ๐Ÿ˜ข
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What surprised me the most reading this book was how the author doesn’t even consider alternate possibilities about the reasoning of white people she sees as possessing “white fragility”. ๐Ÿ˜•
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Did the author even consider the possibility that some white people may have gotten angry with her not because of their “white fragility” but because they strongly disagree with the basic premise of her newly expanded definition on what it means to be “racist”? ๐Ÿค”
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Did the author even consider the possibility that her insistence on white people needing to accept their inherent racism and privilege, needing to accept her vast assumptions about mass groups of people based on the color of their skin, not only is hypocritical but fits the very definition of what being “racist” is (at least according to the Dictionary)? ๐Ÿค”
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I’m reminded of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his obsession with seeing every problem his patients had through the lens of some unconscious sexual repression. Everything had to be seen as somehow relating to sex. ๐Ÿ˜…
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In the same way, everything in DiAngelo’s eyes has to be seen as somehow relating to “racism” and “white supremacy”. โœŠ
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I cannot even imagine how a woman would react today if Freud told them they had “penis envy”. Women are not aware of their penis envy, Freud would say, of their enviousness to possess a penis because it is unconscious.
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What if we applied this same logic to the author’s main premise?
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*๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ “๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ”. ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด.*
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For those already familiar with Woke Culture, I soon realized THIS is one of those books. ๐Ÿ˜”
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Being “woke” has to do with individuals who have experienced emotional feelings of awakening when it comes to social injustice. It’s these same feelings of awakening that make a person think they’re far more “woke” or self-aware than they actually are. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Compare these same spiritual feelings of realization to the conspiracy theorist who believes they’ve “taken the Red Pill” and is now aware of the corruption of the world. ๐Ÿ’Š
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๐ˆ๐ง ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž, ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐๐ž ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ. ๐Ÿ˜ 
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I sympathize, as these individuals are not as “conscious” as they think they are. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the same thing has happened with the author here too.
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While she promotes skepticism and self-awareness in the book, as well as noting that racial issues are “complex”, at the same time she doesn’t apply these same principles to the conclusions she’s making in the book.
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With this book, I am supposed to simply accept the author’s premise about white fragility. In her circular logic, any counterargument against the idea of it (especially when it’s a white person) is only more proof of a white supremacist society. ๐Ÿ”„
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This is the same logic as me presenting contrasting evidence to a conspiracy theorist and them saying that’s just proof there’s a conspiracy. (This logical fallacy is also known as “Kafkatrapping”.) ๐Ÿ”„
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Simply put, the book takes itself way too seriously in its absolutist claims of racial essentialism. It doesn’t critically consider the possibility that racism is not as rampant as it is made out to be (There’s strong empirical and statistical data which speaks to the contrary).
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๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐š๐, ๐š๐›๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ “๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ” ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ “๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ” ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Similar to conspiracy theories, I agree with the idea of practicing skepticism. But that’s as far as I agree, especially when the “skepticism” is used to justify an absolute, nonsensical worldview. ๐Ÿ‘
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Similar to white fragility, I agree with the idea of practicing empathy. But that’s as far as I agree, especially when the “empathy” is used to justify an absolute, nonsensical worldview. ๐Ÿ‘
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Sigmund Freud got the idea of the unconscious correct. But his circular logic to relate everything back to sex is where his claims falter. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
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Robin DeAngelo got the idea of empathy correct. But her circular logic to relate everything back to racism and white supremacy is where her claims falter. ๐Ÿ‘Ž
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๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐š๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ซ. ๐–๐ž ๐๐จ. ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ง๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฃ๐ฎ๐๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง’๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ. ๐–๐ž ๐๐จ. ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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But the Catch-22 in these areas of study is that any of these virtues can turn into a vice. ๐Ÿ’ฅ
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For the psychoanalyst, sometimes a cigar…is just a cigar. There’s not always a variable of unconscious sexual explanation. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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For the critical theorist, sometimes a power structure…is just a power structure. There’s not always a variable of oppression. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Let me add: ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘
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๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ง ๐š๐ฌ ๐ ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฅ๏ผŒ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฒ, ๐š “๐”๐ง๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐“๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ”.
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๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ, ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž, ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ, ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐›๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐”๐ฅ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐’๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ . ๐ŸŒŽ
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My biggest concern is how popular this book currently is on Amazon, as well as with other books focused on Antiracism.
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๐˜๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜น๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜บ, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ. ๐˜๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜Š๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด. ๐Ÿ˜จ
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๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐›๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค-๐š๐ง๐-๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž.
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My concern is books like these are not going to be critically analyzed or questioned because of our current times, despite their many flaws and overly simplistic lens in which to see ourselves and others. ๐Ÿ˜จ
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If you embrace critical theory and/or the basic premise we live in a society which is systemically and institutionally racist, this book will be right up your alley.
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But if you’re looking for a book that’s intellectually honest, thoughtful in its arguments, contains nuance, and complexity, I suggest steering very clear of this one.
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๐“๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐œ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ญ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐œ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ.
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Racism is a problem I will continue to address and combat through empathy, compassion, and understanding of us as a common humanity. โค๏ธ
If that makes me “racist”, according to DiAngelo’s definition, than apparently I am! ๐Ÿ˜
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Unfortunately this book, which as of late is being praised to the highest of heavens as some masterpiece, I predict is going to add far more to the problem than it will to the solution. ๐€๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐š๐๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ค๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก.
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Or maybe, that’s just my “white fragility” talking…๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ
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1 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS
โญ

Why We Can’t HEAR Each Other!

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œ๐๐‹๐€๐‚๐Š ๐‹๐ˆ๐•๐„๐’ ๐Œ๐€๐“๐“๐„๐‘!โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ โ€œ๐€๐‹๐‹ ๐‹๐ˆ๐•๐„๐’ ๐Œ๐€๐“๐“๐„๐‘!โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐”๐๐ƒ๐„๐‘๐’๐“๐€๐๐ƒ!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ

๐Ÿคฌ โ€œ๐๐Ž, ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐ƒ๐Ž๐โ€™๐“ ๐”๐๐ƒ๐„๐‘๐’๐“๐€๐๐ƒ!โ€ ๐Ÿคฌ

Are you tired of the back-and-forth arguing? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚โ€

Are you tired that others cannot seem to understand your point of view? ๐Ÿ™‹

I hope with this post, by illustrating the current trends, it will help us better understand why people think the way they do. โฌ‡๏ธ

Let me add: This post is NOT for sharing my political views. The only bias I wish to promote in this post is Empathy. ๐Ÿ™Œ

(Please note what Iโ€™m about to present are HUGE generalizations in terms of political leanings, so please consider this but a limited framework. Nevertheless, I hope it can provide some clarity. ๐Ÿ˜Š)

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to see the crime of George Floyd as driven more by systemic racism. If one is right-leaning, one tends to see the crime of George Floyd as driven more by police brutality.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to support Black Lives Matter. If one is right-leaning, one tends to support Blue/All Lives Matter.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to see racism as systemic and institutionalized. If one is right-leaning, one tends to see racism as occurring but as being overly exaggerated/a moral panic.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to recommend African American thinkers like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X. Kendi. If one is right-leaning, one tends to recommend African American thinkers like Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to focus on the instances of police mistreatment being done towards protesters. If one is right-leaning, one tends to focus on the instances of people rioting and looting local businesses.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, one tends to sympathize and offer care to the less fortunate and those they see as oppressed. If one is right-leaning, one tends to advocate for personal responsibility, self-reliance, and rejecting victimhood mentality.

๐Ÿ“Œ If one is left-leaning, some favorite scapegoats may include: โ€œthe 1%โ€, โ€œpatriarchyโ€, โ€œprivilegeโ€, โ€œpower structuresโ€, and โ€œwhite supremacyโ€. If one is right-leaning, some favorite scapegoats may include: โ€œthe elite globalistsโ€, โ€œgovernment regulationโ€, โ€œimmigrationโ€, โ€œsocial justice warriorsโ€, and “cultural Marxism”.

Again, this is a VERY general framework. But depending on where you are on the political spectrum is going to be a BIG factor in how you perceive the current circumstances. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ฌ: ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž. ๐–๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž, ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ, ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘ค

Itโ€™s the reason why some people are emphasizing โ€œBlack Lives Matterโ€ while some people are emphasizing โ€œAll Lives Matterโ€. ๐Ÿ’ก

Let’s give an exampleโ€ฆ

2 people go to the theater to watch a movie. They both sit side-by-side and watch the movie in full. ๐ŸŽฌ

When the movie is over, both people walk out of the theater ready to share their opinionsโ€ฆ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Person 1: “That movie was AWESOME!” ๐Ÿคฉ

Person 2 is shocked: “What?! That movie was DUMB!” โŒ

Person 1 is annoyed: “What, HOW could you say that?!” ๐Ÿคฌ

Person 2 is flabbergasted: “How could YOU praise such a trashy movie!?” ๐Ÿคฌ

Remember: BOTH people saw the exact same movie! Side-by-side! ๐Ÿ˜•

So how did they come up with 2 polar opposite opinions of the same film? ๐Ÿค”

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž.

We all carry past experiences, beliefs, and values, and they in turn influence how we see the things around us, including movies. ๐Ÿ‘€

Think of it like this: each person is wearing a different pair of glasses, and these glasses are magnifying or shrinking certain parts of what a person focuses on. ๐Ÿ‘“

Person 1 said the movie was “AWESOME” because they loved the action sequences they focused on. ๐Ÿคฉ

Person 2 said the movie was โ€œDUMB” because they focused on how the film was all action and little story. โŒ

The exact same movie. Two different interpretations. ๐Ÿ™Œ

THIS is why:

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Some of my friends cannot fathom how another person can emphasize “Black Lives Matter” over “All Lives Matter”.

๐Ÿ˜ฑ Some of my friends cannot fathom how another person can emphasize “All Lives Matter” over “Black Lives Matter”.

Is it just because theyโ€™re a โ€œsocial justice warriorโ€? ๐Ÿคฌ

Is it just because of their โ€œwhite privilegeโ€? ๐Ÿคฌ

Instead of making assumptions, I encourage us all to instead ask: โ€œWhy?โ€ ๐Ÿค”

I encourage us all to start asking more questions and making less assumptions, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐จ๐.

Thatโ€™s how we use the Power of Empathy. ๐Ÿ™Œ

In his book โ€œThe Righteous Mindโ€, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt emphasizes 1 key point heโ€™s learned in all his decades of research into Morality โฌ‡๏ธ:

๐Ÿ’ฌ โ€œ๐Œ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐›๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐›๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐›๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ.โ€ ๐Ÿ’ฌ

In helping us better understand each other, Haidt shares his Moral Foundations Theory.

The idea is that we each carry 6 moral taste buds:

1. ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ง๐™š/๐™ƒ๐™–๐™ง๐™ข โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ง๐™š๐™™๐™ช๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™ข ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ช๐™˜๐™ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ.โค๏ธ

2. ๐™๐™–๐™ž๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ๐™จ/๐˜พ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ง๐™ช๐™ก๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

3. ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™ฎ/๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ก โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™– ๐™œ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™จ๐™ž๐™™๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฉ. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

4. ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ/๐™Ž๐™ช๐™—๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™จ๐™ค๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ค๐™ง๐™™๐™š๐™ง, ๐™จ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ ๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™˜๐™ž๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ง๐™œ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฏ๐™š๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™—๐™ก๐™š. ๐Ÿš“

5. ๐™Ž๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ/๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™œ๐™ง๐™–๐™™๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™จ๐™–๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™™๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ๐™จ, ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™˜๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™˜๐™, ๐™– ๐™ง๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ ๐™จ๐™ฎ๐™ข๐™—๐™ค๐™ก, ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™˜๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™๐™ค๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™๐™ž๐™œ๐™ ๐™ง๐™š๐™œ๐™–๐™ง๐™™. ๐Ÿ™Œ

6. ๐™‡๐™ž๐™—๐™š๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ฎ/๐™Š๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ โ€“ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก๐™ช๐™š ๐™– ๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก ๐™›๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™ค๐™ข. โœŠ

Haidt says we each carry these 6 moral taste buds, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ.

Heโ€™s not here to argue which combinations of taste buds are better or worse, only to say that they exist, and that they also heavily influence our political leanings. โ˜ฏ๏ธ

For example, those who tend to be left-leaning often have Care/Harm and Fairness/Cheating as their highest moral taste buds. These 2 moral taste buds tend to be disproportionately higher than all the others. ๐Ÿ”

But when it comes to those who are right-leaning, the moral taste buds tend to be more evenly distributed. โš–๏ธ

So, the next time youโ€™re in a disagreement with someone, I challenge you to keep an ear out for these moral taste buds in the words of others. ๐Ÿ‘‚

Use these moral taste buds not just to better understand how others think but also to better understand your own moral worldview. ๐Ÿค”

Take COVID-19 as another example of the moral taste buds at play. ๐Ÿ’ก

Remember how some people were more focused on the economy while other people were more focused on the loss of individual lives? ๐Ÿ‘

It’s not that economists didn’t care about human life. It’s also not that healthcare professionals didn’t care about the effects on the economy. The difference was in which moral taste buds they placed as being more important. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

In other words…

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐žโ€™๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž ๐›๐ฎ๐๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ž๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง. ๐–๐ž’๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ.

Having friends on both sides of the political spectrum, I can tell you: BOTH SIDES agree the crime of George Floyd was awful and condemn it. โŒ

The difference is in how each side interprets the severity of the situation and how we should be responding to it. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

That’s why we need to come together and understand each other’s points of view on this. Otherwise, we’re going to keep making the same mistake of assuming everyone thinks exactly the same way we do. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

They don’t. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐ˆ’๐ฆ ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐Ž๐“๐‡ ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฆ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Focusing on problems doesnโ€™t solve problems; focusing on solutions creates solutions. And I hope with this post I can be a part of that solution. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐Ÿšจ Imposing our self-righteousness onto others, whether it’s using guilt, shame, or emotional intimidation, is NOT a helpful long-term solution.

๐Ÿšจ Refusing to set aside our ideological echo chambers for the sake of comfort sets a DANGEROUS precedent for how we as a country collectively handle our problems in the future.

In times where polarization is high, cynicism is high, distrust is high, and tribalism is high, itโ€™s crucial that all of us continue emphasizing the importance of civility with each other. ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Because it is SO EASY for us not to do so now is the very reason I emphasize it. I know I’m going against the Outrage Train by even saying this. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Why? Because ๐ˆ’๐ฆ ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐๐ข๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Because that’s the beauty of the United States being a pluralistic society:

๐Ÿ“Œ A society where we can have one party who thinks the movie was โ€œAWESOME!โ€ and another party who thinks the movie was โ€œDUMB!โ€

๐Ÿ“Œ A society where two opposing parties can have a civil discussion over the movie, find places where they agree, and seek compromise on the places they disagree.

Perhaps my thinking is overly optimistic and idealistic. But for me, hope has always been a good thing. โค๏ธ

Consider this post a friendly reminder to continue focusing on empathy and solutions, even when it’s not easy. ๐Ÿ‘

Because I know ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ˜จ

So…letโ€™s get to work! ๐Ÿ’จ

How We BECOME Civil!

๐Ÿ™Œ IT’S TIME FOR CIVILITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Van Jones argued in his recent book โ€œBeyond the Messy Truthโ€ one of the biggest problems facing our modern politics is that political parties are no longer uniting under the ideals of Conservatism or Liberalism, to bring out the best of their parties. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Instead, they are uniting under a shared hostility of being anti-The Other Party. ๐Ÿคฌ

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt provided a similar argument in his book โ€œThe Coddling of the American Mindโ€ in the context of college campuses. ๐Ÿ“–

He cites instances where college students at Ivy League schools have forcibly interrupted and shouted down guest speakers they deemed โ€œoffensiveโ€. ๐Ÿคฌ

Once instance includes Evergreen State College, where a college professor expressed disagreement with students over their social cause.

Student protesters disrupted his class, surrounded him in a ring, screamed at him when he tried to speak, and demanded he resign from the university. ๐Ÿคฌ

To put it simply: ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ณ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐“๐ซ๐ข๐›๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐‚๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฎ๐ฌ, ๐›๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐š๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ, ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ.

๐€๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

๐Ÿ™Œ IT’S TIME FOR CIVILITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

And I wonโ€™t pretend Iโ€™m immune from falling into these mindsets either. I also need to remind myself not to fall into these traps A LOT! So I don’t at all blame you if you fall into them either. ๐Ÿ˜…

But the message I wish to communicate to you today is you DON’T have to see someone else as your “villain”.

There is another option! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Did you know Van Jones is close friends with Newt Gingrich? They are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Van Jones is a Progressive Democrat and Newt a Republican. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Van Jones notes in his book they disagree more than they ever agree politically. But despite that, theyโ€™re very good friends! ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Newt once shared with him this piece of wisdom:

โ€œ๐’€๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜90% ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’Ž๐’šโ€™ ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜10% ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…โ€™ โ€“ ๐’๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’• ๐’˜๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’†.โ€

I think Jonathan Haidt was also right, in the same tradition, when he said the greatest wisdom you can find is in the minds of your โ€œopponentsโ€.

Your “villains”.

The people you label in your mind as โ€œpure evilโ€. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

๐Ÿ™Œ IT’S TIME FOR CIVILITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

A few days ago, I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast where he interviewed Daryl Davis. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Daryl is an African American musician who is not only known for his amazing talent on the piano but also for converting over 200 people OUT of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

On the podcast he went in-depth about how this all happened, but the biggest detail which stuck out to me hearing his story was in how simple the solution was!

๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’„๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’, ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…๐’๐’š ๐’„๐’๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž. ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’”๐’‰๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‚๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‚๐’‡๐’“๐’‚๐’Š๐’… ๐’๐’‡.

He learned what the KKK believed about African Americans, and he (again, respectfully) challenged their ideas. He even invited many of them over to his house for dinner! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

They even in turn invited him to attend their Klan meetings! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

It wasnโ€™t long after that one of the top Klan members Daryl had met handed his white Klan robe to him and said he was leaving.

Again, this was just 1 of over 200 Klansmenโ€ฆ!

๐Ÿ™Œ IT’S TIME FOR CIVILITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

But the solution Daryl provided is not so different from the story of Megan Phelps-Roper either!

Megan was a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, a group widely known for their extremist views towards homosexuals (โ€œGod hates f**sโ€) and Jews. ๐Ÿ˜”

From birth, Megan was raised in the Church as her grandfather was the founder. Because of her upbringing, she was raised to see a very limited view of the world around her.

She only knew what her family told her. She was taught that the people hating her and her family at their protests only meant they were righteous in their beliefs. ๐Ÿ“–

It was only when she created a Twitter account to promote her Church did her worldview start to unravel.

She became exposed to other viewpoints. Anonymous people she had never met were now pointing out logical inconsistencies in her posts. One of those people in particular was a lawyer she debated and eventually became good friends with. ๐Ÿค

But the difference between him and other people who tweeted insults at her? ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’.

Eventually she started doubting what she used to believe so wholeheartedly. She went to her folks for clarity and could not get a satisfactory answer.

Eventually she left the church along with her sister, and her family shunned her, just like they did with anyone who left. โœ‹

Today, she now shares her personal story with others, to provide an inside (as well as humanistic) view when it comes to extremism.

Oh, and sheโ€™s also now married to her lawyer friend! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿค” WHAT DO BOTH THESE STORIES HAVE IN COMMON? ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡-๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•๐’†๐’๐’–๐’”๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’‘๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’•๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”.

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’† ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’†, ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’• ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’. ๐‘ต๐’ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’–๐’๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’Ž๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’•.

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’š๐’†๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’…, ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’• ๐’Š๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’†๐’‡๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’ ๐’”๐’.

These all may sound like common sense. But how many people do you see using this common sense on a daily basis? How about yourself?

Sounds like it may be back to basics, right?! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ™Œ IT’S TIME FOR CIVILITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

To end this post I’ll leave you with wisdom from Megan Phelps-Roper herself on how we can all better communicate with others:

“๐Ÿ“Œ The first is don’t assume bad intent.

My friends on Twitter realized that even when my words were aggressive and offensive, I sincerely believed I was doing the right thing.

Assuming ill motives almost instantly cuts us off from truly understanding why someone does and believes as they do. โŒ

We forget that they’re a human being with a lifetime of experience that shaped their mind, and we get stuck on that first wave of anger, and the conversation has a very hard time ever moving beyond it.

But when we assume good or neutral intent, we give our minds a much stronger framework for dialogue. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐Ÿ“Œ The second is ask questions.

When we engage people across ideological divides, asking questions helps us map the disconnect between our differing points of view.

That’s important because we can’t present effective arguments if we don’t understand where the other side is actually coming from and because it gives them an opportunity to point out flaws in our positions. ๐Ÿ‘‰

But asking questions serves another purpose; it signals to someone that they’re being heard.

When my friends on Twitter stopped accusing and started asking questions, I almost automatically mirrored them. Their questions gave me room to speak, but they also gave me permission to ask them questions and to truly hear their responses. It fundamentally changed the dynamic of our conversation. โ“

๐Ÿ“Œ The third is stay calm.

This takes practice and patience, but it’s powerful. At Westboro, I learned not to care how my manner of speaking affected others. I thought my rightness justified my rudeness — harsh tones, raised voices, insults, interruptions — but that strategy is ultimately counterproductive.

Dialing up the volume and the snark is natural in stressful situations, but it tends to bring the conversation to an unsatisfactory, explosive end. ๐Ÿคฌ

When my husband was still just an anonymous Twitter acquaintance, our discussions frequently became hard and pointed, but we always refused to escalate. Instead, he would change the subject.

He would tell a joke or recommend a book or gently excuse himself from the conversation. We knew the discussion wasn’t over, just paused for a time to bring us back to an even keel. ๐Ÿง˜

People often lament that digital communication makes us less civil, but this is one advantage that online conversations have over in-person ones. We have a buffer of time and space between us and the people whose ideas we find so frustrating.

We can use that buffer. Instead of lashing out, we can pause, breathe, change the subject or walk away, and then come back to it when we’re ready.

๐Ÿ“Œ And finally…make the argument.

This might seem obvious, but one side effect of having strong beliefs is that we sometimes assume that the value of our position is or should be obvious and self-evident, that we shouldn’t have to defend our positions because they’re so clearly right and good that if someone doesn’t get it, it’s their problem — that it’s not my job to educate them.

But if it were that simple, we would all see things the same way. As kind as my friends on Twitter were, if they hadn’t actually made their arguments, it would’ve been so much harder for me to see the world in a different way.

We are all a product of our upbringing, and our beliefs reflect our experiences. We can’t expect others to spontaneously change their own minds. If we want change, we have to make the case for it. ๐Ÿ’ผ

๐Œ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐“๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐š๐›๐š๐ง๐๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ — ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฉ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ.

๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ฐ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ž, ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐๐š๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž.” โค๏ธ

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SOURCES:

๐Ÿ“˜ “Beyond the Messy Truth” by Van Jones – https://amzn.to/2AH3raK

๐Ÿ“• “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Jonathan Haidt – https://amzn.to/2BzEQFw

๐Ÿ“™ “Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope” by Megan Phelps -Roper – https://amzn.to/3cBdUSo

๐Ÿ“œ Evergreen State College, Day of Absence Protest (Timeline) – https://bit.ly/3ePeOw5

๐Ÿ‘‚Joe Rogan Podcast – Daryl Davis – https://bit.ly/2U9arnG

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ TED Talk – Megan Phelps-Roper: https://bit.ly/2MwmFms

๐ŸŽฌ Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race, and America – https://amzn.to/3czwSc7