I’ve been concerned for a while about how truth is treated in our day and age. In media, politics and our University, people treat their narrative as more important than Truth. When our president lies to our faces and objective journalists propagate fake news, it is up to us to treat all information with skepticism.
We should not only doubt the facts given to us by others, but our own intuitions as well. In less than a month we’ve seen two highly publicised hoaxes credulously swallowed by high profile media members, celebrities and politicians. The common thread between the misinformation surrounding the Covington Catholic and Jussie Smollett cases was the narrative. People tweeted and wrote news articles without fact-checking because the “truth” of the story was so obvious. The story presented to them fell neatly into their preconceived notions of the world. All these people “knew” that anyone wearing a MAGA hat stood for bigotry and hatred. They also knew that as good upstanding citizens it was their duty to roll up their sleeves and combat this Hate, by any means necessary.
We all have biases, many of which are good and decent. It’s a good thing to be biased toward believing victims. The only problem is, when we embrace our biases even good people can end up doing terrible things. Crusading for your ideology destroys any chance of an honest conversation, and in the end the only thing standing between disagreement and violence, is conversation.