Ethics Alarms commenter Mrs. Q has proven herself the master of blending personal experience with ethical analysis, and we are blessed with another example of her best work, a Comment of the Day on the recent post about a Daily Beast editor’s attack on Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. Here she enlightens us from her perspective on confirmation bias, and its current damaging effects on public discourse and independent thought.
Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, Race-Biting Click-Bait At The Daily Beast:
What’s going on here is total BS in the form of Mr. Madison’s racism, not Sharapova’s. Clearly he conflated the very correct description of Williams body, with that of ….? I suspect the real story is this guy feels traumatized that everyone else is a racist when I bet if he looked in the mirror, he’d discover we all have prejudices and it’s part of what creates a society that forgives one another.
Back in the day primitive shamans used rituals to hypnotize victims into fear and trauma. Having been a Social Studies major and Women’s Studies minor, I must say, in a way, being a minority, especially brown and queer, is wild at a liberal arts school. Every day was a new trauma of story after story about how terrible America is. Before kids chanted “cultural appropriation” today, I was doing it when I saw Mohawks, African masks, and whatever else displeased my social justice blood thirst. One day I couldn’t take another class in exploring my own oppression. I needed to go live and set my mind free of the prejudices I came to have against whites, men, heterosexuals, etc. I just couldn’t wear myself and others out with indignant anger anymore.
When my wife and I; an interracial same-sex married couple, go traveling, we love to go to small towns and rural areas. Only liberals say to us “why would you go to X with all those rednecks?” People who have bumper stickers that say “Co-exist” or “Love is Love” will say to us “aren’t you scared to be around those Republicans with guns?” Every time we visit a place like rural Montana, Eastern Oregon, or all of Idaho, we meet the most friendly people. Those who we can tell aren’t abiding by the ‘Worship Diversity’ religion just treat us as anyone else and mind their business. It’s SO MUCH BETTER than being pandered to constantly in the city by Saint Social and Friar Justice.
After college my heart had to soften to the supposed worst of the worst – grumpy old straight white guys. Usually conservative and not interested in BS, these straight shooters are often the kindest of the kind in a way that asks for nothing back. I’ve experienced more grace from dudes like this than anyone teaching intersectionality.
Then after I deprogrammed from the Women’s Studies brainwashing, I had to soften again to people/minions who eat up this idea currently heavily promoted: that anything whites say about minorities better be ass-kissing or else they’re racists. I truly believe not all of them realize they’re under a kind of spell, filled with images of burning crosses, tree hangings, crying Native Americans, Matthew Sheppard, poor mothers on welfare; and all the other myriad of images that program people into believing America is evil and, in this case, that Sharapova thinks Williams is less than human.
It was likely Ira Madison [the author of the anti-Sharapova piece] who ran through various images in his mind and came to the unfortunate conclusion he did. He was judge and jury, yet he neglected to see the words as they were written, and chose to be blinded by assumption and prejudice. Sharapova doesn’t strike me as a racist, but as a cocky tennis player. There is no shortage of cocky players, I can name five off the top of my head right now.
My hope is that in this current epoch the madness doesn’t lead to some kind of Reichstag building incident. I hope Sharapova holds her ground and others stop kowtowing to the Archdiocese of the Downtrodden.