SSM Citizen‘s 6th Ethics Alarms comment is a Comment of the Day (and the previous five weren’t too shabby either.) Here it is, on the post, “Anatomy Of An Ethics Train Wreck: The Amazon Warehouse ‘Nooses’”.
Quite simply, you get more of the behavior you encourage. Finding “racism” and “racists” is encouraged and desired, so there will be more of these situations. In my opinion this is an unproven allegation at best. Really? No one has taken photos of these “nooses”? It’s a construction site. Rope ties of that nature are not unusual and are quite useful for a number of situations, such as hoisting equipment or tools up to a higher level. What is the proof that they were used as a threat against, well, anyone?
Unfortunately, ethics and ethical behavior are hard. Ethical behavior is often unpopular and people want to get along to go along, and get on with their lives. It’s easier to make an apology, maybe some kind of restitution for something that may or may not have happened and MAKE THE COMPLAINERS GO AWAY! Except they never will. They have tasted the power, and they want more. Plus, it’s easy. Racism is something that our society condemns. Rather than take on difficult issues that will make the person pointing out those issues unpopular, though maybe proven right in the long term, it’s easier to take the shortcut. Scream about something you KNOW that society will not defend, and pretend to be brave, revolutionary, standing against the tide. Easy satisfaction, lots of publicity, on to the next target. And there will always be another target. The ones who fight back will be smeared and while they may be vindicated later, it might not happen. And in the meantime, lives are still destroyed.
To point out that some kind of due process is required before jumping to a conclusion of racism is ethics at its’ most basic, but it doesn’t feel good, and the mob wants to feel good about themselves right now. I see a lot of parallels to the Stalinist purges and the Mao-led Cultural Revolution. Guilty parties must be found, and if evidence cannot be found, it will be invented. It doesn’t matter that the person couldn’t recognize a “great old” or understand Trotsky’s writings (or even recognize who he was, for that matter) even if the item in question was held in front of them with flashing lights around it. A guilty party must be found. Better them than me is the thinking. And when it’s over, I can feel good about myself, because I did something that my leaders have told me is good. And more than likely tossed aside by those leaders once they are no longer useful. It’s been my experience that if your protest or concern is met with approval in the press and by the leaders that are supported by that press, you’re not really doing anything revolutionary, you’re just helping to prop up the people in power.