The last year or so have been a little insane when it comes to overt racism in North America being bold enough to rear it’s ugly, shrivelled head don’t you think?
In the last week – two overtly racist white people have announced candidacy for the largest city centres in Southern Ontario. Two white women in Western Canada are facing charges of hate crimes after advocating on social media for a 24 hour killing spree of indigenous people. A racist white man was shoved in a fountain in Toronto for accusing the Muslim community to be responsible for the shooting death of two women on the Danforth by a man with mental illness.
I blame technology. Maybe I’m old? No, I’m right. The internet is making us sick as a species.
Or are we at fault? Are we building a sick space online with our curiosities? It used to be if a person was curious about a thing you ponder in silence, maybe read a book at the library or talk to a few people nearby. Do your research. Now the most casual of questions can be instantly answered by who knows what source: powered by Google – or Russians.
Society is disintegrating into a mush of human curiosity fuelled by search engines and horrible ideologies promoted by bloggers and reinforced by sick minds. We are making one another more polarized with every Google search; the algorithms of tech giants have monetized and magnetized our thoughts, questions and queries.
Now — the internet has streamlined our curiosities and paved the pathways from a Google search like “what is the alt-right” — leading the seeker straight to sources like Reddit where you can find all the “logic” backing up why the whites are being “oppressed” by “political correctness” — and why you should join in the “fight”.
Sick. We’re all just one Google search away from a fall down the rabbit hole straight from curiosity into the fiery pits of bigotry.
So what can we do — as regular people — to fight this? Here is one simple tool. Stop letting racist people defending their racist ideals with the argument, “I am entitled to my opinion”.
In an article for Quartz Online, philosophy professor Patrick Stokes from Deakin University in Australia sums up why allowing people with racist ideals to hide behind ‘opinion’ is a logical fallacy.
Stokes says that the ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ argument is often used by people to pivot during debate — and get others to validate that their opinion/thought/perspective should be treated as fact.
This is not the case. We have to be clear minded and remember that opinion does not equal fact. Facts can back up an opinion — but opinion will never replace fact.
Now — if we are unwise users of the Google — and while falling down the rabbit hole of curiosity we take opinion as fact and begin to build our entire worldview around it — do you see where I am going? We will come out of it not with our own thoughts, but merely parroting what we read somewhere as truth and making up our own truth attached to the side of a big old mess.
TL:DR – Racists are stupid.