Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Really? There Are People Who Believe This Stuff?

This is what we are up against folks.  An acquaintance of mine posted this article on Facebook last night with the commentary, “Talk about revisionist history. Because of the large system in Texas (along with California), book publishers will sell texts with this revision in other states rather than publish a separate history text for Texas.”
The Texas Board of Education has drawn scrutiny in recent years for its efforts to revise its curriculum to favor more conservative-friendly versions of history and science. After revising textbooks last year to emphasize Christian influences on the Founding Fathers and introduce Intelligent Design to biology classes, the Board voted nine to zero today to change official nomenclature regarding slavery. In Texas, students will now be taught that slaves were not kidnapped and exploited against their will, but were actually “unpaid interns.”  Read rest here.
Since I knew that this particular acquaintance is a Democrat and looks at everything through the prism of race, I commented that I wanted to see the actual documents that sourced this story.  I then went back to the article and started reading the comments.  It was satire.  There were two buttons that at the end of the “story” that said “Show Facts” and “Hide Facts.”  I proceeded to put this in the comments of FB.  There was a woman that commented after me that was outraged and believed it.  I again commented that it was a fake story and asked if she read the comments.

 She had the grace to come back and admit that she was wrong about the story, but that she believed it because “I did not read through the comments; read only the initial commentary. And because I know that historically Texas, because of the size of the market it represents for textbook publishers, has had an undue influence. And because I have read several comments over the past few years re the state's views on multicuturalism, Hispanic, and people of color--and I am aware of its racist legislation--the accusation sounded plausible. If the accusation is incorrect, people will find out. However, it doesn't change my position. People will find out what is true!” 

My response to her was this, “so you jumped to the conclusion that this story is real because of other accusations that you have read about Texas. These other outrageous things that you have read about Texas, have you researched them and found them to be true or just believe them.”
Her response was then, “I believe them!”

My response was, “so you believe them w/o proof because . . .”

Her defense?  “We all know that not "all white people" anywhere are of the same mind. That was not even true in apartheid South Africa. There are always some who are decent human beings with common sense. But the record of Texas speaks for the fact that enough of them are bigots to make it possible for them to elect certain types of legislators and enact certain kinds of laws.”
I then asked her for specifics, “And your proof of all the racists in Texas is what? What are the specific laws that they have enacted that you consider racist?

Her answer was, “NO NO NO. I'm not going to use my time that way. You know as well as I do. Maybe you can give me some examples to disprove my position.”
Really?  The burden of proof is always on the accuser.  I'm surprised she didn't come right out and call me a racist.  That is usually what happens.   
We have lots of work to do, folks.  We must challenge individuals that think like this with the truth.  For too long, we have been silent and just ignored them as “crazy,” but the more that I interact with people on a political level, the more I find people that take stuff like this at face value and believe it.  When you challenge individuals like this woman, you are not only talking to her, but to those that are reading who might be on the fence.  We must defeat individuals like this woman, we must educate those that are willing to learn. 


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