Putting it out there on current events
Monday, August 10, 2020
The divisiveness within my own circle has been mind-numbing. The conversations about racism and covert bio-weaponry are enough to make me scream. I'm always a bit on the outside in my husband's circles as an enigma, the "woman who has an education AND an opinion"! I learned years ago I am not comfortable arguing my position with people who think raising their voices and gesticulating makes their opinion the better one.
I've become disappointed in my BFF, a highly respected microbiologist, who is suddenly supporting conspiracy theories. She and I share education in biological sciences. She's talking about odd TV shows and articles. My cousin gets all her information on FB. My in-laws and some in their collective families are letting their social attitudes shine and many of their own beliefs in a 'hoax". There are some very smart, educated people relying not in investigation but in "handed-down" information and prejudices from previous generations.
I read an article today on the 1918 pandemic and came across this quote from Greg Smoak, the director of the American West Center and an associate professor of history at the University of Utah:
“Conspiracy theories are very comforting to people because they are simple explanations for complicated problems,” Smoak said. “They shift responsibility.”
He said Americans are uniquely susceptible to conspiracy theories.
“We’ve grown up with national mythology that teaches us American exceptionalism,” he said. “If something bad happens, it couldn’t be our fault. There has to be some other explanation for it. And these modern conspiracy theories also play into people’s ideas of science fiction — germs escaping from labs. People wouldn’t have thought about that in the 19th century.”
Full article here:
I think this translates somewhat to the social uprisings and my circle's responses. Many of these people have never stepped outside their comfort zones to see how other people live. They view things from their cars, sightseeing on the American road trip, using the interstate and never seeing the inner city. Don't make eye contact. They fly-over "fly-over" states. From 35,000 feet there's no problem.
I don't know where I going with this, but here I am.