Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh, How We Do Love to Hate!

It seems everyone believes everything in today's news world. Or, perhaps I should say, it seems everyone believes anything. The media tosses us bits and pieces, quotes and semi-quotes, accusations and inferences...and all without accurate documention and without indepth review and investigation. And we gobble it up with self-righteous indignation. Pointing our fingers. Accusing. Killing with words, if you please.

Take for instance the recent "out of context" video of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod as she spoke of her dealings with a farmer that happened some 24 years ago! The words as posted on the recent video sound so blatantly rascist! Ah, toss these few rascist sounding crumbs to the masses! They'll believe it and Ms. Sherrod will get her rascist come-uppance. And while that is happening, the incident can be used to slam the NAACP as well, for the words were spoken this past spring at an NAACP convention in Georgia. How dare she! How dare they! (That was the intent of the poster of the accuse! And all the while to happily not mention the full context of the speech nor her resulting conclusion at the end of her speech.)

Everyone jumped with knee-jerk reaction to become "accuser". No need to investigate the entirety of the speech. Simply jump quickly to "accuser" lest oneself be implicated by association!

Included in that "everyone" is her boss, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. And included was probably your favorite news network. And included is the NAACP, who of all those concerned, should have been aware of her remarks in their entire context.

Didn't ANYONE think to themselves..."Wait a minute, we should view the entire speech to ensure these few brief words are not out of context! Perhaps there is more than meets the eye (or ear)!"

But that's how we Americans like our news. Bits and pieces. Sound bites. You tube. Just give us a brief few words and we'll condemn anyone about anything. No need to consider the full evidence. We're self-righteous enough ourselves to be able to determine "guilt" when we see (hear) it. No matter that we destroy someone's career or livelihood or assassinate their character every ten minutes on national news networks by repeating the words over and over and over again. Repetition makes it true. Doesn't it?

What kind of hate is it in this country that we must continually find reasons to accuse someone else of "hatred"? Isn't our own evidence-lacking accusation in and of itself "hatred"?

Thank you, Associated Press, for today's article explaining the full context of Sherrod's speech...and taking the time to find the wife of that 1986 farmer. She spoke these words in defense of Sherrod...""We probably wouldn't have (our farm) today if it hadn't been for her leading us in the right direction. I wish she could get her job back because she was good to us, I tell you."



Linda said...

Very well stated! And how very true.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You said it perfect..

Laurie M. said...

Thanks for this Judy. Paul and I are just sick about it.

We generally avoid discussing political matters outside of our home, but I will make exceptions when my friends post quotes, video clips, etc. which are clearly taken out of context. In those situations I will break my silence to supply a link providing the context. Whenever I have, the comment thread has come to a screeching halt.

We Christians in particular should be especially careful to avoid libelous accusations.

Debbie said...

You are right on track with this. Amazingly the only person who I heard that questioned the edited video and kept urging restraint when making a decision about it was Glen Beck of all people.

Kelly said...

Definitely a casualty of the "sound byte" generation!

Debby said...

I think that it is interesting how quickly people 'jump on the bandwagon'. No one examines the facts for themselves anymore. A hateful e-mail begins to circulate, and millions of mindless souls just hit 'Forward' and send it to everyone they know. And millions of those people read it, and swear to the truth of it, and forward it again. And again. And again. And the monstrous lie gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

We are, as a society, getting more and more unkind to one another. I think that we need to begin to 'forward' kindness. To everyone we know. To everyone we meet.

That is why I'm here, I think.

jim said...

It is so easy to jump on the bandwagon when we think we have an axe to grind over some issue.

I am pleased to see that there are others like my sweet wife and daughter who are far more paranoid than I am and do not instantly jump to the pipers tune.

Thank you for exhorting me so patiently over the years to be more careful about sending false information to all my friends. I am getting better. So he says! (;P

S. Etole said...

We seem to have become addicted to "drama" ... in whatever form it takes.

Bill said...

I was out of news range and missed all this.

Pretty amazing story. What is to become of our society?