Culture Warriors category archive
At Psychology Today Blogs, Mike Wood explores how “social” media propagate misinformation and lies. A snippet:
This ecosystem consists of a variety of people and organisations that cultivate large followings on social media. Through sharing and cross-promotion, they amplify and spread bits of information that fit their particular worldview without fact-checking or basic due diligence. The actors that engage in this kind of practice create a massive, decentralized web of misinformation, one that traditional sources of news are hard-pressed to counteract.
Virginia Tech Professor Rebecca Hester suggests that, despite the (used-to-be) soaring Dow Jones average, we are not “better off” (emphasis added):
Despite claims to increased economic and national security, I do not feel personally, economically, politically, or socially more secure. In fact, I feel much less secure in a country where racist robo-calls, hate crimes, vitriolic political speech, and medical and moral bankruptcy have become normal. I also feel less secure in a country where military forces are being summoned to “defend our nation” against a group of exhausted, ill, and extremely vulnerable people, including no small number of elderly, women, and children. Knowing that their human rights and their right to seek asylum are being challenged by my country does not make me feel better about being an American nor does it make me feel more secure that my own rights will be respected, if it comes to that.
Werner Herzog’s Bear muses on the ease with which right-wing evangelical “Christians” can suspend disbelief. A snippet:
Those who believe in an enchanted world take that mentality with them into politics. It tends to mean a much greater willingness to accept outlandish interpretations of reality, since they are already well-practiced in it. Someone who thinks demons stalk the earth is much more likely to see the “caravan” as a horrifying threat. Supernatural and irrational forces explain everything to them, and if you combine that mentality with a generally bigoted and racist mindset it’s like dumping bleach into a bucket of ammonia.
Over at Above the Law, Richard B. Cohen corrals a flock of work-place discrimination and harassment cases. It’s worse than I could have imagined.
Here’s a bit; follow the link for the herd.
One Washington State company sued by the EEOC agreed to pay $165,000 to settle a case in which it was alleged that the manager and assistant managers subjected the only black employee to slurs such as “spook,” “boy,” and “King Kong,” and told him that he had the “face of a janitor.”
And there were death threats. Death threats! In the workplace!
An assistant manager allegedly told him, “We will hang you. We will seriously lynch you if you call in again this week.” And another asked him if he was “ready to commit suicide,” and even offered him “assistance” if he wanted to do it.
Yes — he was fired.
The Kansas City Star reports that progress is being made towards an accommodation. Farron may be a bit overwrought in this recording, but I have witnessed enough incidents here and in other places I’ve lived in which the underlying motive was to make homeless persons just go away that I’m inclined to think he is on to something here.
A resident of Maine whose brother occasionally attended the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh tells the story of his suspense as he wondered whether his brother was one of the victims of the shooting there. A snippet:
Nowhere is safe in America.
Follow the link for the rest.
In a piece that I
suspect fear will be quite useful in examining the results of this election, regardless of the outcome, Cannon Thomas explores the dynamics of “us” vs. “them.” Here’s a bit:
- We identify people or groups of people who are a threat to what we value and begin to have intense automatic emotional reactions to them. These emotions are well-studied and arise before we have even mentally processed the content of what the other person is saying.
- That gut emotional response shapes and informs all of our opinions and attitudes. The reaction precedes any rational awareness of the content of the issue, and our attitudes are very hard to change from that point. We create very elaborate and convincing arguments for what we already felt. People are wired to assume what they see is all there is, so we fail to realize that we are becoming entrenched in a very limited perspective.
- We minimize or marginalize the other person or group. We process them as less human, more limited or impaired on a moral level, and as less “right” than we are. How else could they fail to see what is so obvious to us?
- We mobilize against them to protect what is “right” or “good.” Sometimes we do it with the sense of being engaged in a moral good; sometimes we do it with a frustrated defensiveness. Regardless, we fight for what we believe is right.
The result, in any situation where cooperation is required, is disastrous.
Remember, for Republicans, everybody else is a “them.”
Stanton E. Samenow, who has long experience studying offenders, high-lights the key commonalities among mass shooters in an article at Psychology Today Blogs. Here’s a nugget:
Mass shooters come from different racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds. What they share is a view of themselves and the world. They believe that they are unique in the sense of being superior to others. They build themselves up by trying to control others whether by deception, intimidation, or brute force. They regard human relationships as avenues for conquest. The greater their accomplishments in legitimate endeavors, the easier it is for them to mask who they really are. Such individuals find enormous excitement in finding ways to build themselves up by putting others down. They know right from wrong but have a chilling capacity to eliminate such considerations from their thoughts while pursuing their objectives. When apprehended, they regard themselves as the victims and routinely blame others or resort to claims of mental illness.
Follow the link for more.
Carol A. Lambert notices a classic pattern in Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony about Christine Balsey Ford’s accusations. A snippet; follow the link for more.
In 1997, Freyd identified this pattern of behavior as it pertains to child abuse and sexual offenders as DARVO—deny the offense, attack the accuser, reverse (roles) and identify as the victim, and see the “victim or accuser” as the offender. This dynamic is common among those who have done wrong (criminal or not) and are confronted about their hurtful behavior.
Having examined over a thousand relationships, I see the DARVO pattern in my work with women who have controlling partners. In almost every single case of intimate partner abuse—physical, psychological, or emotional abuse—when women attempt to address a partner’s hurtful behavior or abuse, they end up being attacked and ultimately accused of being the abusive one.