So I torture myself by following Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos but I also follow CAFE and The Young Turks or Occupy Democrats. My whole premise for doing this is, there has always been opposing views historically, I genuinely refuse of only feeding myself with thoughts that echo my own beliefs, somewhere in there is hidden a truth.
But this was not the most shocking thing I’ve read in the past few months, in context, it’s just to highlight how dangerous propaganda is and how in 2030 the kids of that generation will be exposed to archives and archives of data with conflicting affirmations unable to seek what has now become the subjectivity of facts.
This rhetoric in the right about Irish slaves as a narrative to shut up African American grievances come from “opinions”. There was an Irish Republican named Theobald Wolfe Tone, who was in court arguing that the plight of the Irish was the same as the African Slaves at the time, as an appeal to the masses for the mistreatment of Irish immigrants. The word slave in that context was an adjective to describe their hardship and suffering.
In context, someone would quote history books stating there were Irish slaves. This statement was made as early as 1792, few scholars have re-echoed it since then. In a pro slavery tract you can read a few references back to the created rhetoric of Irish slaves, re-echoing the ‘white suffering’ as a point to minimize the impact of slavery.
Now let’s think back to today. We have become a generation of out of context quoting or out of context facts. We could count up all the slaves in history and identify that in Europe, some were under servitude for centuries. Similarly we could blatantly ignore that these slavery systems morphed itself into aristocracy and a societal structure through revolutions that dissipated that painful past. Not the same can be said of the transatlantic slaves.
Let’s address the “get over slavery” comment. Sometimes I can see how the plot reads: Black guy with hardened stance on social issue drinking the left cool aid is here to educate us on slavery. Dr DeGruy wrote a book as a result of 12 years of research, and has single handedly identified us as a nation (including people living in it, transient passengers like me) as sufferers of Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome. She goes into details with 2 sections of one hour each on YouTube, where with vivid examples she traces historical effect of this trauma. She also links current behaviors such as police brutality, and contextualizes the trauma and how it created an uneven playing field for not just for African Americans but Africans in general.
Now back to contextual information. We live in absolutely dangerous times, the fine line between opinion and historical accounts has always been blurred, but through propaganda the subjective distinction is now hard to make. You can’t tell if Kennedy’s assassination was truly a distrust of the secret services in his ability to lead as a president or if it’s just an act perpetrated as a backlash to the bay of pigs. This example is very controversial because no one knows, but depending on your political discourse, you surely believe one to be fact. If you need a simpler example think of the “Birther” controversy .
In 2030 opinions will be relied upon because of the ideological division. Things will be said unchecked like the rhetoric of “Irish slaves”. I fear there will be a generation by product of the echo chambers, unable to pragmatically still discern propaganda from historical account in context. I don’t think fake news is the problem of my generation, or I think fake news is ill labeled. I think this generation problem is the missing curator job to tag or categorize information when adequate as an ideology following a discourse, distinguishing if it’s true or not, and calling it out if it’s just massive propaganda: Trusted independent sources.