Readability

Tribalism Replaces Truth

by baldilocksbaldilocks

Do you ever feel as though the world has become like the movie The Inva­sion of the Body Snatch­ers and that you are one of the few remain­ing unsnatched?

Just won­der­ing.

Every­thing has become a lit­mus test for labelling. Every­one knows, just knows what you think about a topic because of their notions of how peo­ple like you think.

Last night, it was pre­sumed that I would be on the side of those who believed that Tamir Rice was mur­dered and this morn­ing it was pre­sumed that I would be on the side of the police offi­cers who killed him. Both of these pre­sump­tions were made using pre­con­ceived notions about what I believe. And both are wrong. But, as this is not my first rodeo, I have annoyed par­tic­i­pants on both sides of an argu­ment before. Some­times, it’s fun, but not this time.

Here’s what I believe: some­times, all avail­able choices will bring anger and strife. Any choice that the Grand Jury made regard­ing the police offi­cers in ques­tion would have caused an uproar. And Tamir Rice would still be dead, a vic­tim of his own choices, the choices of the police, and, most impor­tantly, the choices his par­ents made dur­ing the course of his all-​too-​short life. «<See that? That’s my opin­ion regard­ing the things I do know.

This sounds like it’s about me, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, except as I am a part of humanity.

Aside from the anger and the strife, was the Grand Jury deci­sion grounded in truth? This is the only ques­tion that mat­ters and I don’t know the answer to it because I don’t know enough about the case to come to a cogent conclusion.

You see how that works? If you know you don’t have all the facts, you say so. You don’t fall back on your eth­nic and/​or ide­o­log­i­cal “alle­giances” to come to your con­clu­sion and you don’t pre­sume that the per­son with whom you are argu­ing is doing this, unless he/​she out­right says so.

It helps to ask good-​faith questions.

But that sort of pre­sump­tion has almost dis­ap­peared. Instead it’s “I know you think that yada yada blah because all you peo­ple think this way.”

Jesus the Christ proph­e­sied that when we get close to the Last Days that “nation will rise against nation, and king­dom against king­dom.” The word ‘nation’ is a trans­la­tion of the Greek word eth­nos, a word that can also be trans­lated as ‘race.’

Bet­ter, I think: tribe.

Tribal “think­ing” plus its resul­tant tribal alle­giance equals trib­al­ism and I’m begin­ning to sus­pect that trib­al­ism is based on ide­ol­ogy as well as ethnicity.

Here’s what trib­al­ism is not based on: truth. And if we must all repair to our respec­tive eth­ni­cally– and or ideologically-​based tribal cor­ners in order to come to pre­de­ter­mined con­clu­sions about a dead boy and about those who killed him, then we all might as well give up talk­ing now, wait for the next con­fla­gra­tion, and pray that it will not be the final one.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel, ten­ta­tively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Fol­low her on Twit­ter.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — -»»

by baldilocksbaldilocks

Do you ever feel as though the world has become like the movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers and that you are one of the few remaining unsnatched?

Just wondering.

Everything has become a litmus test for labelling. Everyone knows, just knows what you think about a topic because of their notions of how people like you think.

Last night, it was presumed that I would be on the side of those who believed that Tamir Rice was murdered and this morning it was presumed that I would be on the side of the police officers who killed him. Both of these presumptions were made using preconceived notions about what I believe. And both are wrong. But, as this is not my first rodeo, I have annoyed participants on both sides of an argument before. Sometimes, it’s fun, but not this time.

Here’s what I believe: sometimes, all available choices will bring anger and strife. Any choice that the Grand Jury made regarding the police officers in question would have caused an uproar. And Tamir Rice would still be dead, a victim of his own choices, the choices of the police, and, most importantly, the choices his parents made during the course of his all-too-short life. <<<See that? That’s my opinion regarding the things I do know.

This sounds like it’s about me, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, except as I am a part of humanity.

Aside from the anger and the strife, was the Grand Jury decision grounded in truth? This is the only question that matters and I don’t know the answer to it because I don’t know enough about the case to come to a cogent conclusion.

You see how that works? If you know you don’t have all the facts, you say so. You don’t fall back on your ethnic and/or ideological “allegiances” to come to your conclusion and you don’t presume that the person with whom you are arguing is doing this, unless he/she outright says so.

It helps to ask good-faith questions.

But that sort of presumption has almost disappeared. Instead it’s “I know you think that yada yada blah because all you people think this way.”

Jesus the Christ prophesied that when we get close to the Last Days that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” The word ‘nation’ is a translation of the Greek word ethnos, a word that can also be translated as ‘race.’

Better, I think: tribe.

Tribal “thinking” plus its resultant tribal allegiance equals tribalism and I’m beginning to suspect that tribalism is based on ideology as well as ethnicity.

Here’s what tribalism is not based on: truth. And if we must all repair to our respective ethnically- and or ideologically-based tribal corners in order to come to predetermined conclusions about a dead boy and about those who killed him, then we all might as well give up talking now, wait for the next conflagration, and pray that it will not be the final one.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>