Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rejecting the Premise

Answering a question about a complicated situation in a witness chair is frustrating when the attorney  demands a 'yes' or 'no' answer. We often try to answer with more complete information so that the jury can make an informed decision, but the judge directs us to answer the question with a 'yes' or 'no'.

It never made sense to me. Why would anyone not want to provide all of the information? Do the jurors really want the simple answer so they can make a quick judgment? Some questions cannot be honestly and morally answered with only two possible choices.

The debate and conversation about refugees is very complex and millions have accepted the premise that there are only two types of young men fleeing places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan: terrorists and those at risk of becoming terrorists. I reject this premise. The premise is based upon fear. I live in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' and want to know when did we become the 'home of the afraid'?

Millions upon millions of us fear a religion. Even more fear change. I am not among them. Do terrorists commit horrible murders? Yes, a small handful commit horrible murders. However, more murders are committed in many U.S. cities that have a few million citizens. (There are one and a half billion Muslims in the world and the percentage of murderers is minuscule compared with the percentage of murders committed by Black residents of Chicago or Baltimore).  [I know that I just said the unspeakable. Blacks in a single city murder more people than terrorists]. But, let us return to refugees and our fears.

The fake news sites and legitimate news sites fuel the flames. While the fake news sites contain complete lies, the legitimate media may be just as harmful with their half-truths and selective reporting. However, fake and incomplete news stories are not the real problem. The real problem is that we want our prejudices and fear of our changing culture to be justified and we want a make-believe solution.

Fact-checking only takes a few moments. If an issue is important to you, why would you not check the facts of every story concerning that issue?

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