Oops, ‘Puter did it again. I played with lib minds. Got caught in the game. *dances with a giant boa constrictor* *gets strangled to death on stage* *crowd gives the snake a standing ovation*
Not content to take only a limited raft of crap from his liberal college friends on Facebook, ‘Puter decided to hop back into the fray today to see if he could have the entire raft of crap shoveled down his throat. He posted this:
Consider the following general proposition: If you haven’t lived in different parts of the country, it is difficult to understand the lives, beliefs, and thought processes of people who live there.
This, I think, helps explain much of the current rancor in politics today. It is easy to assume “those people,” people you have never met or lived amongst, are stupid hicks duped by Russian trolls, Christian churches, or Fox News. It’s easy to assume this because many of us have not lived anywhere other than in an East Coast metroplex among the elites. I have been as guilty of this as anyone else.
To use a word I’ve heard a lot recently, it’s “othering” to behave this way, to ascribe bad or stereotypical characteristics to individuals or populations you know little to nothing about in order to build yourself up. At least that’s my takeaway from my limited exposure to the term.
I was born and raised in DC, went to college in Worcester, MA, attended law school in St. Louis, MO, worked in Jefferson City, MO, and now live in Upstate, NY. I am fortunate enough to have lived in cities, suburbs, rural areas, the Midwest, the Northeast, and whatever the heck the DC area is. This experience has helped me understand how urban, suburban, rural, Midwestern, and Eastern metroplex people live and think. Is it a perfect understanding? Of course not. And I still have a tendency to “other” despite this exposure.
But if you’ve only ever lived in Boston, New York City, DC, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles or some combination of the foregoing, you have a very narrow understanding of people who do not live in those places. The same is true with the populations reversed but to a much narrower extent. Flyover Rubes have a much better understanding of how Coastal Elites live because the metroplexes where Coastal Elites live and work drive entertainment, news, culture, arts, etc., all of which permeate America regardless of location and drive our culture. Flyover Rubes see the Coastal Elites’ culture and belief systems every day. How could they not? Coastal Elites, though, are much less exposed to the views and beliefs of the Flyover Rubes. It’s a blind spot in many Coastal Elites’ worldview.
What’s my point? Nothing, really. Simply noting it is very easy to ascribe bad motives to the beliefs and actions of others when you know little about them, their lives, and their beliefs. It may be certain beliefs are unfounded and worthy of derision, but you won’t know unless you’re willing to entertain the discussion.
And we should all remember that as fervently as we may believe a person is a bigoted dumbass, there’s a person on the other side of the aisle who thinks exactly the same thing about us, rightly or wrongly.
Understanding others’ priors might go a long way to short circuiting this negative feedback loop. We should try it.
‘Puter will update as abusive responses to his Facebook post arise. You shouldn’t be waiting long.