John Livingston News

Why We Are Divided and who is To Blame?

I remember in a very famous campaign speech in 2012 President Obama repeating the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King about a man should be judged “by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.” This week my wife and I will be traveling to Hampton Virginia where Booker T. Washington—a former slave, was one of the first graduates of the school in 1872. He went on to become the founding father of Tuskegee Institute. Over 50 Colleges—now called HISTORICALLY BLACK INSTITUTIONS and schools were developed immediately after the civil war. These schools were funded on a model of cooperation between Whites and Blacks. John D. Rockefeller and Anna T. Jeanes and Julius Rosenwald invested in the upward mobility of all peoples. They were incredibly successful with graduates of these institutions becoming State Supreme Court Justices, doctors, engineers—think George Washington Carver—also from Hampton and Tuskegee, and many successful businessmen and teachers. Despite what the news media and revisionist historians have led the past several generations to believe, progress has been made on all fronts in the Black Community.

There is certainly more to be done. Despite Jim Crow, in spite of grinding racism, and in spite of a culture of prejudice, the social, economic, and educational development improved significantly in the Black Community from the end of World War II until 1965. Almost every measure of Black upward mobility was increasing faster than the same numbers in the white community. Improvements in infant mortality, age of death, hourly wages, high school graduation rates, entry rates into masters and doctors programs all improved faster, but are yet to equal the absolute numbers of those in the white and Hispanic communities. These improvements occurred at a time when 80% of Black children grew up in a family with a mother and a father. 90% of Black children went to church —the great majority with their families, Black Cotillions and social clubs thrived in our inner cities along with churches and the schools. What then happened after 1965 after the passage of the “Great Society “programs of the Lyndon Johnson era? Today only 40% of Black children live in a family with two parents. In NYC 50% of Black pregnancies end up being aborted. Unemployment amongst Black males that had been trending to a level that was the same for whites before 1965, is now twice that of all other groups.

A very famous book written by Dr. Marshall McQuillan entitled THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE implanted in the minds of several generations of journalists and media practitioners the idea that an impression or a narrative was far more important than the actual reality. I believe that we as a citizenry are only now coming to realize that what we read in the paper or see on TV or our IPADS may not be the truth. Global warming, Russian Collusion, Y2K, police attacks on Black men—-did you know that 50% of people who identified themselves as liberal believed that the number of white police killings of Black men in 2019 was between 1000 and 10,000? The real number according to Heather Mc Donald—27! Did you know that according to FBI 2018 statistics 5 times more people were killed by knives in the USA (1550) than AR-15s (300)? Did you know that 2 times more people were killed by fists or strangled than by AR-15’s. The same group of liberals when questioned about Covid deaths believed that if you were hospitalized you had a 50% chance of dying from Covid and if you caught the disease, you had a 10% chance of dying—the real number for all patients is less than 1% more like 0.4%! No wonder people are scared. Their perception of reality is very different than what is true. Irrational fear that leads to delusion results in bad personal decisions—and may I add mitigation strategy.

I mentioned the published realities in Idaho in an earlier article. 90% of people infected with Covid-19 D variant are unvaccinated. 90% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. 90% of ICU patients are unvaccinated and 90% of those dying are unvaccinated. But the number that is never reported is if you are under 65, have no Comorbid or immune compromised conditions, then your chance of surviving an infection is 99%. Why is that number not reported? I believe the reason is different than one might expect.

Almost 20 years ago Hans Rosling and his wife Olga wrote and published the book FACTFULNESS. In the book they describe 10 reasons that people are either misled by others, or how they mislead themselves. I believe these ten items have an implication for those producing the news and history and those consuming and trying to understand world events:

1. The Gap Instinct. Our tendency to divide things into two distinct and often conflicting groups with an imagined gap between them (e.g. us and them). IDENTITY POLITICS

2. The Negativity Instinct. Our tendency to notice the bad more than the good (e.g. believing that things are getting worse when things are actually getting better). COVID STATISTICS

3. The Straight Line Instinct. Our tendency to assume that a line will just continue straight and ignoring that such lines are rare in reality. DERIVATIONAL LOGIC IS SELDOM PRACTICED BY LIBERALS. Also think of the early on Covid modeling.

4. The Fear Instinct. Our hardwired tendency to pay more attention to frightening things. IRRATIONAL FEAR IS DELUSIONAL. MANY PEOPLE WANT TO BE AFRAID BECAUSE THEY WANT SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM.

5. The Size Instinct. Our tendency to get things out of proportion, or misjudge the size of things (e.g. we systematically overestimate the proportions of immigrants in our countries.) CRIME STATISTICS

6. The Generalization Instinct. Our tendency to mistakenly group together things or people, or countries that are actually very different. WHAT IS TRUE OF THE WHOLE IS NOT TRUE OF THE PART—Plato. Tell that to those who talk about “white fragility” and Black Lives Matter and the practitioners of CRT(Critical Race Theory)

7. The Destiny Instinct. The idea that innate characteristics determine the destinies of people, countries, religions, or cultures; those things are as they are because of inescapable reasons. WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE SUSPICIOUS OF THOSE WHO DIVIDE BASED ON ANY PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES—isn’t that exactly what Dr. Booker T. Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Barak Obama advised against?

8. The Single Perspective. Our tendency to focus on a single cause or perspective when it comes to understanding the world (e.g. forming your worldview by relying on the media, alone). Self-explanatory

9. The Blame Instinct. Our tendency to find a clear, simple reason for why something bad has happened. ALWAYS LOOK “to the splinter in your own eye” first. The chances of you fixing what is wrong with you are far greater than anyone else fixing your problems.

10. The Urgency Instinct. Our tendency to take immediate action in the face of perceived imminent danger, and in doing so, amplifying our other instincts. THE WORLD IS NOT FALLING, we won’t all die from Covid, GLOBAL WARMING HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE “THE BEGINNING. Tom Brady will win again and there is nothing you can do about it. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”

When people who don’t trust the government or the media are called paranoid—think of the list above. It takes discipline and work to stay focused. Emotionalism is easy to create and succumb to, but rational thinking and compassion will always trump empathy that reacts to a false narrative.

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2 replies on “Why We Are Divided and who is To Blame?”

Hans Rosling’s wife was Agneta, not Olga. One of his co-authors was his son, Ola. Factfulness was published in 2018, not almost 20 years ago.

You are correct. Thanks for keeping my feet to the ground. He has been presenting this data for over 20 years on WHO and other UN sites.

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