Opinion

The Death of Intellectual Honesty Part II — The Racial Side

Dr. Michael G. Padgett

Asheville – The Issues: For the first time in my life (admittedly a short one compared to others; mine began in 1957), we receive alleged facts and statistics that are almost exclusively biased from sources that formerly were relatively trusted. Politicians, and to a lesser degree the media, have always slanted the facts towards desired themes. But now the media reports alleged facts and statistics we find even more biased than in the past, appearing to make no attempt at objective reporting whatsoever. The bias has appeared to become more extreme over the last decade than ever before. 

To make matters worse, our children are being exposed to unprofessional educators that advocate their own worldview instead of providing the facts within their fields. Students are manipulated by a new world view as perceived by the instructor, a worldview not supported by objectively based facts.

Perhaps most objectionable are church leaders who contribute to the degradation of truth. Over the last year, I have received no less than three letters written by Bishops or other church leaders who exclaim the essential need for intellectual honesty, only to advocate a one-sided theme. An example is that racism is endemic in the white culture.

In their letters, the church leaders support “black lives matter (BLM)” groups, while ignoring the inherent racism obvious in a title such as “black” lives matter. Mainstream news and social media outlets stream the same theme, using examples of police violence against the black community when and where ever an example can be found. The conclusion is that there is racism within the police forces and other government bodies.

The vital element that is missing is a condemnation of all racism, by blacks toward whites, and whites toward blacks. But an even more expanded view is necessary: all of us are racists or sexists. No one race or sex has a monopoly on being racist or sexist, historically or in the current day. The real issue is that bias is endemic within all human beings. People are biased toward their own world views and opinions. 

In Africa, blacks sold blacks into slavery due to internal bias and desire for money and power. Slavery has been and continues to be common across racial boundaries. Both whites and blacks have a long history of abuses toward other humans, regardless of race or sex. Differences in race and sex merely add another justification for bias. 

What is omitted are the reports of other cases of police abuses against any citizen regardless of race, given similar circumstances. By only reporting the racist theme the news outlets are intentionally inciting riots. If a black policeman kills a black citizen or a white policeman kills a white citizen, the mainstream media ignores the story. But if a white policeman kills a black citizen, the media outlets instantaneously carry the story national wide, decrying racism to be endemic within our society. The claims of racism are being used to justify defunding the police. At the same time support for BLM, even when violent and destructive, by the mainstream media outlets are virtually unanimous. 

Local government officials in Washington State had to surrender an area of a city to BLM to stop crimes and destruction of property from continuing. Residents within the area were at the mercy of BLM protesters. 

When other protesters on the right marched on the Capital, some of which engaged in violence and destruction of property, the left exclaimed the inadequacy of the Capital Police forces, demanding huge increases in police and activation of the National Guard. 

How can BLM events that result in crime and destruction of property be called protests while calling the DC events riots versus the same label of “protests”? Certainly, the truth is both are riots, made so in each case by extremists that commit criminal acts. Until we call both riots, the DC events as well as BLM events, we commit intellectual dishonesty and pervert the truth.  

Some big cities have proposed and pursued defunding the police who were reacting to the BLM riots, diverting the money to social workers or health care professionals instead. Why not advocate the use of social workers and medical professionals for the DC riots versus increasing the police forces and activating the National Guard?  

Required Solutions:

The truth as to what will solve the problem of police violence will not sell to the general public. The first is the recognition that any citizen, if they contribute to a situation by drug use, resisting arrest, or attacking the police, set themselves up for an escalation that could result in the loss of their life. Second, police have to continue to receive training in how to deescalate situations, especially new techniques. Third, we must prevent lawyers from seeking financial advantage over the defense of citizens who unreasonably contribute to the cause of their injury or death. Fourth, the news outlets must be condemned and held to a professional standard that condemns those within their ranks from seeking out and using cases that only support a theme the news media knows will sell.  

Religious leaders and educators who use their platforms to further one-sided claims versus objectively presenting the facts that would refute their claims must be exposed, condemned, and removed from their public platforms.

In short, we must demand intellectual honesty and expose those that refuse to support intellectual honesty through their words and actions, or we face continued migration toward a dictatorship by some over the rest.

Editor’s note: Padgett is a retired U.S. Army Colonel where he worked in Acquisition and as a Uniformed Scientist. He has a doctorate in Management. He and his wife run and own a consulting business that specializes in teaching U.S. Government Federal Employees Program Management and contracting.