In light of the trending “Alternative Facts” presented by the Trump kool-aid drinkers, and the accompanying societal disbelief expressed on social media, I thought this paragraph I was reading for my own studies was particularly relevant:
…when people define situations as real, they are real. We shall try to remember throughout our inquiry that material facts in large measure are the product of what people think, feel, and believe. The actual conditions, as they are, indicate from this point of view the great disparities between the whites’ and the Negroes’ aspirations and realizations.
–Gunnar Myrdal, from An American Dilemma, Vol. 1: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy
Those disparities in aspirations and realizations between white and black people could just as easily be applied to disparities between any privileged group in this country and their relevant subject of oppression.
Trying to defend their behavior to others, and primarily to themselves, people will attempt to conceal the conflict between their different valuations of what is desirable and undesirable, right or wrong, by keeping away some valuations from awareness and by focusing attention on others. For the same opportune purpose, people will twist and mutilate their beliefs of how social reality actually is.
This mess we’re seeing is really just the same old shit on a different day with
different additional subjects of social ire.