Narratives, Reality, and Beliefs – Marc MacYoung

Unarmed White Teen Gunned Down by Black Cop… Where’s the Outrage?


Here’s a hint. Whenever anybody gets emotional about an issue, seriously start questioning the veracity of the information they’re providing and motivations behind the emotions. These come from a different part of the brain than logic and reason.

(The person who you REALLY need to watch is the one who is trying to get you emotional about feeding you not just ‘information’ but pre-packaged conclusions. This in an effort to get you all worked up)

Gee a cop shot someone… not exactly unheard of. But instead of looking at it from a “Okay what happened and was it a justified shooting?” people often try to spin it to fit a particular narrative.

A narrative that often dictates their ‘reality’ and beliefs. Those too come from a different part of the brain. (I make a distinction between reality and actuality. Reality is what we perceive and interpret happened. Actuality is what shows up on the video. The two are quite often different.) Three points about this. A – These parts of the brain often kick the logic and reasoning parts of the brain to post hoc rationalize what they’ve already decided. Decide first rationalize later.

B – Emotions, adrenaline, dopamine and other physiological reactions ‘cements’ these perceptions and beliefs into us. Believing that we are correct in our reality, beliefs and that they are the truth we base our words and actions on them. They become our unquestionable truths and nobody better try to tell us differently. We will defend our beliefs fiercely.

C – Pretty much anything that comes along is either 1) grist for the mill to support the narrative we believe or 2) rejected because it goes against the narrative.

An interesting side note. If the narrative is all cops are bastard, oppressive power trippers, the race of the dead person won’t matter. The cops are always wrong. If the narrative is cops kill blacks the interpretation of the event will be spun make it fit the narrative . The irony of this is to spin it even to the sacrifice of one’s other values (e.g. someone who looks at this incident says “Good, now white people know how it feels.”) Both of these are a flashing red light that a narrative is in play. Look for how fast something veers from an individual incident that needs to be investigated and assessed to dragging in ” _____ always do ______.”

Look for these emotional hooks and how things are spun to be grist for the mill.

A potentially stoned dude was acting erratically and violently and a cop shot him. That news.

A white/black cop shot a black/white student is narrative.

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