Four Reasons Our Populace is Screwed — In One Facebook Thread

Today, like every other day, I came into the office, went through my usual routine of starting up my computer, making a cup of coffee, and checking in — email, blog traffic, comments, and then the rabbit hole of doom… Facebook.  In my news feed I came across this beauty:

NM0

Here’s the link to the article. Take a look.  Not only is it full of misinformation (or at best, misleading info) and based on a strawman fallacy, it’s blatant anti-immigrant propaganda. Reason #1 why our populace is screwed. There’s just something inside of me that can’t let this kind of nonsense go. It’s so damaging on multiple fronts. So I spoke up, as I normally do.

NM2

There. I said my piece. I called out what was wrong with the article, without making this an argument about illegal immigration. My beef is about misinformation. So I made my appeal to vet this kind of information before posting it. Well, it’s never that easy, is it?

NM4

So she pivoted, of course, not addressing the inaccuracies I pointed out, but instead, copy and pasted paragraphs from some website with no context. Compelling. Well, I actually found that website, and of course, she totally left out any reference showing her original post was full of shit.

NM5

Another pivot. Now we’re trying to make this about illegal immigration, not the fact she posted an article full of lies. Again, I try to get her back on topic.

NM6

Now there are “loopholes.” No, that’s not what the article is about. This is pure cognitive dissonance now. Reason #2 why our populace is screwed. And it went on.

NM8

The conversation went on after that but it was more of the same. Her trying to find nuance or some scenario that fit her original post, despite the original assertion that this was somehow a representation of “illegal immigration in layman’s terms.” That’s the exact definition of confirmation bias.  I present to you reason #3 why our populace is screwed.

The only people who won’t see through this article for the propaganda that it is are the people in this person’s echo chamber. Reason #4 why our populace is screwed. They’ll eat it up, as they already are, and it will reinforce their already skewed opinions on a multi-faceted issue that is much deeper and complex than “get rid of all the illegals.”

The only way to fight ignorance and “alternative facts” is with real data.  You won’t always convince the person who spreads misinformation, but occasionally you will (I have many times).  At a minimum, someone who’s reading the conversation will take note and see the post for the intentionally misleading article it is. At best, the person you’re addressing will remove the post and take more care in vetting information before posting.

Or… you just get blocked.

 

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Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

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22 thoughts on “Four Reasons Our Populace is Screwed — In One Facebook Thread

  1. Of course, the legal one is called John and is white and the illegal one is brown and called Juan.

    Reason #0: Mostly, the anti-illegal immigration shtick is a thin veil for outright racism.

      1. Yeah, and right after I banned him he goes and finds some old comment of mine on an obscure post just to reply to me and call me a “little bitch.” Aww poor butthurt troll. He’s running out of sites that will let him comment.

        1. And I would imagine the irony is lost on him in that he was banned for doing the exact opposite of what you spelled out in your post. Kuddos to you for being so patient in your explanations in the FB thread. And then the goat-kid comes in and just shits all over.

    1. You listen to trolls to see if they have anything of substance to say, and then ban them when you find they do not.

      And then it is so much nicer to comment on blogs without racist trolls.

  2. Why is it so difficult for some people to present an argument without resorting to popular, yet fabricated inaccuracies to make their position seem rational and justified? These same people who whine on and on about illegal immigration wouldn’t even show up to take the jobs vacated by families of legal/illegal immigrants in my State. When Alabama passed a draconian law banning illegal immigrants, tomato farmers found themselves with no one to pick their crops. In many cases, the same families had been working for these farmers for generations and they were, in some cases, considered part of the family to these farmers. Now many tomato farmers may have to sell their farms or declare bankruptcy because they can’t find anyone willing to work the harvest even at increased wages. The few people who did show up only worked a few days and some of them were claiming two bushels picked for every one they actually did pick.

    I don’t favor illegal immigration any more than the next guy, but don’t make the false equivalence that they are lazy, welfare recipients who are only here to game the system. While I’m sure there are a fair amount of those, to paint with this broad a brush is irresponsible.

    If you want to blame the decimation of the middle class, then look no further than the banking, insurance and manufacturing industries run by greedy and selfish bastions of conservatism like the Koch brothers. Their influence on the middle class far outshines any impact by immigrants, legal or illegal. These fat cats are laughing their collective asses off as they manipulate the gullible with issues like illegal immigration and when we aren’t looking – because we’re arguing with one another, – they pick our pockets.

    1. Why is it so difficult for some people to present an argument without
      resorting to popular, yet fabricated inaccuracies to make their position
      seem rational and justified?

      Because such people make up their minds on an issue first and only later start looking for arguments to justify their stance. It doesn’t matter how weak those arguments are. As long as they can advance some sort of argument, that’s all they care about. They’re not going to change their minds, come what may. It’s no good proving that their arguments are BS. They’ll come up with others or just plain ignore what you’re saying.

      It happens often enough that I come across people arguing about an issue I know nothing about. But if I see someone arguing unfairly, then that kind of biases me against their position.

  3. From the discussion:
    “Even if one family gets by and is able to take advantage of any benefit, that is one too many”

    A bit Off Topic, but this stuck out at me as an interesting difference in how we think. Just as we tend hold to the idea that it is better for 9 guilty persons to go free instead of 1 innocent to be in prison, (the general idea being that if a system is not perfect, we would rather it be imperfect with bias in one way as opposed to the other), I would rather a system that people can game but allows those in need to be supported (9 undeserving have support rather than 1 deserving go without… of course your definitions of deserving will vary) rather than one that is so difficult to use most that actually do need it go without.

    This isn’t really related to immigration specifically, or to be honest this topic at all given how general and vague I am being, but that line stood out to me as just a way of thinking. There is no perfect system, so in what direction of imperfection would you rather it be in? What tradeoffs are better? If someone decides that even one person gaming the system is too many (not just immigrants), I worry that mindset will likely lead to chaining said system down making it harder for everyone to use, even those that need it, whether it be medical services, social security, foodstamps, etc…

    Anyway this was almost completely off topic and more me thinking out loud than anything else.

    1. As an outsider I noticed this tendency in American society, too. Rather than implanting as many safeguards and checks as possible without defying the purpose of a social program and accepting a certain amount of fraud and grifting as not avoidable, the go-to reaction of many Americans seems to be to cancel such programs completly, consequences be damned.

  4. it will reinforce their already skewed opinions on a multi-faceted issue that is much deeper and complex than “get rid of all the illegals.” that sums it up in my opinion for the most part,along with some racial animosity,assuming they think they know who those illegal immigrants are.

  5. Mentally lazy folks with an immature or ill-informed agenda will bite at misinformation every time it lands in their inbox or newsfeed as long as that misinformation suits their preconceived notions. Researching or vetting said misinformation requires more effort and time than they are willing to commit, especially when that ‘share’ button is right there, winking at them. We would do well to call them out on every post, as you have so aptly done here. Nice work.

    1. Which is why I always try to take a critical look at things which claim to prove that people who disagree with me are all secretly racist or have more reptilian brains or shit like that.

  6. What about the fact that the original cartoon had the legal family as white and the illegal family as brown!? Racist much?

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