Suasion and education aren’t always enough

Check out the video above. The girl’s voice is amazing. It’s amazing what these two can do with just a guitar and voice.

Anyway, in light of the recent discussion between King and ChineseMom about history, I wanted to say the following: “Suasion and education aren’t always enough.” I think King and ChineseMom agree on where America needs to go, but they disagree on the role of education. I agree with King. Knowledge is necessary, but it isn’t always going to convince people to change their habits. You can especially see this among extremists who support affirmative action/affirmative racism, even to the detriment of those they purport to help. I think deep down inside we all know this, but it bears repeating: some people can’t be helped. You can lead a horse to water, but if he doesn’t want to drink, you can’t make him. While it’s important to extend a hand to those in need, it’s also important to realize that sometimes a more forceful approach is necessary.

In the hands of some, history is empowerment. It presents an opportunity to learn from what happened in the past and a means of improving to change the course of future history. In others, it does exactly the opposite–it provides fodder for excuses, victimology, and self-pity. Even worse, it becomes a pretext for stealing and reappropriating the rewards of other peoples’ hard work. Knowledge of history isn’t bad. History isn’t bad. But some people will never take steps towards improvement. It has nothing to do with history itself but rather the attitudes and values of people who study history.

Here’s an interesting passage from David Brooks’s The Road to Character (p. 147), where he discusses the divergent philosophy of A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King:

“…the prophetic realists were much more aggressive. They took it as a matter of course that given the sinful nature of man, people could not be altered merely by education, consciousness raising, and expanded opportunity. It was wrong to put one’s faith in historical processes, human institutions, or human goodness. As Rustin put it, American blacks look “upon the middle class idea of long term educational and cultural changes with fear and mistrust.”

Instead, change comes through relentless pressure and coercion.”

The reason pure education and persuasion doesn’t work is that people have different values based on different experiences, different temperaments, and different internalizations of cultural ideas. In the end, you can’t help everyone. Elijah Muhammed once said that you don’t have to show someone that they’re wrong; you just have to show them that what you have is better. This works for some people but not all. Sometimes you have to relentlessly pursue justice through law and protests so that people are forced to see that what you have is better.

11 thoughts on “Suasion and education aren’t always enough

  1. Sometimes you have to relentlessly pursue justice through law and protests so that people are forced to see that what you have is better. – BigWOWO

    The current social movement against lethal police brutality, #BlackLivesMatter, operates this paradigm. Affirmative action proponents operate this paradigm. In recent memory, all these activists endure detractors who accuse them of “excuses, victimology, and self-pity”. While it is true that divergent experiences lead different people to different political concerns, this observation above would benefit from some acknowledgement that people who support affirmative action are not extremists. They seek to protect, expand and diversify America’s intellectual labor force, and they pursue American ideals of fairness and fair play while doing so. They are told that they are “stealing and reappropriating the rewards of other peoples’ hard work.” Because that’s helpful.

    There’s scant evidence to accuse populations of victimology and self-pity in America, and any reasonable review of the historical record supports that assertion. Ben Carson clawed out of poverty, but his personal decisions did not place him in that state. When liberals remind everyone that America’s abundant wealth was generated through unfree labor and racist laws that helped some groups grow and maintain generational wealth while others were barred from such opportunities, they are accused of extremism. Because that’s helpful.

    So if you wish to discuss attitudes and values BigWOWO, I suggest you examine those who blame certain people of victimology and excuse making, while they ignore the differential and biased treatment those Americans endure in a wealthy land. When young Black people “relentlessly pursue justice through law and protests ” they are called thugs and rioters. Or ‘extremists’. Because that’s helpful.

  2. @Snoopy,

    “When liberals remind everyone that America’s abundant wealth was generated through unfree labor and racist laws that helped some groups grow and maintain generational wealth while others were barred from such opportunities, they are accused of extremism. Because that’s helpful. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2015/05/suasion-and-education-arent-always-enough/#comment-305668

    I would be interested to read about an analysis that proves the primacy of what you said. Such a study should do an analysis where they consider where Amerika would be if it were completely cutoff from Europe during its formative years because we know Europe benefited by looting Asians.

  3. Snoopy,

    While it is true that divergent experiences lead different people to different political concerns, this observation above would benefit from some acknowledgement that people who support affirmative action are not extremists. They seek to protect, expand and diversify America’s intellectual labor force, and they pursue American ideals of fairness and fair play while doing so. They are told that they are “stealing and reappropriating the rewards of other peoples’ hard work.” Because that’s helpful.

    No, I agree–affirmative action supporters are not necessarily extremists. Thomas Espenshade and Daniel Golden are both affirmative action supporters, and both are level headed individuals. But not all affirmative action supporters are like that. There are some, for example, that argue that college admissions aren’t a zero sum game. That’s not a different opinion–that’s saying that common math doesn’t work. That’s an extremist argument.

    In fact, the whole idea of no free lunch is the basis of my statement about stealing and reappropriating. If you don’t accept the idea that mathematics is a real field and that scarcity is a fundamental principle of economics, then you don’t have a mathematical problem–a person can break into my house and take my belongings, and I’ve lost nothing since my money is infinite. My boss can fire me, and it makes no difference since jobs and money are everywhere.

    But if you accept that math is real and scarcity is real, and you take something real from someone who earned it and give it to someone who didn’t, then it’s hard to call that anything other than stealing and reappropriating.

    Also, I think we need to remember that the year is 2015, not 1960. Some of what you say is correct, but we need to acknowledge that things have changed in the past 50 years.

  4. When young Black people “relentlessly pursue justice through law and protests ” they are called thugs and rioters. Or ‘extremists’. Because that’s helpful.

    Actually they are called thugs and rioters when they pursue justice through arson and… rioting. 🙁

    😀

    When liberals remind everyone that America’s abundant wealth was generated through unfree labor and racist laws that helped some groups grow and maintain generational wealth while others were barred from such opportunities, they are accused of extremism. Because that’s helpful.

    Affirmative action bars Asians from universities, just like how it used to bar the Jews, based on the same ideas and concepts that it’s no good to have “too many” Asians or Jews in the Ivy League. I guess that constantly highlighting how Affirmative Action only helps the rich under-performers makes me a liberal. 🙁

    😀

    They seek to protect, expand and diversify America’s intellectual labor force, and they pursue American ideals of fairness and fair play while doing so. They are told that they are “stealing and reappropriating the rewards of other peoples’ hard work.” Because that’s helpful.

    They do this by advocating the destruction of standardized testing so that students will no longer be held to the tyranny of objective measurements of academic achievement, which apparently benefits some people – i.e. those who study – but not others, the poor people who do not study. This is indeed the best way to “expand” and “diversify” America’s “intellectual labor force”, i.e people who write a lot of garbage but who don’t produce anything of value. 🙁

    Truly these exemplify the core American values of unrestrained Communism and eternal class war, based on the life struggle of America’s founding fathers and greatest hero Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

    Thank you, your “prose” has been most helpful in helping me to understand liberals better. 😀

  5. Haha…great points, Sengge! I laughed about the thugs and rioters!

    I was going to add more, but really, I think you said it all!

  6. I forgot to apply “relentless” to my sentence. I wanted to add that they would be called thugs and rioters when they “relentlessly” commit strong-arm robberies, criminal intimidation, arson and the destruction of public and private property in their “relentless” pursuit of justice.

    BURN THAT SHIT DOWN MUTHAFUCKAS, NO JUSTICE NO PEACE

    LOL

  7. Sengge and BigWOWO,

    Those who pursue justice with nonviolent protest are not rioting and looting, or committing other crimes. The only reason to associate those nonviolent political activists with criminal behavior is to discredit their advocacy.

    If you have any respect for people who “relentlessly pursue justice through law and protests”, as BigWOWO puts it, you should correct your confusion.

  8. Those who pursue justice with nonviolent protest are not rioting and looting, or committing other crimes. The only reason to associate those nonviolent political activists with criminal behavior is to discredit their advocacy.

    We did not conflate those protesters with the rioters and the thuggees. You did. That was you. You are the one who thought people were referring to the protesters when they talked about the arsonists and the thuggees and the drive-by shooters. Moreover look here closely: nobody mentioned rioters and thuggees until you did. 😀

    So if you are the one doing the association of criminal behavior with the protests, is it your secret agenda to discredit the same movement you claim to champion? Or are you simply unable to understand the difference between lawful protest and criminal behavior, despite knowing that the words for it exist? 😀

  9. Not a study, but probably the most famous recent article on the subject: The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic.

    The Case for Reparations is garbage. It sounds like the same point that would gain universal censure coming from Louis Farrakhan, but somehow, coming from a guy friendlier with the establishment the wannabe white guys I mean educated left-wing blacks would fete it.

    Moreover, do you know why the Case for Reparations is PURE GARBAGE?

    It’s simple: who would you pay it to? Would you pay it to people who have been DIRECTLY HARMED by past acts?

    Or more likely, would reparations be paid to lobbies and power blocs who claim to speak on behalf of these people, and who then get to disburse these funds at their own whims, completely unaccounted for by even the people they claim to represent?

    The “solutions” proposed by the liberal left are so transparently communist, it’s not funny, and it only caricaturizes themselves.

  10. U are all here judging the black men for what they have done and calling them thugs and rioters. U don’t have any sympathy for the poor blacks. The only reason they did those things were because they couldn’t afford a 6 pack or a cough medicine that y’all take for granted. Do you think they wanna be poor ? No they dont but social injustice keeps them from success.
    So what do you expect when there’s an opportunity to fulfill their needs ? They’re gonna take it because they gotta do what they gotta do to survive. Y’all don’t even allow them to express their anger, you call them rioters. Guess what? They were mad, mad at the system, mad at not getting the what they want, mad of being stopped by the racist police.
    They are just like Asians, they want to be rich, they want success. But if society doesn’t give them a break, they’re gonna have to do it illegally, why do they need to care about y’all when all you have is prejudice?

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