Beware: What is below is a stream of consciousness after participating in a mind-stretching conversation. I may change my mind later, but for now this is where I am on the topic. I hope you get something out of it.
I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t know I held the opinion that there is some benefit to “fake news” at all until I heard myself say it in the Living Room Conversation I participated in captured in the video below. This hit me when in my gut I started feeling the deep pressure of growing up in a country where “fake news” has affected me every day of my life. Even when I walk through my current neighborhood or see a police officer I carry with me the awareness that for hundreds of years there has been a systematic effort to create “fake news” about people who look like me.
But at the end of the day, it isn’t just about race. It is just about the awareness that what we talk about as news has always been manipulated for the aims of people who find value in controlling others. I remember learning about “yellow journalism” in junior high school. That was sensationalized fake news designed to sell papers. Even as an 8th grader I knew that it was messed up that people were so easily manipulated into falling for headlines without using their own conscience as a filter. I feel the same way today. You look throughout history and you see that many of the world’s travesties are wrought not by the maniacs who get all of the attention, but by the masses willing to just believe anything and anyone who promises to make them feel safe,give them some sense of identity, and lead them to prosperity by any means necessary.
So in the moment I said, “The more fake news the better.” Maybe people will start to rely on their experiences more if they realize that outsourcing their consciousness and consciences isn’t really working out for them. Then again maybe not. I don’t know. What I do know is if we don’t develop our ability to communicate with one another across differences then we will never be able to fully live into our highest potentials as a society and species. We are never manipulated by what we know, but by what we don’t know.