OPINION – One of the most difficult aspects of mass hysteria is recognizing that it’s happening. What’s even more difficult is convincing others they’ve been caught up in it.
The creator of the “Dilbert” cartoon, Scott Adams, recently penned a marvelous explanation of mass hysteria events and why those caught in the mass hysteria bubble can be so confused. You can read it here.
His essay couldn’t have been more timely.
Right now, a portion of American society appears caught up in a “War of the Worlds” level of mass hysteria over race and racism. So-called social justice protestors, politicians and members of the mass media are convinced that an epidemic of bigotry is – pardon the pun – racing across the nation like a wildfire.
To this end, they are engaged in a grotesque overreaction that accuses everyone who doesn’t agree with them in exactly the right way of being a Nazi. To everyone inside that mass hysteria bubble, Adams says, those of us outside all look like Nazi collaborators.
Watch this video to witness a shocking example of what this hysteria looks and sounds like. Be warned, it contains gutter language. If the words and actions of these alleged “protestors for free speech” don’t constitute mass hysteria, I don’t know what would.
The fact that politicians, pundits and other leaders are complying with these slingers of guilt is a good indicator that they’re caught up in the hysteria bubble too.
Whenever someone insists that you join their group or be damned, you can be certain you’re dealing with weaponized guilt.
Paul Rosenberg brilliantly explains why guilt is the preferred weapon of those who wish to remake our society in their own revolutionary image. He points out that the Judeo-Christian traditions of compassion for the outsider, forgiveness and loving your neighbor were imperatives for enlightened and righteous action.
If you want to subvert people in a culture built on righteous action, you must make them feel guilty enough to give you power over them.
Please remember that guilt plus politics is a toxic mixture. It serves to dethrone reason and transfer power to clever abusers. Don’t concede good intentions to people who wield this weapon against you. They aim to chop things down, not to repair them.
Rosenberg’s observation doesn’t seek to absolve us from errors we’ve actually made. In fact, he counsels, once we’ve faced our errors and fixed them, we should stop complying with those who deal in guilt.
That’s not a blank check to try to assign blame for someone else’s errors to people who never committed the wrong or had any say in the matter. It’s about what you can do in the here and now to be one who makes a difference rather than one who mindlessly tears down.
The world we live in needs problem solvers more so than it needs violent, chanting mobs seeking power over one another.
If you’re serious about making a difference in combating authentic hatred, here’s an example you might consider following. Blues musician Daryl Davis has persuaded no less than 200 individuals to leave the Ku Klux Klan.
One or two might have been an aberration. Scores of successes represents a lesson for anyone who is paying attention.
He didn’t do it by violently protesting in the streets. He didn’t go around assaulting or threatening other people or shouting them down and trying to prevent them from speaking. Davis convinced these former Klan members to abandon their ideology by befriending them.
Once they got to know him, they found that they simply could not hold on to their hatred any longer.
Davis didn’t set out to reform these men; he started by simply asking the question, “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” Such a question requires a combination of courage, humility and a desire to build rather than tear down.
Davis gave them a chance to get to know him personally, and most importantly, he treated them the way he would want to be treated. What a concept.
Resisting the temptation to dehumanize them for their beliefs, he instead helped them to see him as an individual and became humanized in their eyes. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.
When a black man can win over 200 of the supposedly most uncompromising racists around, doesn’t that speak to the power of his approach?
The approach taken by Davis relied on enlightened and righteous action rather than guilt, anger and violence. Instead of focusing on group identity and mob-driven solutions, he approached the problem on an individual basis and won the trust of his former opponents.
Davis’ positive results stemmed from an individual who consciously decided that he wouldn’t allow further evil to enter the world through him.
Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events viewed through the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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