From Confirmation Bias to Narrative Collapse
January 21, 2015

I doubt many American white people still believe Michael Brown was an innocent victim of police criminality or misconduct. The guy was a thug. He wasn't "thuggized" by lawyers or critical media, he was a thug.

The word "thuggize" appeared in a recent newspaper article: Preconceptions plague blacks / Researchers say inherent double standard reinforces prejudices (The Detroit News, Jan. 1, 2015, p. 1B) by Caryl Rivers, a professor of journalism at Boston University.

Rivers discusses the cases of Brown and Trayvon Martin. She writes that Martin "was walking home carrying candy and a bottle of tea when he was shot by a neighborhood watch member." In fact, by the time Martin got shot, he had Zimmerman down and was pounding Zimmerman's head on the cement. Zimmerman did not commit murder. He simply defended his own life.

Rivers also writes "There was no actual evidence that the unarmed teenager started the fight." Oh, she admits there was a fight! Presumably at some point between the candy and tea and Martin getting shot, but you would never know that from the quote in the previous paragraph. As to who started the fight, we can use a bit of logic, as Patrick Buchanan did in his article: Zimmerman Not Guilty Beyond Reasonable Doubt -- But Will He Go To Jail Anyway? Buchanan goes into a lot of detail, but basically, why would someone armed with a gun start a fistfight with anyone? (Buchanan has also written about the aftermath of the Darren Wilson grand jury decision: "Who Are the Cowards Now?")

In order to explain the vastly differing opinions about Brown, Martin, etc., Rivers mentions something called "confirmation bias," for which she offers the following definition: "Confirmation bias" is the tendency to interpret or remember information in a way that confirms what we already believe, and helps to ignore new data. The odd thing is, we all know about it. It is so ordinary, we account for it without a second thought. But it is always a weak argument. For one thing, it happens right away, the first time people hear about something. After there is time for more data to come in, time for more reflection, many people do change their minds. We incorporate knowledge of this weakness in our judicial system. We have grand jury proceedings, public defenders, public trial by a jury of one's peers, freedom of speech and a nominally free press. These institutions dampen any "rush to judgment" to which our initial thoughts, prematurely shaped by confirmation bias, might tend to lead.

Yes, confirmation bias does exist. So do analysis, critical thinking, logic, evidence and discussion. So do propaganda, ideological bias, and racial solidarity.

The story, still promoted by many influential people, of Michael Brown being a gentle giant with his hands up saying, "Don't shoot!" is what we on the Dissident Right have been calling a "narrative" for a fair while now. Those most unoriginal souls, the Lefties, are now using the word to describe a version of events believed by people on the Right.

I believe people on my side -- white people, conservatives, right-wingers -- are willing to consider evidence, to think, to discuss, to change their minds. Many of us have changed our minds about Eric Garner. It is not obvious to an un-trained doofus such as myself from the video that Garner really was resisting arrest, but I see it now, having watched the video a few more times. I could go the other way with different evidence. I really do want justice.

The story, the "narrative" on the right is holding up. The "narrative" of the Left is collapsing. It looks more ridiculous every day. Interestingly, Rivers gives two examples (Susan Smith and Charles Stuart) in which an initial narrative collapsed after further data came to light. That's all that happened with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. That is why the Lefties were so infuriated, for example, when the video showing Brown shoving a store clerk around were made public. They couldn't sell the "gentle giant" bullshit very well after that.

Steve Sailer has also written about narrative collapse, especially in his recent piece for TakiMag.com " Clusterfake," with narratives all over the place collapsing one right after the other.

Rivers ends her piece thusly: Only when we realize the power of confirmation bias, and start looking at reality instead of stereotypes and misinformation, will things change.

First, if Caryl Rivers is so against "misinformation," why does she include so much of it in her article?

On the other hand, I completely agree that we must all "start looking at reality." Check out this web page which, as of Jan. 8, 2015, documents 364 cases reported in the media of white people murdered by black people IN THE YEAR 2014. I cite this information because the amount of black-on-white violence is staggering when compared to white-on-black violence. When we white people know the truth, then lies about us have no power to make us feel guilty.
 

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