movement must raise the bar and set the standard by valuing truth in
our own politics and conduct.
“You’re entitled to your
own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.” These lines are
attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan and frequently get tossed about
entity wants to shed light on another entity’s twisting of the facts.
meaning gets obscured in the mockery of political discourse. Media
by high profile elected officials, are taking us down a slippery slope
facts are no longer important or the basis for truth.
This election cycle seems
to top all previous ones for forked-tongue politics. There are
half-truths and outright lies flying around, so much so that a number
fact-checking sites have emerged. There are also fact checkers for the
checkers. These flurries of interpretations are brought to us in slick,
non-stop packaging yelling the question: Who do you believe - us or
Most citizen observers
will say that all politicians lie. By all fact checkers’ accounts, the
Romney-Paul Ryan team is way ahead of the pack in the lying game.
analyst, Matt Taibbi, ripped into the
calling him “a salesman and bullshit artist of the highest order” in
Rolling Stone Politics blog. No argument here.
In the age where every
grunt or action by a public official is captured on videotape, it
to be curbing their propensity to stretch the truth or outright lie.
can see split screens of them lying and then telling another lie to
other two lies. Your Grandma was correct when she wisely warned, “If
one lie, you must tell two.”
these folks about their history of lying hasn’t seemed to change their
behavior. In a few cases, the lie catches on as with President Obama’s
birthplace. Upwards to 25% of the electorate believe that the president
But there are many other
lies that have negative policy implications, such asj
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,
the number of blacks on welfare, voter fraud being rampant, and the
stretches on. U.S.
citizens have been told some serious, costly lies.
Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan team is way ahead of the pack in the lying game.
Are examples like this a
case of low (or no) information voters who’ll accept anything that
with their core beliefs? Is it a matter of repeating an image or
times until it gets fully internalized? Are we too busy to dig deeper
truth? Are we more accepting of a lie if we tend to like the person or
Politicians don’t have a
monopoly on deliberate deception. Product advertisers, faith leaders,
media and others who have the attention of the public to shape as they
must also be held accountable.
I fully understand that
most of us don’t have the time to decode and decipher all the noise
us on a daily basis. I also don’t think we want to be mere empty
anyone to pour their version of the facts into our heads - as in Ditto
making us vulnerable to manipulation for the benefit of others.
We must regain our
intuition about truth and character that has been dulled by mindless
and radio. The social justice movement used to be guided by a strong
compass but at times, we have fallen for the okey-doke.
Our movement must raise the bar and set the standard by valuing truth
own politics and conduct.
I believe we have a
responsibility as citizens both to seek the truth and to demand the
whether it is our faith leader, an elected official, a news director or
Board member and Columnist, Jamala Rogers, is the leader of the Organization
for Black Struggle in St.
Additionally, she is an Alston-Bannerman
Fellow. She is the author of The Best of the Way I See It – A Chronicle of Struggle. Click
here to contact Ms.