Values vs Facts The Great Divide
I was inspired to write this from the increasingly polarizing political banter that left me feeling frustrated and ineffective in engaging in meaningful dialogs.
Claiming information as facts ( In this era of “Alternative Facts”) and truth seems to have people entrenched in their positions, leaving little room for curiosity.
Therefore, I suggest a shift from facts to values, because facts can be easily distorted, creating the great divide. For instance, as an athlete and an avid sports fan, I have witnessed so many times the same incident viewed and judged totally differently depending on which team you are on, each side claiming the facts as they perceived them.
Consequently, I’d rather focus on what you and I value. Values originate from your guiding inner compass, which determine the qualities, alignment and direction of your decisions, actions and attitudes.
For example, I value a safe society -where there are no mass shootings, schools and streets are safe, therefore, I value gun control laws. And no, this does not mean, I’m coming for your guns. That would be a misrepresentation and a political distortion from what I said and value.
I value justice for all citizens. I support the police, while standing for new police reform and training so that misuse of power and institutional racism are not permitted by the police or judicial system.
I value the right of free speech.
I value accountability.
I value community.
So when 246 years of injustice and abuse towards people of color continue by our legal system and the very organization that is empowered to protect & serve, I support free speech to protest this attack on our citizens! No I don’t support violence. Nor do I support or condone misuse of power by any police officer.
People have said to me when discussing BLM and the protests around the country, “ What about whites or cops getting shot ?” “Why are the violent protests mostly in democratic cities?” These are deflections and distortions of “facts” that don’t address our values nor respond to the decades and centuries of police violence towards people of color.
These are American citizens and should be afforded their constitutional rights- safety , justice and free speech as declared by our Constitution and the values I hold.
I value integrity- walking your talk. If family values and honesty are examples of your values, then integrity and accountability dictate an outcry when people in leadership positions behave against these values.
Stopping the violence that has been systematically inflicted on people of color and other marginalized people, is the domain of the people in power- whites. Stop with the political arguing, and stand up for your values. If you value: free speech, justice and accountability, then I ask you to look at the issues we as a country are facing through the lens of values not political posturing, righteousness and blame.
What are your core values? Where are you a hypocrite i.e. value free speech, yet denounce protesters or Colin kaepernick? Thomas Jefferson said, “ Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
These are challenging times demanding that we wrestle with our individual and cultural values of society, and blind spots by using critical thinking, curiosity, and openness.
The focus on values and how we act in accordance to our values is the only thing that can prove we are a fair and just nation, worthy of being called great- not until then.