Extreme statements, whether venting or not

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Extreme statements, whether venting or not

Postby portia » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:43 pm

This Am I saw another extreme statement, about the police. I am sure I would hear similar statements about African Americans.
(Something like: "The police are out to shoot us all." or "The Blacks are always ready to shoot at police.")

We know these statements are not true, and I suspect that the people who make those statements know it as much as anyone. I appreciate the need to vent, but what good does it do? It poisons the atmosphere, and--as with many other extreme statements-- it commits the statement maker to a position he/she doesn't really believe in but will fell obligated to defend.

Yet, when someone is in full venting mode, few people will be willing to interrupt and say "Now wait a minute. . ."

I wish we could say "no venting." Reasonable discussions only. But it will not work. Maybe if we could set up "venting rooms" and have people vent there, and be ready for a reasonable, factual discussion afterward. . . OH, Well.
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Re: Extreme statements, whether venting or not

Postby Cerin » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:04 am

I'm not sure your examples represent extreme statements as much as generalizations. And the thing about generalizations is, they spring from repetitive real experience. Officers who police black areas run into lots of black criminals, so they begin to think about blacks as criminals. Blacks policed by white officers run into lots of aggressive, hostile officers, so they begin to think about police as hostile aggressors out to get them.

An extreme statement would be, 'All blacks should be shot', or, 'all police should be shot'.
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Re: Extreme statements, whether venting or not

Postby portia » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:47 am

Yes, you have a point.

But it raised another question. How many of the people--on either side-- have that repetitive experience, or are merely relying on media or friends' statements?
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Re: Extreme statements, whether venting or not

Postby Billobob » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:02 am

Often people have no real experience with the class of people they are making generalizations about. This is because when you rely on media or second hand accounts you get a skewed view of what happened kind of like the game telephone. Even when the account is not skewed people often assume because of those accounts what a class of people are like. Sorry if that sounds unclear.
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