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Nobody changes their mind based on facts and evidence. Everyone sees what they are looking for but few see what’s really there. We hear what we want to hear and see what we want to see and even if something is staring us in the face we don’t see it because we are looking for something else.

This is what happened with the murders in Atlanta. The murderer confessed to the crimes saying he had a sex addiction and blamed the women at the massage parlors for tempting him. This statement, that he killed the women because they tempted him, is misogyny, not racism.

To kill women because they tempt you is point blank in your face misogyny and the media missed it, the siloed activists were blind to it, and the politicians used it to raise money. It’s as if the killing of women around the world and increasing domestic violence during the pandemic were not happening. It’s as if killing a woman is just a personal affair, a domestic matter, not bigotry rising to a hate crime. The murders in Atlanta were hate crimes, but they were based on hatred of women, not Asians.

We must be aware of confirmation bias and how it affects the way we see things. We can see how this misinformation can lead to conflict.

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You may say it was both misogyny and race now that I’ve shown you that misogyny is what the murderer confessed to, but you would be relying on circumstantial evidence and tedious arguments. The only evidence you have is that the women were Asian, but most of the women who work in the massage parlors he frequented are Asian. So your correlation is spurious. He didn’t kill the women because they were Asian. He killed them because they worked in massage parlors that tempted him. You will have a hard time proving racial animus in court but animus toward women is on the face of the confession.

We must be aware of confirmation bias and how it affects the way we see things. We can see how this misinformation can lead to conflict. If prosecutors fail to charge the murderer with a hate crime because there isn’t any racial animus, people will be upset. Meanwhile, no one sees the animus toward women because they aren’t looking for it. So it may never get charged. All the while anyone who questions the false narrative is ostracized rather than listened to. We sink deeper into the rabbit hole because we are careless about what we believe, too prideful to admit we were wrong, or so unscrupulous as to not care.

Our leaders and the media are constantly manipulating us. Anti-racist activists see everything through the eyes of race. Christians see everything through the eyes of sin. Socialists see everything through the lens of their ideology. Propagandists use this against us. Everything becomes a political football to stoke anger and raise funds. We fall for it all the time.

Don’t jump on every bandwagon that comes along. Be critical about the media you consume. Respect the effect media and propaganda have on us. Don’t form an opinion about a current event or news topic without thinking it through. Be open-minded and consider other people’s points of view.

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Not everything you hear from politicians, activists, and the news media is true. No theory, pundit, or news source is always right. Take everything with a grain of salt and be critical of the information you consume. Even if you believe it’s from a trusted source or supports your point of view or seems to make sense to you, listen to and don’t judge those who disagree. Instead, try to understand what they are saying before you jump to the wrong conclusion.

Rich Procida