Something has bothered me about the way people compare two different events and use it as an example of how things are unfair. I am not a big fan of listening to people whine about fairness, “leveling the playing field,” or any other euphemism on the subject.
One example is how Brett Kavanaugh and Joe Biden are being treated by the news and public when it comes to accusations of sexual misconduct.
Those on the right side of the aisle are pointing out that many media sources and the general public thought Kavanaugh’s accusers must be believed without question. When it comes to Biden’s accuser? Crickets. It is believed that no one wants to derail Biden’s bid to beat Trump in the Presidential election.
The #MeToo movement was huge and gained a lot of steam during Kavanaugh’s hearings. I have yet to see the same people who were furious about Kavanaugh post anything about Biden. This looks like a double-standard. But is it?
In 2015, Dylann Roof, the South Carolina church shooter, was arrested by the police after carrying out a deadly shooting in a historically black church. Roof is white. After being arrested he was provided a fast-food meal by the police. Many posters on social media cried foul. They believed this was a sign that the cops are racist because had the races been reversed it was speculated that the shooter would have been shot on sight by the police. It was compared to how other situations with the police turned out tragic for black suspects. Not to mention being given food by the police. Clearly they were rewarding him for his evil deed, some reasoned.
Is this more evidence of a double-standard?
In both situations outlined above, and with many other situations, it is too easy to make comparisons and then whine about fairness of the situation.
The reality is that to compare all the circumstances, information found within the details of the story and not the headline, would demonstrate the situations are different. Many situations are fluid and the details about the situations are vastly different, which means the outcome is going to be different.
When someone takes the time to review all the facts and circumstances of a situation, it would be very difficult to find another situation where the two scenarios could be truly considered the same.
Perceived double-standards are similarly illogical to making overly broad statements about an entire class of people.
Today I was listening to a talk show host who was complaining about the “media” and how they are handling a current political situation. The host went on to read an example to illustrate his point. Essentially one writer from one newspaper gave a highly slanted view of the situation and then the host went on to state this is how the media is handling the overall political situation. It really doesn’t matter what the situation is because that’s the formula that individuals on both sides of the aisle use to broadly paint a whole class of people.
It warms my heart when those who make inaccurate double-standard complaints or spend time painting with big brushes are challenged. Once called out frequently, those who paint with a big brush will put it away and appear to backpedal from their original statement. They will not fully retract the sentiment. Many times they will alter the statement to change “all” to “most.”
Lastly, in an implicit argument, they will claim their original statement stands when they acknowledge that not everyone is a certain way, but the number is incredibly tiny.
Do you want to help clean up the nastiness? Whether the statement is said by someone with your political ideology or not, when you hear people making double-standard comparisons or painting with a broad stroke, you must challenge their statement and get them to see how such statements or arguments are disingenuous.
Scotty Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs.