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If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out the reasons for the near collapse of law and order in this country. Most of us realize that events following the George Floyd death have been in the planning stage for a long time; the Marxists saw a moment of weakness in our society and capitalized on it with merciless determination.
I get all that.
But I wasn’t able to figure out why most of the people who have praised Black Lives Matter and volunteered to be rioters and protestors are white. Political leaders (as in mayors and governors) have celebrated the lawlessness and bowed to the causes of criminals. Tongue lashings from women of the white elite are witnessed by many, as are spoiled teenagers who have indulged in their first looting attempts.
What is going on?
I’d like to propose a theory for the willingness of Americans to debase themselves and engage in these extreme activities. It is a combination of the pseudo-science of stereotyping and bias, as well as the timely emergence of a Martyr Complex. Let me first explain the misleading conclusions that have been reached about stereotyping and the role it plays in the activities of the last few months.
In recent years, the study of stereotypes has revealed some fascinating factors:
Psychologists once believed that only bigoted people used stereotypes. Now the study of unconscious bias is revealing the unsettling truth: We all use stereotypes, all the time, without knowing it.
Actually, this conclusion doesn’t surprise me. Our brains are complex organs and the unconscious is, by definition, unknown to us. The article goes on to say:
Previously, researchers who studied stereotyping had simply asked people to record their feelings about minority groups and had used their answers as an index of their attitudes. Psychologists now understand that these conscious replies are only half the story. How progressive a person seems to be on the surface bears little or no relation to how prejudiced he or she is on an unconscious level—so that a bleeding-heart liberal might harbor just as many biases as a neo-Nazi skinhead.
I was still reluctantly onboard, until Jon Bargh, Ph.D. of New York University reached a more questionable conclusion:
‘Even if there is a kernel of truth in the stereotype, you’re still applying a generalization about a group to an individual, which is always incorrect,’ says Bargh. Accuracy aside, some believe that the use of stereotypes is simply unjust. ‘In a democratic society, people should be judged as individuals and not as members of a group,’ Banaji argues. ‘Stereotyping flies in the face of that ideal.’
I disagree with every sentence of their statements: (1) a stereotype almost always has some truth. For Dr. Bargh to say applying the generalization to an individual is always incorrect, is, well, too broad a generalization for me; (2) stereotypes in our thinking are not, in themselves, just or unjust, unless we apply them unfairly; they simply exist; (3) democracy does not require judging others at all, but is only intended to protect our rights; and (4) since stereotyping has nothing to do with democracy, it doesn’t fly in the face of any ideal (unless you are a Progressive).
I have made the effort to parse this paragraph because it reeks of the politicization of science. The scientists intend not only to tell us that we are victims of our unconscious mind, but they go on to say even more:
Of course, we aren’t completely under the sway of our unconscious. Scientists think that the automatic activation of a stereotype is immediately followed by a conscious check on unacceptable thoughts—at least in people who think that they are not prejudiced. This internal censor successfully restrains overtly biased responses. But there’s still the danger of leakage, which often shows up in non-verbal behavior: our expressions, our stance, how far away we stand, how much eye contact we make.
So, we must become fully conscious or our unconscious minds will lead us to be racists. We are hopeless human beings who are unable to be perfectly conscious, i.e., free of our stereotypes of others.
* * * * *
Now that we have explored the mindset of stereotypes and how we are victim to those stereotypes we hold (whether we know it or not), let me go on to explain the role of the Martyr Complex, also known as Martyr Syndrome, in the societal chaos, as well as its relationship to stereotyping. (Do not confuse the Martyr Complex with those who are called to martyrdom, such as Todd Beamer, shown above, who sacrificed his life on United Flight 93.)
I think most people agree that we live in a secular society, and that many of our citizens not only reject religion but have disdain for it. Nevertheless, many people crave some kind of religious experience (in the broadest sense), although they would call it something else. Belief systems like Marxism, Leninism, Leftism, and Progressivism today are thriving. One aspect of these “isms,” however, has been the missing role of the martyr. What is the definition of a martyr?
Historically, a martyr is someone who chooses to sacrifice their [sic] life or face pain and suffering instead of giving up something they hold sacred. While the term is still used this way today, it’s taken on a secondary meaning that’s a bit less dramatic. Today, the term is sometimes used to describe someone who seems to always be suffering in one way or another.
I am suggesting that the historic definition applies today, practiced in the extreme. Elaborating on this definition, there is this statement:
Know that people with martyr syndrome suffer mostly by choice. When someone has martyr syndrome, they often choose to continue suffering, rather than fixing the problem, because they think that their suffering provides them with the completeness and fulfillment required to lead a meaningful and whole life. More than anything, a person with martyr syndrome longs for recognition and approval from those around them. (Italics are mine.)
By this time, you might be asking about the connection between stereotypes and martyrdom.
If people become convinced there is absolutely no way that they can rid themselves of their racism, they are filled with overwhelming guilt. If they aspire to achieve an ideal life, they feel hopeless. They must do something to atone for, be punished for what they believe and who they are. They must present themselves as martyrs to the cause. They must declare it publicly, verbally flagellating themselves and decrying the unbelievers.
The leaders of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and all the other organizations who are marching in our streets know just what they are doing. They seized an opportunity to maximize Progressive guilt, self-hatred, and pain. They will continue to recruit the people who cannot “free themselves” of their inherent stereotypes and urge them to seek martyrdom. And they will welcome them with open arms.
If we do not stand up for truth and traditional values, they will try to take the rest of us, kicking and screaming, with them.Published in