I was in my dorm doing work for a class project during my Sophomore year at California State University, Sacramento. I had music in the background playing when Rachel Platten’s “Stand By You” came on. The lyrics that interrupted my thoughts were: “And oh, truth I guess truth is what you believe in”. It’s a line that makes someone feel good, but it’s dangerously wrong.
Let me be clear: Rachel Platten is a talented singer-songwriter and this is not a knock against her or her work. But that line greatly summarizes a problem in modern culture. Here’s the problem: when it comes to a truth that might be uncomfortable or awkward to discuss, unfortunately, it is often labeled as evil, racist, sexist, or by some other emotional hijacking, rather than addressed straight on.
Truth is objective, not subjective. What a person believes or doesn’t believe is irrelevant to whether something is true.
All that matters now to woke culture and the mainstream media, is the pushing of a narrative rooted in victimhood and emotion. In society, we have moved away from truth, facts, and data and migrated towards lies, feelings, and narratives. The problem we have now is the conflation of one’s opinions with objective truth.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." This means that I can have an opinion, you can have an opinion, but facts stand above any opinions that might be held. But when it comes to analyzing problems in today’s society, truth takes a back seat or is buried entirely.
For example, America witnessed a tragic and horrific shooting in Atlanta where six of the eight victims were of Asian descent. The shooter said that it had nothing to do with race and blamed his sex addiction (which is obviously still not an excuse). But many various news outlets like ABC, NBC, and CNN immediately rushed to label this as a hate crime and blame white supremacy before authorities could conduct an investigation to determine a motive.
Individuals like Judy Chu, Mike Barnicle and Joy Behar even partially blamed Donald Trump, who was no longer the President of the United States, for the incident due to his rhetoric. The narrative being put forth is that hate crimes against Asian-Americans are due to whiteness, and/or Donald Trump. But what do the facts say about this?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ latest available set of data, there were about 182,000 violent incidents with an Asian victim. Twenty four percent of the incidents were by white offenders, 27.5% were by black offenders, 7% were by Hispanic offenders, and 24.1% by Asian offenders, and 14.4% from “other”. Now while this data is from 2018, two years into Trump’s presidency, it is an important indicator that can’t be ignored. Of course, unwarranted violence is not okay regardless of the particular identity group of the victim or offender. But truth be told, the data doesn’t support the narrative put forth that Donald Trump or whiteness are the cause of anti-Asian hate crimes.
Another narrative put forth by the media, one that I specifically dug into when I began attending college was that of “Rape Culture” in America. Aside from having a broad and ambiguous definition, many are lied to by the mainstream media, colleges, universities. A common statistic that is out is that 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 women has been the victim of rape or the victim of attempted rape. But this is false. If a person takes a minute to actually think about these numbers, they would ask themselves why a woman would be anywhere near a man by herself if this statistic is true.
Here are what the numbers say about rape in America: One data aggregator reports that as of 2019, the United States forcible rate of rape is 42.6 per 100,000 inhabitants. Another aggregator reports that the worst rape rate belongs to South Africa at 132.4 per 100,000, and that America’s rape rate is 27.3 per 100,000. The FBI states the arrest rate for rape was 7.4 per 100,000. Rape is an utterly execrable act and even one occurrence is one too many. But 20% (1-in-5) or 17% (1-in-6) is a long way off compared to .04%, .027%, or .007%. Statistics tell us that women are much safer than the media says they are. But the media loves fear mongering, and this deliberate manipulation has grossly affected the relationship between the sexes. Women are made to feel afraid of men and not trust them, while men are painted as sexual predators just lying in wait to harm women.
Harvard Business Review put out a piece on the effects of MeToo and it showed that women are avoided in the workplace because of it. Almost a fifth of men (19%) said they were reluctant to hire attractive women. Twenty-one percent of men shared they were hesitant to hire a woman for a job that involves close interpersonal interactions with men. Twenty-seven percent of of men actively avoid one-on-one meetings with women. Kristina Mollnos wrote a piece about a lady who now sees that men on her job are hardly willing to speak to her and exclude her from social events like going out for lunch or drinks. In the dating scene, women are now even warier of men approaching them and men are now even more hesitant to approach women. Due to this evil narrative, the sexes are pitted against each other.
A third example of a deceitful feel-good narrative being pushed in the place of truth and facts is the obesity epidemic plaguing the nation. According to the CDC, the prevalence of obesity in the United States was 42%. But that’s not the worst part. Reuter’s predicts that in 9 years, 48.9% of adults will be obese and 24.2% of adults will be severely obese. To make matters worse, COVID-19 accelerated the dilemma. The media however will blatantly lie regardless of the well-known truth.
For example, the UK edition of Cosmopolitan’s cover for February lied to anyone who looked at it. The cover shows some obese women with the caption that says, “This is healthy”. But this narrative isn’t new. In 2013, there was a special report on Fox 11 where morbidly obese women were praised for their size. However, saying that obesity is healthy is empirically and emphatically false; obesity-related conditions like stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes are some of the top leading causes of death in America. But the narrative is all about Political Correctness. In this PC culture, a person can be Healthy At Every Size, and anyone who goes against that mindset is a bullying body-shamer.
In PC Culture, having ads about obesity makes people feel embarrassed. The rules are different however when it comes to advertisements about activities like smoking,vaping,drinking,doing drugs, where it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss the dangers and the risk of death. Instead of actually addressing obesity, society and the media would rather ignore the truth, facts, and data, and run with a feel-good narrative that only makes this epidemic worse.
As a final anecdote when it comes to truth versus false narratives, we can look at the hate-filled and Marxist organization of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter pushes the narrative that blacks are the victims of systemic racism and the biggest problems within the black community are due to sources outside of the black community. The media, BLM, and figures like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X Kendi say that society needs to change what it is doing and that white people must “reflect on their whiteness” and apologize for the great sin of lacking melanin.
But the facts don’t show this. For example, Black Lives Matter says that Black lives aren’t seen as valuable by those who aren’t Black. However, in 2016, Black women possessed the highest abortion rate, 25.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, and accounted for the largest percentage of all abortions at 38%. According to the CDC’s Abortion Surveillance, in 2018, there were 117,626 reported abortions of Black babies. In other words, there were more than 117,000 Black lives taken. When looking at violent incidents in 2018 where the victim was black, 70.3% were from a black offender. Once again, the media refuses to discuss this and BLM won’t acknowledge these facts as the greater threat to Black people around the country. All that matters is portraying Blacks as the silenced, abused, and oppressed minorities and victims of America.
The United States of America is the greatest country that has ever existed AND we have a multitude of problems. However, solutions to these problems are only going to be found in truth. Lies and false narratives only exacerbate and multiply the number of problems like cancerous cells. Telling Blacks that they are being hunted by police because of the color of their skin only breeds fear, mistrust, and hatred for the police. Telling white people that they are racist and evil simply because they are white only begets contempt and racism. Telling women that they are consistently in danger from males only breeds victimhood and broken dreams.
If this great nation is to stay great, we have to come together and solve problems with evidence, data, facts and truth and abandon these lying, divisive, and false narratives. If we don’t, the United States of America’s days are numbered.
Solomon Green is a Contributor at Merion West and the host of the podcast "One More Thing With Solo Green". His writings and podcast mostly focus on Culture and Politics. To send in your questions, comments, podcast topic suggestions, or business inquiries, you can best reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.