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Symbols, Stephen Sudduth, and Facing the Lie

Thoughts on Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is indeed "lucky" the cops didn't show up for her St. Patrick's Day striptease at Dealey Plaza. Many can argue her video is a piece of exhibitionism and not art. However, she brings up a topic we don't discuss as often as we should. "Groupthink," and its close cousin "character assassination," is typically used by people hoping to destroy another person's credibility. We all know how it works, and many of us have been victims of this behavior. If you dare to speak out against abuse, unmitigated nosiness, and pettiness, then you too may find yourself in the "crosshairs" of some unimaginative character attack. I don't know if Erykah is really focusing on her own personal experiences, or if she is trying to communicate a larger societal problem. No matter what her motives were, she has certainly created some controversy. If you are different, then you are a potential target.

Unless you are well educated, or have been a target of "group think" yourself, you may not even realize you are participating in this act of ignorance and cruelty. If you are knowingly advocating an unfair and ganglike attack on an individual, then chances are you may never suffer a just punishment. We tend to overlook this social ill. But, from a larger perspective, this garden variety tool has been used by some pretty large players. Maybe I am referring to the tactics employed by Fox News and its personalities: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, et al. The truth is I hate to single them out; almost everyone has been guilty during the health care debate.

We can never overlook the dangers of "groupthink" and the herd mentality. This is the same type of thinking that causes innocent people to get hurt: Salem witch trials, The Holocaust, and even small town shame and ignorance.

For a better understanding of "group think" do a little research.


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