I'm not going to posit my position on the morality or immorality of the issue of illegal immigrants being separated from their children at the border. I'm not looking to start a s*@t storm of debate, and Facebook is already filled to the brim with heated arguments about the ethics or laws governing the topic of separating kids from their Moms and Dads. The TV and radio is full of it. So if you want to debate the issue itself, this will not be the place.
What I would like to point out is what I've been noticing as a result of this debate - something that is not spoken enough:
The general American populace, on both sides of the issue, does not know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to the true facts of this story.
Many people who fiercely voice their opinion - either pro-illegal immigration or anti-illegal immigration - are the same people who, when trying to argue their point, cite facts or laws or bills that are just plain wrong. Again, both sides are guilty of this.
They pick up a snippet of evidence, or a meme, or a video, and, without vetting it, post it in the Facebook comments section to back up their case. They are quite headstrong and confident that they have found the Holy Grail of "the truth" that completely shuts down their opponent's side - be it an anecdote, a news clip about who signed what bill when and who enforced it or who didn't, a legal precedent that didn't quite go down in the way the debater is presenting, whatever bolsters their argument, and they arrogantly throw it out there assured they have won the day.
But more often than not, they haven't. Turns out that bill was signed years before and by a different person than the claim makes. That legal precedent was actually mis-interpreted. That anecdote a flat-out, unsubstantiated lie.
For all of the information out there on the internet - the millions of billions of pieces of data that we all have access to - we are all too often too stubborn or biased or just not smart enough to mine the actual truth from it.
Never has a nation had SO many forms of communication, and people with so little in the way of facts to say. We have no excuse. We've had access to public education as kids, we have access to the web, to TV news programs, newspapers, radio shows, libraries, you name it, and yet, we can be astoundingly stupid. Again, I truly say this of both parties in the "illegal immigrant parents separated from kids" debate. Again, I am not rendering judgment on who is right and who is wrong on the principle question, and am not even going to discuss that. I just wish that, of all the debates on this topic I'm seeing on Facebook, I was seeing more intelligent discourse, and not comment threads that deteriorate into childish, obscene name-calling and snarky, inaccurate remarks.
In the rare instances I've seen where someone has correctly cited history or law or precedent and not twisted it to their own benefit, the opposing party will dig up something that totally debunks it. Problem being, that thing that was dug up was incorrect. But the poster will not relent, even when proof is solidly offered
People these days care more about being right (morally superior) than they care about being "right" (factually correct). We will never get anywhere as long as the truth is confounded, lies are spun and clung to, name-calling prevails, etc. A great many of us don't seem to seek out the truth unless it fits our agenda.
One more time, I'm not going to say which side is right. I am going to say that both sides are often perpetually grievously wrong as they try to BE right.
This is a critical issue no matter how you view it. Please just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth or tap those keys. Because even if you are truly holding the correct position, you disparage your argument if you are ignorant. And wrong.
The truth shall set us all free.