I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member – Groucho Marx.
Welcome to the club. People of Color, LGBT, immigrants, women, the poor have all been members of the Alternative Facts Club all their lives. It’s part of being born in America. It is a privilege we don’t want. It’s non-optional and it’s not a privilege. It’s called racism, redlining or the refusal to believe bruises clearly inflicted by a beating. We’ve had no choice, because their facts are THE facts. Everything else becomes irrelevant, inadmissible or nonsense.
And the obverse is Fake News. Did you really always believe the news? I grew up in a news household. Most of us boomers did. We watched the evening news everynight. We had our favorite anchors and weather people and we believed. Oh how we believed just about everything that was said and we heard. Or did we? I grew up in a black neighborhood in a single parent household. The picture on television never matched the one in our home. How we longed for some of the material things we saw. More importantly, how we longed for the respect lavished on some folks because we, so often, were given the butt end of humanity if any at all.
It was embarrassing how fine, upstanding members of the community became humble and obsequious when in the presence of a “person in authority”. The respect was never mutual. It was always **** that rolled down hill. Their facts held sway. How many folks are serving life sentences because their word against the others was never equal or good enough. Never. How many battered wives suffered lifetimes of abuse because no one would believe the obvious facts.
So what was always mainstream is now called Alternative Facts. History and his story or if you were Emmitt Till, her story. Even now, there is no challenge to “the facts”. No one calls them lies. They are not lies. They are a different way to look at the truth: really? So, on the national stage political candidates spar with Alternate Facts and demand Fact Checkers. Fact Checkers come up with Alternative Facts. Lies, damn lies and statistics you say. I say welcome to the club. How does it feel to be a member.