Day 48: Dispatch from Outside the Bubble

Fair is fair. A couple of days ago I wrote that Ben Carson seemed to have a peculiar understanding of fundamental neuroscience, despite his expertise as a brain surgeon. I also mentioned that this was part of the same speech in which he referred to slaves as ‘immigrants,’ a turn of phrase which has drawn a lot of criticism. I didn’t really spend much time on that point since I was pretty sure, despite whatever other fabulism he has engaged in the past, Dr Carson certainly knows the meaning of slavery. So, I didn’t really snark in print, though I confess I may have snarked in my heart (just a little). Still in the interest of applying the same standards to those we loathe as those we love, I want to refer you all to this post in the libertarian-leaning conservative website The Federalist. In it, Bre Payton (@Bre_payton on Twitter) documents the 11 times Barack Obama also referred to slaves in the same way. When I say ‘in the same way’ I mean in exactly the same way: with the same aspirational imagery that Carson used. So for someone we liberals respect, we are ready to interpret ‘immigrant’ in a broad sense, but for someone we dislike, we tend to see the same usage as indication of ignorance (or racism). I guess conservatives don’t have a monopoly on confirmation bias.

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