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The shackles of ignorance: why rejecting experts is the new form of slavery It's everything the experts said a post-truth misinformation society would be—and now it even kills. What we are witnessing is nothing less than slavery 2.0.

The dark days of Trump’s presidency changed more than just the political landscape. It was on little hands man’s watch that we saw the birth and cancer-like growth of a philosophic movement that threatens the very foundations of our democracy and which by its very nature must necessarily put us all in intellectual if not physical chains.

We have to talk about the widespread denigration of experts, calls for “doing your own research,” and the increasing reliance on self-proclaimed knowledge over credible sources. Because, it turns out, it’s everything the experts said a post-truth misinformation society would be.

And now people are suffering — even dying. Brace yourself as we unravel this hot mess.

Unsung heroes

Let’s first recognize and shout out the brilliant minds who have dedicated their lives to understanding complex issues and uncovering the facts. They toil away in bookish offices with minds full of undiluted subject-matter truth and contact lists full of industry insiders. They have Zoom installed and they know how to get a well lit explainer sesh going, thank you very much. We call these people the experts. They’ve spent years in obscurity honing the knowledge of their fields, all just to freely offer us the light of their guidance.

It’s not hard to see how dismissing such sacred knowledge is akin to saying, “Hey, I’ve watched a YouTube video or two, so I’m pretty much a genius now!” And uh-uh, Cletus, it doesn’t work like that.

When individuals dismiss expert opinions and turn to internet tubes, they become vulnerable to conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, misinformation, white supremacy, and biased narratives. Democracy relies on an informed citizenry, capable of making decisions based on accurate and widely disseminated expert information. By undermining the credibility of the very source of truth itself, we engender a post-truth society where truth becomes subjective and public discourse descends into chaos.

Look, we all love the internet. It’s like a never-ending buffet of cat videos and vegan recipes. But when it comes to seeking accurate information, relying on search engine results or what’s on your social media feed can be is a recipe for disaster.

Doing your own research is fine if you want to find the best unicorn-themed cupcake recipe, but when it comes to complex issues like climate change, immigration, human rights, or international relations, we need experts to guide us so we don’t end up in a big stinky toilet flush of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Frankly, expertise is the fuel that keeps democracy and progress bussin

Democracy is a delicate flower that needs nourishment and care. It cannot flourish if we discard the wisdom of experts. In a healthy democracy, we rely on informed decision-making and evidence-based policies. Ignoring expert opinions opens the floodgates to dangerous demagoguery and uninformed governance. It’s like giving the keys to the kingdom to a toddler armed with a crayon.

Expertise is essential for progress and innovation, ensuring that we move forward rather than getting stuck in a backward time warp.

The epidemic of epistemic arrogance

“Doing your own research” automatically and necessarily fosters a culture of epistemic arrogance, where every opinion is deemed equally valid, regardless of its factual basis. This dangerous shift away from unbiased experts undermines critical thinking as well as our collective ability to distinguish truth from falsehoods.

Every time we allow a conspiracy theorist or right-winger to platform their rotten views, we risk becoming field slaves to the slavemaster of their faulty biases, compromising our principles and ultimately our humanity.

Out with the dogwhistle, in with the racism foghorn

In the struggle for emancipation, marginalized voices have long fought to be heard. Erasing experts, who by their nature as enlightened beings always try to amplify these voices, also erases those who have historically been marginalized and ignored. Just as the oppressive systems of slavery and white supremacy erased the voices of the oppressed, undermining experts erodes the foundations of a diverse and inclusive society.

The denigration of experts has more parallels to the historical struggles against white supremacy. Just as white supremacists sought to undermine the knowledge and authority of marginalized communities, those who dismiss experts give life to dangerous “slave master” narratives that devalue intellectual rigor and critical thinking.

Right wing narratives often boil down to: “you don’t need those fancy-pants experts; you can figure it all out on your own.” But guess what? That’s not empowerment; it’s bona fide intellectual oppression disguised as liberation. To dismiss credentialed expertise is indeed to condemn ourselves to the weighty shackles of ignorance.

It’s just dressed up slavery. And we know how that goes.

Undoing Orange Hitler’s misinformation hellscape will be difficult, but it’s not impossible. So let’s get off the plantation, raise our voices, challenge ignorance and ill-advised research wherever we find it, and reclaim intellectual freedom for all.

Stay woke, stay fabulous, and keep yourself informed. In the correct way.

Sorry, Afrunauts! While 85% of you are wonderful people, the other 25% were far too frequently brigades and troll farms. Their abusive comments have traumatized our moderators, and so we can't allow comments until we have built an ethical way to address the troll problem. If you feel the calling and you have familiarized yourself with what is and isn't free speech, you can still email us your scribbles. If your feedback is excellent, we may manually add it!
PS. The A Black Woman Is Speaking mug is a standing invitation to sit down, shut up, and engage in the wisdom shared by Black women. Lord knows the world needs it right now.

1 thought on “<span class="entry-title-primary">The shackles of ignorance: why rejecting experts is the new form of slavery</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">It's everything the experts said a post-truth misinformation society would be—and now it even kills. What we are witnessing is nothing less than slavery 2.0.</span>”

  1. Yep.. experts in science and genetics should definitely be listened to. Like the ones who debunked OOA and explain that “ghost dna” is homo erectus/habillis and that some groups are genetically unevolved and it is evidenced in their behavior patterns. Reallysheds light on EVERYTHING


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