Comparatively speaking…

Standing in the wind comparing then to now
And it seems to me I stand a little taller somehow

I’m Just Gone – Bill Anderson

There seems to be a fad on edu-twitter at the moment for comparing everything to the worst atrocities of the Nazi party during WW2.  The one I saw today conflated child shaming by making them wear coloured wrist bands according to their behaviour being like branding.

Now I agree that child shaming has no place in a civilised education system but our hyperbolic comparison with Hitler-approved methods adds little to the argument; indeed it just gets the “angry of Twitter” brigade all in a twist and detracts from the real issue that should be being discussed.

But is this simply a sign of our times?  Daily we see references in the press to WW2 as we discuss Brexit.  It is not conceivable that the two things should be linked, our rational minds know this, but it seems an effective – if lazy – way to make our point heard.

Our perspective seems to be skewed into binary arguments nowadays.  I’ve opined before about the lack of nuance debate in the 280 characters that Twitter allows us but the situation seems to be getting worse rather than better.  We are being polarised at an alarming rate of knots and you are either for or against a position, without any reasoned discussion taking place.  I’m looking for a solution here but I’m worried that I may be the only one.

My worry is that polarising our thinking suits some people.  Being able to quickly pigeonhole individuals by their opinion helps those who seek to control the narrative.  If we can isolate a group of supporters then we can target the dissenters en masse.  Controlling the narrative is how we ended up with Brexit; get enough people to agree with you and your argument can become valid, no matter how unpalatable it really is.

So it’s time to change.  In the words of the amazing @elly_chapple it is time to #FlipTheNarrative.  Do your own research, make your own judgements and do what you believe is right based on your appreciation of all the available facts.

We have the power to change this, but only if we stop resorting to lazy simile and hyperbole.

Generally nothing we face on a daily basis is as bad as, or can be compared to, the atrocities carried out in the name of Nazisim.  Let’s take a firm grip on reality and actually debate the things that matter.


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