Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Critical Thinking: observation and comment

I finally figured out what makes critical thinking such a big part of research, and of understanding. Reasoning.

I have had some conversations via e-mail recently over the migrant news stories. One woman told me that if I dont' like things why do I complain all of the time. You have to understand that I was not complaining about anything. I was explaining the differences in migrants who come to America legally and those who have no papers.

She made the comment that "they" come over here and take everything they can get and "she" pays for it. Meaning, in the real world, that she assumed that all migrants legal or otherwise, came to the United States and immediately set out to get what they could for free while "real Americans" like herself who paid taxes and never used the system were paying for "those people." I explained that legal migrants could get some services, and what kind of services they can receive. I have first hand knowledge of the lives of undocumented migrants from my work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the migrant workers who pick winter vegetables here in Florida. Those illegals are the persons who have no resources or recourse to any help with any problems because any time they would appeal to our government agencies they could be deported if found out.

I was explaining and making comments on what services were available. She missed every point, and misread every explaination because she can't reason that there could be anything other than what she reads in tabloids and watches on CNN and Fox news sound bites. Migrants use the system. Easy to read headlines, no explainations needed. Multi sentence paragraphs, with coherent conclusions seem to be beyond her understanding. It would mean she would have to weigh what was said and then make a decision on her best information.

There is only black or white for her. Only Yes or no, Wrong or right. One absolute truth and one lie. The trouble is the basis of what's right is from her own limited personal experience, of which on this subject she has none. So her experience is assumptions and things that "everyone knows" but she has facts to back up.

She thinks she is educated middle class America, and the problem is she probably is very close to it. If that's what America really is, then no wonder George W. Bush was elected. He can relate in sound bites, not substance.

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