As I followed the story of Shirley Sherrod yesterday and today, I kept going back to a column recently penned by Joe Keohane of The Boston Globe…
Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.
If you haven’t already done so, you probably should read the entire column.
Fortunately, nothing like that ever happens to you or me. We’re always right the first time. Right?
P.S. If there is any justice in the world or courage within the Obama administration, Ms. Sherrod will be reinstated immediately. In addition, she will be offered a full and unconditional apology. (Did we honestly learn nothing from the ACORN incident? (i.e. Fox News and conservative activists like this Breitbart character are not, under any circumstances, to be trusted. Never, ever.))
UPDATE: In the event that you are interested (and have 43 minutes to spare), the NAACP has posted the full video of Ms. Sherrod’s speech. Judge for yourself.