• Dwan L. Hearn

Beware The Misinformed Middle-Ground

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

As I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I came across an article/opinion piece written by Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), of the House of Representative, on the subject of CRT, or Critical Race Theory. It was an excellent read, it was very clear-cut, and it's only right that I share the article here:


Now, as I scrolled through the comment section, there were, of course, comments of the opposing stance which bother me because, the article, as you'll see for yourself if you choose to read it (and I hope you do) clearly debunked the claims made in the comments. It was if they didn't actually read it or if they did, they ignored or chose not to believe those parts.

The parts in question are about what CRT actually teaches. The article says, and I quote (more like copy and paste): As I understand it, critical race theory is the study of systemic institutional racism in the United States. It does not teach, as many of its critics insist, that white people are an inferior race or are all racists. It seems to me to be a worthwhile examination of where institutionalized discrimination of non-white citizens exists, and how it developed.

It was clearly stated that CRT does not teach that White People are inferior or even bad. Just explains How institutional racism happened and I'd assume explore ways to end it.

Some comment would then go on to say: So Johnny, if we do not teach white children to feel guilt and hate themselves for sins of people who lived generations back, we are perpetuating racism? That is pretty messed up of you to believe there Johnny!!! - Clearly ignoring that this is exactly what it doesn't teach.

When I see articles, comments, and have discussions on CRT myself, I see that people either agree, disagree, or fall in this misinformed middle-ground that I think is more dangerous. Actually, that misinformed middle-ground is exactly why American Politics are in the condition it's in today.

As this thought crossed my mind, I'm reminded of a conversation on Twitter (find me @DLHearnWrites) with a woman and another man over an interesting video.

To understand the discussion, you must understand the video. You can see the video on the article here: https://www.wtxl.com/news/national-news/matt-gaetz-tells-crowd-hell-nominate-trump-for-house-speaker-at-sarasota-rally - Or you can just read on because I'll tell you the important bits: So Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says to a crowd that in the next election cycle, The Republicans will regain the majority in the House (typical speech talk), and we'll remove the current Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (also, what would naturally happen if the Republicans regained majority control - typical), and when he gets to nominate someone new for Speaker of the House, the name he'll nominate is Donald J. Trump.

Quickly, I'll just note that this is 1, a clear sign that the Republican party KNOW that Trump isn't going to be "reinstated" as President, and 2, a clear sign that this sector of the Republican base are no longer looking at America as a "Land of the Free" -otherwise, they'd focus on people, not just themselves, and their freedoms to live their lives as THEY see fit. Instead, it's obvious that they want Trump, specifically, in charge and to be completely honest, this is incredibly dangerous. No matter the party in question, to elevate one individual to such a status is reckless, at best. I wont continue this point at this time because it's not the point of the video but is evident by it. It's too important not to mention, but in the end, not apart of my point.

To the Point: When I saw this video and heard the message, one question came to mind - Wouldn't you have to be a member of the House to become Speaker of the House? Others would "like" my comment in agreement and I felt very confident in my stance. That was until someone said that you indeed did NOT have to be a member of the House to become Speaker. Faced with an opposing version of the truth, I did the only thing I knew to do: I looked it up!

A google search of "Do you have to be a member of the house representatives in order to become Speaker" presented this answer: The Constitution does not require the speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every speaker thus far has been. The speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the vice president and ahead of the president pro tempore of the Senate. The source cited was Wikipedia and as we all know, since Wikipedia, although often checked for accuracy, is not a viable source, it therefore required me to search elsewhere for answers. There was only one place to check - The US Constitution itself.

The part of the Constitution that spells out The House of Representatives is Article I, Section 2, where, amidst other things, states: The House of Representatives shall [choose] their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

For my previous statement to be correct, the Constitution would have to specify that the Speaker must be a member of the House, but I do believe it is stated that the Speaker has to meet the same requirements as would be needed to be a member of the House., which by the way, is that you must be 25 years old, be a US Citizen for 7 years, and live in the State you represent.

Upon finding this information and realizing I was wrong, I went to the Twitter thread where this conversation was happening, presented my finding and acknowledged my previous error. The Woman (I'm being general because names aren't important here) , who otherwise agreed with me that you'd be have to be a member of The House to be Speaker of the House, maintained her belief that this was true. I told her that I did some researching and that indeed the Man (not Becky Lynch, but the other guy in the conversation) was indeed correct on his point.

The Woman refused to believe either of us. The Man cited the proper place in the Constitution where the fact sat and told her to see for herself. I even confirmed that was all true. Her counter- argument was that every previous Speaker has been an incumbent member of The House, which is true. This is a fact that The Man and Myself both stated multiple times. No one disputed that this was the case, just that it wasn't mandated as such in the Constitution. Regardless, she refused to listen to either of us, even claiming at one point that the Man was intentionally trying to trigger her. (In fairness, the Woman and the Man had some direct conversation and neither were particularly nice to each other. Maybe he was trying to upset in full context of their conversation, but in the end, his information was correct)

This, to me, is an example of the Misinformed Middle-Ground. She had an opinion based on inaccurate facts. It's important, I believe, to clarify, she was just misinformed. She knew that every Speaker was a member of the House and I, too, felt that this was by design. Turns out to just be circumstance. But the Woman's refusal to believe information that was easily verifiable, despite two people from opposite sides of the overall argument were saying the same thing and citing the same source, along with the emotional response of the Woman, shows the potential problems the Misinformed Middle Ground (I think I'm okay with shortening it to MMG) can cause.

The MMG refuse to adhere to facts. This was evident with the creation of the term "Alternate Facts" and the overuse of the term "Fake News". The Insurgency on January 6th, 2021, is a sign of the actions people are willing to take, albeit an extreme sign, when they root their misinformation Inception-style and refuse to accept the idea that maybe they are the ones wrong, despite who might be the one telling you otherwise.

The Solution to the MMG - Accept the idea that you are only 99% correct on any and all subject matter, Full Stop. Allow room for that 1% to question your perceived reality and in that space, research. Anthony Hyland, a man who I follow on TikTok and have grown to respect, says "Research Over Me-search" - which I hold to mean the same as "Facts Over Feelings" - all of which to mean, form an opinion or an argument based on the researchable and verifiable facts, not just based on how you FEEL about a subject. John Edwards, in 2004 when running for President and asked about Gay Marriage (a major political topic of that cycle) he said that he was against it, but would not sign anything banning it. I took that to mean he didn't FEEL it was right, but the FACTS are that there are other people to consider and he wanted to be fair to them. I FELT that I was right, but I allowed space in that 1% of doubt to look up what I felt was right, in order to prove myself right, only to find I was mistaken. I was able to take that, revise my viewpoint, and stand on solid ground, firmly founded in verifiable facts.

The World will be a better place when we all work to educate the MMG.

- The Moon

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