Monday, August 15, 2011

Correcting Our Influences

I was on my way home from work and my state radio station was on. The discussion was on illegal immigration*. It was frustrating to listen to, not because I was often in disagreement with what the host and the callers had to say, but because all these people called in without having much knowledge of the issue at hand. They were just ranting, speaking out of hatred, and were ignorant of the various facets and levels behind this large issue. Obviously, no one person can understand all the history behind immigration in the United States, but I know for sure that most of these callers (and the host himself) were speaking largely out of their own prejudice, rather than from a well-informed basis.

This sort of thing-- people "discussing" issues without having any actual knowledge of the issue at hand-- happens way too frequently in our society. What is most disappointing to me is that people who have a large influence on others, such as celebrities and show hosts, do not take responsibility for the position they are in. This radio host is aware that he has a pretty large audience and is probably voicing his opinion with some hopes to influence his listeners' thinking. He has every right to his opinion, but when his opinion is not based on facts or research, and based mainly on his own emotional jumbo, then I get upset. He was misinforming the already quite-ignorant public. I wish that more people would research things, think about the multiple facets behind an issue, and try to understand various perspectives before forming an opinion so extreme. This is no easy task, but I hate the idea that most people argue and debate out of pure ignorance. If you're passionate about something and have a strong opinion on it, the least you could do is research it so that you know, for sure, that the opinion you hold is the one you really and truly believe in.

And maybe the everyday person hasn't the time to research. But for people who are leading discussions on such issues and are hearing the public's opinion, I think it's fair to hold them responsible for doing a little research about different perspectives. Or else those moderating will misguide those listening...because they won't have the information to correct outright false things.

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