I grew up in a part of small Black America of the south. During those formative years I overheard a few adult Black men attempt to validate many an argument with a simple statement: "I read it in the book". I assumed they believed that if it were published in a book or written in publications like magazines and newspapers, then it had to be true.At the time, it didn't occur to me and apparently to some Black men in my little corner of Black America--who were, for the most part, denied education and whose little Black children, like me, were given the second class education that a Jim Crow America provided Black children--that books would be filled with lies. Of course, that fantasy was eradicated even in my little black part of the south by the time the Civil Rights Movement were in full swing.
Today, many years later, a Culture of Lies by authors and especially conservative religious authors and onservative political pundits still exist. Some magazines and newspaper publications, authors, and pundits lie unabashedly and unnecessarily except for whatever serves their political, racist, and economic agenda--most of which are in vile opposition to the poor, the working class, and the middle class of both white and black America.
Still a gullible public eats it up because the lies and innuendo told them often appeal to their emotions, their, hate, their greed, and their fears. But what can we expect from an American Public where even white children of working class families and white children of middle class families are prevented from a public education that promotes intelligent discussion, legitimate science, the scientific method, discerning debate, critical thinking, a passion for truth, and a morality of truth?
Much of this condition is made worse by a relentless attack on public education, critical thinking, and the demonizing of legitimate science and the scientific method by a vile and greedy conservative faction in America. The apparent irony, though I never should have seen it as such, is that this was ever possible in an American Democracy, at least not to the white middle class and their white working class sisters and brothers.
Today, many years after I heard those "I read it in the book" comments, given the fact that fewer Americans even read books, magazine journals, and newspapers, and even fewer can find good and accurate journalism, "I read it in the book has been replaced by "I saw it on the internet", "I saw it on TV", and "I heard it on the radio". Unfortunately, the validity and realibility of information received from these three sources are given by too many pundits who are willing to lie to America for money and for the purpose of promoting political, religious, and economic agenda--which they also do for money and for no other reason.
Fox News is frequently called out for making false and misleading statements to it viewers. They don't care. Rush Limbaugh is as blatant a fabricator of fake outrage and fake "truth" as anyone. And the amount of false rhetoric coming from many pulpits on Sunday mornings is a blight on Christianity and a desecrecration of The Christ whose name they invoke.
All of the above notwithstanding, it is still incumbent upon us to receive as much information from a many sources as we can. But we should do it with a discerning eye, a discerning ear, and the intelligence of a critical thinker--no matter the source.
In other words, be careful of the "truths" you hear and read. But, be more careful of who you trust and who you believe.