I’m a liberal professor and my conservative students terrify me.
Jason McCormick

Great article! I have recently been having a similar discussion with many other people about how human nature makes us form groups, and without realizing it we often create an us v.s. them on a daily basis. You see it in sports with fans arguing about whose team is better, you see it happen with arguments between families, and friends, churches, etc. etc. Even now you are currently presenting a professor v.s. students argument which again is a group v.s. group issue. Other groups we form: Generational, baby boomers v.s. the millennials, male v.s. females, we even divide social issues into groups. All this creates is a competitive environment where every group is arguing that their cause is more important, and thus when you support one you tend to inadvertently oppose another.

Then we have the I had it worse than you wars, between Blacks, Hispanics, Gender groups, Muslims, and then the reactionary “reverse discrimination” claim made by whites. All these just creates more divide. The irony is you think it is possible to bridge that divide, humanity hasn’t collectively successfully bridged that divide for centuries. The United States is basically the biggest human experiment in history, we have attempted to take a bunch of different groups and allow them an avenue to voice their issues. Based on past atrocities, and other events each group has a specific reaction when either one makes a statement. Because everyone is so caught up on how they feel, they will be UNWILLING to hear or tolerate the other’s perspective. Essentially facts don’t matter because human feelings have ALWAYS collectively trumped facts.

You fail to see that you are an INDIVIDUAL, and that most people ARE NOT. You keep thinking you can educate and engage but data consistently shows that even among highly educated people, most fall victim to confirmation bias. We are all susceptible to it yes, but it is a willingness to acknowledge that, which can help you to safeguard against it. Most are NOT WILLING to do it. So while I am glad to know that there are open-minded people like you out there, I saddened at the fact that you believe you can somehow guide someone there. If that person wasn’t open-minded to begin with, you are not going to be able to guide them there. Often people who are open-minded have gone through specific experiences in life that taught them that there perspective was not always the true, that there were other ways to look at things. In essence life humbled them and let them know that there perspective was not the end but only the beginning of many other possibilities. Thank you for your post and keep up the good fight. P.S. As a student I have my own issues I am willing to share about Professors as well if you are open to it.

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