I frequently mention cultural differences between Italian and American culture here, naturally as this is my background. I participated in one recently via social media which left me quite disturbed and analyzing the whole thing afterwards, even now. It started with a video of a racist white lady who wanted to see a white doctor at a Canadian hospital. I agreed with everyone else that she's ridiculous in making this request and that such behavior is wrong; I think most rational people would agree. Where we differed was our approach to the problem. Living in this country has made me a bit indifferent to these kinds of public tantrums, but only because I think along the lines of that I can't solve the problems of an idiot by voicing my opinion, especially if it's someone I don't know.
The question of what the moral thing to do in these types of situations is not an easy question. The opposing view that I encountered is that we have the moral obligation to do something, but I don't 100% share that opinion as people are going to be jackasses no matter how much we morally intervene and it will continue in the future no matter how many "Dude, did you just say.....that's not cool and you shouldn't say that" moral deputies we create in the future. I have an issue with the idea that someone deems themselves morally qualified to tell someone what is right and what is wrong and I believe that in the long run this could lead to fanaticism in other issues. My continual response is that these matters are subjective; I may not always step in and say something because in fact that is not my nature. I will admit however, that the woman in the video was very belligerent and her behaviour was unacceptable on the basis that she wasn't being reasonable. The fact that she is a racist is not my concern (others would disagree with me, but I don't care) and I have no business telling her what views are right and which are wrong no matter how fucked up hers are. I'd have told her that she's holding up the line and forcing other sick people to wait, people with sick children. Telling her that vs "you're a racist" I think is more effective. She's obviously already accepted herself and that her behaviour, in her eyes, is ok. In fact in the video she was told repeatedly by everyone to go to a hospital to which she refused. Thus she was very unreasonable and in my opinion THAT warranted public intervention.
Here's where the culture aspect comes in. I can't stand the way some Americans argue. A family member once told me that what Americans don't like is when someone doesn't agree with them (quite right) as they are often arrogant enough to believe that their view is the right one, we should all agree and everyone else is wrong. This I say from numerous observations with my own countrymen but granted this is only one man's experience, take it for what it's worth. What is most irritating is when people become condescending, patronizing and downright insulting. The American approach to many arguments is just this and quite often people are immature and most importantly, they are not objective. I am not saying this is local to only Americans, but that is the focus of this entry. In this I am more comfy arguing with an Italian as they are in fact objectively minded when they argue and can tell the difference between a matter of different opinion and it doesn't bother them. Not the case in the USA as an American feels insulted when you don't agree with them.
What is particularly dangerous (and irritating) is when you combine intelligence with being condescending. I am not admitting defeat in the video in question (the Canadian bigot) as intervening isn't 100% wrong, but where one loses credibility is when you mix child-like tactics (memes) in an otherwise serious discussion. This is important: you claim to be morally advanced in your approaches to society's social problems yet you resort to patronizing when faced with a view contrary to your own. If you're really more advanced with your ideas you wouldn't need to be insulting; how you can take someone serious with all this considered?? How can you be vulgar and insulting, yet still preach morality? I can be vulgar myself (note the F bomb before) but there is a time and place for it and at times it helps to vent. I am of the view that this is an imbalance of intelligence in the sense that someone can be well informed and present a good case, yet you lack the ability to operate with tact which is another form of intelligence in and of itself. This discussion obviously went beyond the video but it was necessary as it opened the door to a wider more profound discussion.
I haven't said anything here that I wouldn't repeat in person. I've only posted this content here as this is my blog and a place where I vent and process my thoughts. Besides I had already said all that I needed to say on fb.
This is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl5JKDIlsbU