Living In The White

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Most people in the United States live their lives in the white. This phrase may have zero meaning to you at this point but it will all make sense shortly. I say United States specifically but this could apply to other countries as well, my personal experience is here in the US. I would argue that most people around the world actually DO NOT live their lives in the white, because they can’t. Living in the United States and other first world countries is a gift to everyone who is born there and most people don’t realize just how lucky they are.

What does it mean to live in the white?

I recently took a class called When A Gun Is Not an Option. This name pretty much tells you what it’s about. It’s about how to keep yourself and others safe when you are forced into an area where you can’t carry a gun. It was an amazing class taught by MDFI (Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute), you can find it and many other awesome classes here. A major concept we discussed in the class was awareness levels. Our instructor, Trek, gave these awareness levels colors. White means you have near zero awareness of what is going on around you. We have all been there, you’re driving the car or walking down the street and it’s almost like you come back to awareness and realize you don’t really remember the last 30 seconds. Whether it’s because your tired, or staring at your phone, or some other factor it happens to all of us. The goal should be to learn from these moments and do our best to have as few of them as possible. These are the moments when bad things happen. These moments are likely what causes some people to be clumsy or maybe feel they are unlucky. The less time you spend in the white the better. Where we want to spend our time is in the yellow. This is a manageable level of awareness where you are taking in the sights and sounds around you and you have situational awareness that will allow you to keep yourself safe. From there we can move to higher levels of awareness like orange and red as we determine if there is a threat or not. Living in the white is what many people unfortunately do on a daily basis. There are times when it is obvious that we don’t want to be in the white. Driving is a great example, when you are in the white while driving you are less able to react to changes around you that could result in an accident. Obviously we don’t want to be in the white while driving. However I don’t think many people realize that this concept applies to all aspects of your life. I’m not just talking about bodily harm here either. I am talking about your entire life. Obviously we can’t be paying attention to everything all at once, but many of us have a tendency to ignore things that we need to be paying attention to. I include myself in this group, I try to catch myself when I go into the white and think about what the potential consequences could have been in that moment. This is the most important concept to take away from this, don’t beat yourself up about being in the white. Just try to think and learn from it.

Optimism Bias

Living in the white is easy in the United States. If you live in a war torn country, or an underdeveloped country then you cannot afford to live in the white. There is danger everywhere and living in the white can kill you. Here in the US though most people are extremely safe on a day to day basis as compared to large parts of the world. You can genuinely believe that nothing bad will happen because honestly it hardly ever does. This is called an optimism bias. Sure there are bad neighborhoods and bad things can happen to anyone but those are not the people I am talking about. Someone who lives in a dangerous part of Detroit can’t afford to operate in the white. This concept extends beyond your immediate environment too. Most people in the United States operate in the white when it comes to culture, and politics as well. We have all talked to someone who says “I stay out of politics” or something similar. This is operating in the white. They have an optimism bias because things have been so great in this country for so long that they don’t feel the need to pay attention. They see yelling from both sides that they don’t want to be a part of and all they know is that their life hasn’t changed very much going from Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump. This is operating in the white and it’s dangerous but the consequences take longer to come to fruition when you are talking about politics.

What Can Happen?

Voter turnout in the US is, in my opinion, proof that most of this country operates in the white. Voter turnout in the US typically hovers around the 50% mark. Hitting 58% in 2008 was a significant uptick for the country, with so few people turning out to vote politicians have an easier time staying in power because they only have to respond to their base of voters and many of your average people either don’t vote or vote with little idea of what they are actually voting for. Politicians can just say the same nonsense over and over again like “I’m going to create jobs!” or “I’m gonna fix the damn roads!”. These are just declarative statements and if you live in the white then you might believe them. More likely though you will find yourself ten years down the road with crappy roads and no job wondering what happened. You voted for the guy who said he would create jobs and fix the roads so how did you get here? You were living in the white. You didn’t take the time to find out that the guy you voted for has been saying that same thing for 40 years. Living in the white has allowed media organizations to lie to you on a nearly daily basis. This is not a partisan statement. I am talking about CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, OAN, NPR, and the rest of the legacy media companies. If you are simply getting information about what is going on through what is basically osmosis then your view of the world is going to be very skewed. People operate in the white and the only information they gain is from what their friends post on Facebook or the snippet of the news they see in a lobby or at the airport. So what happens when these news companies realize that you are not paying attention? Well they can say and do whatever they want because they know that most people are not going to take the time to check and see if what they are saying is accurate. We have even reached a point where the same media outlets that are lying to you are now also doing fact checks for you. We got a great insight into this process yesterday. Project Veritas released some tapes of calls at CNN revealing what they talk about in their early morning team meetings. In these calls you can hear that CNN, a network that claims to be “The Most Trusted Name In News”, is simply a reality TV network. If they were purely a news network they wouldn’t talk about suppressing stories, or pumping up fake stories like they do. If you don’t believe me you can check out the original source material that Project Veritas release and reportedly will continue to release here. This all makes sense since Jeff Zucker is a reality TV executive but for all of those people who operate in the white he becomes the creator of reality. He decides what the story is going to be, whether it is true or not, and he decides what information you will see. The real life result of this is millions of people who believe that president Trump is an evil dictator who is bent on the murder or internment of minorities. This is obviously nonsense but your average person does not take the time to actually watch the presidents speeches or read the articles to find out that all of the information comes from an “anonymous” source. This is true on the right as well, Fox News will run story after story about Barack Obama’s birth certificate or other nonsense and create a reality where Obama is a Muslim terrorist who was born in Kenya. I have no love for Obama but I am fairly certain that he is not those things. These are the things that result in extreme polarization, if you are operating in the white then you don’t have enough information to figure out what is true and what is untrue. So what I want to leave you with here is to not operate in the white. If you think you know exactly what is going on, I encourage you to do more research. I don’t mean research in the way flat earthers do when they watch each others YouTube videos and call it research. I mean go and find additional sources of information. Find sources outside the legacy media that you trust and spend at least a portion of your day reading, listening, or watching their content. Pay attention when you are reading articles and headlines. Think about whether you are reading an opinion piece or not. I will always try to bring you what I believe to be the most accurate information, but check my sources. When I provide a link, follow it and see what it says. Don’t operate in the white and make it a point to seek out opinions that are different from your own, it may not be long before differing opinions no longer exist online so get them while you can.

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