one of dr Psychology Today article on stereotypes, authored by Noam Shpancer, notes that “decades of research have shown that stereotypes foster intergroup animosity and can lead to toxic prejudices related to gender, race, age, and many other social differences,” but despite the fact that they “are often harmful” they are also “often true”.
It’s not uncommon for some people to start shedding harmful stereotypes when they find themselves in emotionally charged conversations. Oftentimes, individuals attempt to discredit, emotionally hurt, or demoralize another person when they express an opinion or viewpoint that differs from their own by invoking these harmful stereotypes. This causes the other person to respond with either an equal or greater level of emotional violence, or to edit their point of view with more evidence rather than hurtful insults.
We can see this phenomenon fairly frequently in American political discourse. The most vocal advocates of far-left and far-right ideologies will often slam each other on social media or at outdoor protests, rattling off stereotypes and judgments about “the other side.”
Namely, the “superconservatives” will accuse the ultraliberals of being lazy, entitled, spoiled brats who are utterly alien to adversity and who will sympathize with everyone on the planet except their fellow Americans. “Super liberals” will rally again, and those who don’t support the Democratic Party are racist, bellicose, heartless, ignorant damned who are pushing humanity into the Dark Ages and destroying our planet.
While these can be damaging stereotypes, and research suggests that the majority of Americans are political centrists, there are some instances where Dr. Shpancer sounds true, which may have been proven by this TikTok post by user @thegoodliars.
In the now-viral clip, a man rocking a Confederate flag T-shirt at a National Rifle Association conference is flatly asked if he is pro or anti-slavery, and he refuses to answer the question.
@thegoodliars At the NRA conference we asked a guy in a Confederate flag shirt if he was pro or anti slavery. #fyp #texas #nocomment #interview ♬ Original sound – The Good Liars
In the video, the person wearing the shirt says they “want to make it fly.” (Referring to the flag.)
“And why do you want to let him fly?” asks the interlocutor.
“Why would anyone want to erase our legacy?” The man replies.
“Well, some people would say that this flag symbolizes racism. It symbolizes slavery. And they might have a couple of valid points there,” counters the interviewer.
“That’s your opinion, you’re welcome to speak your mind if you want to,” says the man.
“Are you pro-slavery? Are you against slavery?” the interviewer’s questions.
“I have no comment, but thanks for the interview,” says the man.
The @thegoodliars interviewer looks stunned at first, but then asks, “I’ll give you one more chance: pro or anti slavry?”
The man hesitates, then says, “No comment.”
“I’ll give you another opportunity to say whether you are for or against slavery,” asks the interviewer again, seemingly asking the man to say that he does not support human slavery.
“No comment,” the man says, looking away from the camera.
“Okay, well, there you have it. ‘No comment’ on whether or not you are pro-slavery,” says the interviewer as he walks away.
Commenters were shocked by the clip, which received over 10 million views on TikTok.
“Sorry sir, what?” commented a viewer.
“I’ve heard a lot – but I haven’t heard that,” added another.
Another quipped, “Time zones sure are interesting. When it’s 7 p.m. in Chicago, it’s 8 p.m. in New York, 5 p.m. in LA, and 1935 in Alabama.”
Another wrote: “I’m very in touch with people and I think he could be a pro.”
Many noted the man’s silence.
“I’ve never heard such a loud silence,” said one viewer.
“His silence was louder than an answer could have been,” wrote a second.
“‘No comment’ turned out to be a pretty appropriate comment,” chimed in another.
“He gave him three more chances than I would have given him,” claimed a fourth user.
Others said what many others think. While some would argue that it’s a stereotypical thought that gun advocates attending an NRA conference, or those who want to “honor heritage” by wearing a Confederate flag, are racist, the fact is that this man would not say whether he was for or against slavery may indicate that stereotypes are indeed “often true”.
Other commenters also expressed displeasure with the man’s “inheritance” argument.
“Let’s not just leave it at his legacy,” countered one viewer.
“He’s not American so don’t associate him with the rest of us,” added another.
“You have to keep in mind that they manipulated/changed the story. The South thinks the flag represents ‘Southern pride,'” argued a third viewer.
The Daily Dot reached out to @thegoodliars on TikTok for further comment.
Today’s top stories
*Initial publication: June 4, 2022 at 4:21 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/nra-conference-pro-or-anti-slavery/ Mann says “No comment” when asked if he is for or against slavery