• Deric Hollings

The Lowering Tide

[DISCLAIMER]


An aphorism often misattributed to former President John F. Kennedy is, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If true, simple deductive reasoning would suggest that a diminishing tide lowers all boats.


I’m reminded of a time during the late ‘90s, when I was stationed on Camp Kinser, Okinawa, and I observed the aftermath of a shipwreck that occurred in “1986 while heading into Okinawa during a typhoon evacuation.” Apparently, the wreckage has since been removed.


Photo credit, fair use


When I was there and the tide would lower enough, people could walk out to the ship. Though the vessel wrecked during a typhoon, it isn’t unheard of for low tides to cause collisions.


Thinking more about a metaphorical tide, representing a socioeconomic uplift of the masses, I reflect upon this morning’s workout routine. When lifting things and putting them back down, my shuffled music presented an Alfred Banks song entitled “The Waive.”


I found one verse particularly curious.


“I don’t rock with no chumps. I’ll rock a bright orange shirt but I don’t fuck with no Trump. If you do, you a lame. Just know it. I’m black and I’m proud, and I talk with wild slang just to show it. A nice economy is cool but equality is better, and until that’s reality we will not let up. Uhh, and that’s just for the better.”


Lines which cause me to think generally interrupt my workout flow. This is the reason I once told nitape’skw that I tend to prefer ignant rap when lifting. Yet, I digress.


When hearing Banks’ verse, my mind kicked into disputation mode. People may know this as the Socratic Method, critical thinking, epistemological conceptual analysis, or other forms of questioning to discover truth.


It may be worth stating that a number of people within society reject the notion that there is anything such as objective truth or that humans can ever know it if there is such a thing. I am not such a person.


While neglecting my fitness routine, I questioned Banks’ wholescale dismissal of anyone who supports former President Donald Trump. Banks’ sentiment isn’t unpopular among partisan groups.


Labeling an entire swath of people as “deplorables,” “racist,” “terrorists,” or using other ad hominem fallacies to deride them isn’t uncommon. Even relatively intelligent people sometimes spew stupid shit from their mouths.


I’m not particularly intelligent and I say dumb things all the time. Therefore, I can understand Banks’ declaration about Trump supporters even though I disagree.


His “lame” comment aside, I thought about Banks’ use of the no true Scotsman logical fallacy. This occurs when someone offhandedly dismisses a statement by declaring that no actual member of a particular group would support such a position.


As an example, I recently came across a news story in which a reportedly former United States (U.S.) Marine allegedly stated, “I emptied the clip,” when purportedly killing his dad. (I think I’ve covered my bases on the legalese weasel words to address that sentence.)


When reading the story, I immediately explored the comment section to confirm my bias of the no true Scotsman fallacy. One of the top comments at the time was, “If he was a [M]arine he would have said ‘I emptied the mag.”


Bingo! U.S. Marines are taught to use proper nomenclature when referring to weapons and ammunition. No true Marine would refer to a magazine as a “clip.” Right?


Wrong. As much as I may disagree with the actions and speech of others, not every U.S. Marine will meet my standard of what I think a Marine should be or how I think a Jarhead ought to behave.


Likewise, when Banks states, “I’m black and I’m proud, and I talk with wild slang just to show it,” I cannot demand that he must not maintain stereotypes. Not all Scotsmen are the same, nor are all of us black-identifying people. (I gleefully anticipate the person who uses the no true Scotsman fallacy to challenge my black identity.)


Setting aside Banks’ ad hominem and no true Scotsman fallacies, the portion of my workout that took longer to process related to the latter part of Banks’ verse. I disputed the assertion, “A nice economy is cool but equality is better, and until that’s reality we will not let up. Uhh, and that’s just for the better.”


Petty quibble with Banks redundantly using “better”—because I know my needlessly dumb-ass is unnecessarily redundant within my blog posts—I do wonder what Banks means when promoting the idea of “better.” What is better?


Use of “better” is subjective—meaning it exists in the mind of the person—as opposed to objective—not influenced by a person’s perspective. For example:


Subjective: “Living in a place that doesn’t have cold winters is better than living in a place that does.”


Objective: “Places that are close to the equator do not have cold winters.”


This is one of the reasons I dislike the shaming tactic of telling people to “do better,” often expressed by “sadity” individuals who perceivably know more than you about what is good, right, etc. How about they “do better” by not telling others how to do better?


In my practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I promote helping clients “get better,” which is a subjective—individually-based—measure. What I don’t do is claim to know or promote what is “better” for others.


When Banks asserts, “A nice economy is cool but equality is better,” what does he mean? Better to whom? Better in comparison to what? By what means is something considered “better”?


Inflation is said to be soaring to “the fastest annual pace since November of 1981,” with “[r]eal wages [being] down 3.7% over the past 12 months, nearly a 40-year record,” and, “58% of Americans said that Biden wasn’t focusing enough on the economy and even more—65%—said this about inflation.”


Keeping in mind the focus on objective assessment, how does former President Trump’s economy stack up to that of President Joe Biden? It all depends on what source one reviews.


Even objective data may be skewed in one direction or another. For instance, one source reports, “President Biden’s lowest performance difference was on NASDAQ Index performing -51.42% worse than President Trump.”


A separate source states, “Economic growth slowed in the third quarter, but economists estimate the economy grew by about 5% in 2021 — the fastest in decades,” under President Biden. None of this means much to me, perhaps because I’m ignant.


Subjectively, it seems that Banks admits the economy was better under former President Trump. From an ignorance-informed perspective, I concur. Economics aside, Banks suggests that equality is better than a functional economy.


I can’t assess whether or not this is a true statement, because I may have different values than Banks. It very well may be that Banks would rather have less purchasing power as long as he perceives equality among people.


Suppose this is the case. Now, for the sake of discussion, consider the possibility that I disagree with Banks’ notion. Whose perspective is “better”?


Perhaps I maintain that while humans aren’t identical, it is said, “Equal Protection refers to the idea that a governmental body may not deny people equal protection of its governing laws,” and I perceivably advocate equality rather than equity.


Maybe Banks prefers equity, said to involve “distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients.” This socioeconomic argument seems to better align with Banks’ declarative statement, “A nice economy is cool but equality is better, and until that’s reality we will not let up.”


One who values diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility (DEIA) actions may appreciate when the federal government assumes the role of a redistributing regulator. This may be accomplished through positive discrimination or positive action methods.


Some people consider such “positive” behavior to be burdensomely partial, unjust, and unconstitutional. Still, others may inflexibly demand that society should, must, or ought to be what they perceive as relating to equality, though which actually favors a DEIA approach.


Add to this an extreme attitude relating to the notion that people will remain unrelenting until they get what they demand, and one wonders whether or not redistributive means from a finite pool of resources will raise or lower the tide. After all, we aren’t sailing in an infinite ocean.


I try not to self-disturb with what Albert Ellis, creator of REBT, highlighted when he stated, “There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.”


Therefore, when I hear an opinion with which I disagree, such as that from Banks, I simply practice unconditional other-acceptance and go about my day. Or, in the case of this morning, I “push it, push it” to the left and keep it craccin’ with my workouts.


How about you, reader? How do you react when encountering ideas with which you disagree? Are you able to dispute the beliefs? Do the perspectives of others crash upon the waves of your mind and wind up slamming into the emotional coral or a metaphorical low tide?


If you’re struggling with such matters and looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, and hip hop head from the old school, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW



References:


Alexander, R. (2022, May 25). Three musts which hold us back. REBT Info. Retrieved from https://rebtinfo.com/three-musts-which-hold-us-back/

Atcheson, S. (2021, January 5). There is no race card to play because race is intertwined into everything. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/shereeatcheson/2021/01/05/there-is-no-race-card-to-play-because-race-is-intertwined-into-everything/

Banks, A. (2021, April 15). Alfred Banks - The waive (Official video) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/zdGgbnE6_lg

Barnett, B. C. (n.d.). Introduction to philosophy: Epistemology. Rebus Community. Retrieved from https://press.rebus.community/intro-to-phil-epistemology/chapter/the-analysis-of-knowledge/

Cline, A. (2019). Understanding the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-no-true-scotsman-fallacy-250339

Cornell Law School. (n.d.). Equal protection. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/equal_protection

Cuncic, A. (2021, September 22). How can disputation help manage social anxiety. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-disputation-3024547

Devega, C. (2022, July 13). Was this finally enough? Trump and his terrorist confederates must be prosecuted. Salon. Retrieved from https://www.salon.com/2022/07/13/was-this-finally-enough-and-his-terrorist-confederates-must-be-prosecuted/

Dictionary.com. (2021, July 7). “Subjective” vs. “objective”: What’s the difference? Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/e/subjective-vs-objective/

Dryden, W. (n.d.). REBT. Retrieved from https://www.windydryden.com/rebt

Eggert, D. (2020, June 2). Michigan Democratic chair: Trump supporters are racist. Click On Detroit. Retrieved from https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michigan/2020/06/02/michigan-democratic-chair-trump-supporters-are-racist/

Enriquez, A. (2021, October 25). Q. How does fair use work for book covers, album covers, and movie posters? Penn State. Retrieved from https://psu.libanswers.com/faq/336502

Facts First. (2022, August 26). Presidential comparison: Biden vs Trump. Retrieved from https://www.factsarefirst.com/comparison/joe-biden/donald-trump

Fisher, J. (2022, August 19). ‘I emptied the clip’: Ex-Marine, 23, gives chilling jail interview after livestreaming himself shooting dead his father and stepmom in front of sister, 11, ‘because dad was accused of sex abuse.’ Daily Mail. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11128877/Ex-Marine-gives-chilling-interview-fatally-shooting-dad-stepmom-sister-11.html

Foundation for Critical Thinking, The. (n.d.). Defining critical thinking. Retrieved from https://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

Galston, W. A. (2022, February 17). Why inflation is President Biden’s biggest political problem. The Brookings Institution. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2022/02/17/why-inflation-is-president-bidens-biggest-political-problem/

Gore, D., Kiely, E., Farley, R., Robertson, L., and Jackson, B. (2022, January 20). Biden’s numbers. FactCheck.org. Retrieved from https://www.factcheck.org/2022/01/bidens-numbers/

Gutoskey, E. (2020, June 11). What’s the difference between equity and equality? Mental Floss. Retrieved from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/625404/equity-vs-equality-what-is-the-difference

Heshmat, S. (2015, April 23). What is confirmation bias? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201504/what-is-confirmation-bias

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Kasmira. (2009, January 8). Shipwreck 1. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/47241502@N00/3179987153/in/photostream/

Killer Mike. (2015, December 4). That’s life [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/kiJ5B1xMJio

Kirk PCA. (2015, May 29). Equal doesn’t mean identical. Presbyterian Church in America. Retrieved from https://www.kirkpca.org/more-articles/2015/5/29/equality-doesnt-mean-identical

Law Offices of Mann & Elias. (n.d.). What is positive discrimination? Retrieved from https://mannelias.com/what-is-positive-discrimination/

Lorio, C. (2022, January 3). For rapper Alfred Banks, uptown is ‘where I came from, where I’m at and where I want to go.’ Uptown Messenger. Retrieved from https://uptownmessenger.com/2022/01/for-rapper-alfred-banks-uptown-is-where-i-came-from-where-im-at-and-where-i-want-to-go/

Maden, J. (2021, July). Socratic Method: What is it and how can you use it? Philosophy Break. Retrieved from https://philosophybreak.com/articles/socratic-method-what-is-it-how-can-you-use-it/

Maritime Studies South Africa. (n.d.). Tides and their formation. Retrieved from https://maritimesa.org/grade-10/tides-and-their-formation/

Master Class. (2021, August 10). The difference between subjective and objective information. Retrieved from https://www.masterclass.com/articles/subjective-vs-objective-information-explained

Nath, S. (2014, May). The concept of reality from postmodern perspectives. Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research. Retrieved from https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.998.6261&rep=rep1&type=pdf

NLE Choppa. (2022, August 26). NLE Choppa - Push it (ft. Young Thug) [Official music video] [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/BjmdefZGcME

NPR. (2016, June 16). Watch: In conversation with Oprah, Michelle Obama tells men to ‘be better.’ Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482308543/watch-in-conversation-with-oprah-michelle-obama-tells-men-to-be-better

Online Public Health. (2020, November 5). Equity vs. equality: What’s the difference? Milken Institute School of Public Health. Retrieved from https://onlinepublichealth.gwu.edu/resources/equity-vs-equality/

Oxplore. (n.d.). Does truth exist. Retrieved from https://oxplore.org/question-detail/does-truth-exist#1084

Penobscot Culture. (n.d.). Basic words one (Newt). Retrieved from https://www.penobscotculture.com/images/lang-camp-2014/LangCamp2016/John_Dennis_Mikmaq_Basic_Words_1.pdf

P.L.E. (n.d.). Ad hominem and related fallacies. Lander University. Retrieved from https://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html

Roberts, R. (2021, August 31). Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ speech shocked voters five years ago — but some feel it was prescient. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/08/31/deplorables-basket-hillary-clinton/

Ross, W. (n.d.). The three major musts. REBT Network. Retrieved from http://www.rebtnetwork.org/library/musts.html

St. Onge, P. (2022, July 14). Now at 9.1%, Biden’s inflation keeps getting worse. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/markets-and-finance/commentary/now-91-bidens-inflation-keeps-getting-worse

Stupart, Y. (2018, February 11). Understanding Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Health Pro Advice. Retrieved from https://healthproadvice.com/mental-health/Rational-Emotive-Behavioral-Therapy-An-Approach-to-Counselling

Surbhi, S. (2018, August 22). Difference between should, ought to and must. Key Differences. Retrieved from https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-should-ought-to-and-must.html

Thrajin. (2007, January 24). Ignant. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ignant

Triggernometry. (2022, August 17). Sam Harris: Trump, religion, wokeness [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DDqtFS_Pvcs

White, B. (2022, July 13). Biden’s inflation nightmare gets scarier. Politico. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2022/07/13/bidens-inflation-nightmare-gets-scarier-00045727

White House, The. (2021, June 25). Executive order on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/25/executive-order-on-diversity-equity-inclusion-and-accessibility-in-the-federal-workforce/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Albert Ellis. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ellis

Wikipedia. (n.d.). A rising tide lifts all boats. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_rising_tide_lifts_all_boats

Writing Explained. (n.d.). Objective vs. subjective – What’s the difference? Retrieved from https://writingexplained.org/objective-vs-subjective-difference

Zimmerman, F. (2006, May 3). Despite namesake’s removal, Kinser Clippers stay on course. Stars and Stripes. Retrieved from https://www.stripes.com/news/despite-namesake-s-removal-kinser-clippers-stay-on-course-1.48510

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All