Friday, 9 November 2018

#Hearts and #Minds


#BBCQuestionTime last night was partly interesting and partly frustrating in terms of not enough balance on the panel – personally I would have liked to have heard more from #DavidAaronovitch and #JordanPeterson, particularly on the actions of the left to shut down debate that differs from theirs, on campuses as far as they affected David’s woman professor friend and supported Jordan Peterson’s assertions about freedom of speech and thought; but the other thing that got me thinking was the urging from David that there should be another referendum. There is a popular and prevailing supposition that those who voted leave were voting with their hearts and not with their minds and given a second opportunity those patronised masses would wake up and see reason, rather than remain ignorant reactionists (presumably). What is it with this hardboiled attitude and when did it become entrenched? What is so wrong about thinking with your heart? None of us could have predicted how messy this brexiting extraction would be. How could we have predicted the ins and outs? Giving the leavers another patronising opportunity to think is insulting.

Perhaps given I have a (Jesus, please) faith, thinking with my heart is natural to me. Actually I though with my heart BC too. I am usually stirred with my heart first. If my heart had not got all riled up as a teenager about apartheid, I would not have been engaged to act. If I had not got upset about what was happening to the #Karen people in Burma many years before the #Rohingya people became newsworthy, I would not have been motivated to become an activist on their behalf. Had I gone with my mind and not my passion I would not be pursuing the injustice that was perpetrated against me by members of my mother’s family that has led to my upcoming court case. I ploughed through the solicitors who told me I didn’t have a hope in law of bringing the perpetrators to justice for all sorts of reasons and costs. Most people would have let it go, not least because of the stress that litigation brings. Thousands in this country are forced to let go, but I refuse to be a statistic. I will win, one way or another, in this case or not, because I am driven by something deeper than law: a passion that srises from the heart, for truth and justice. And where my heart goes, my mind follows. WW2 would not have been won if Churchill had not engaged hearts as well as minds with his stirringly poetic rhetoric.

Back to BBC QT. As far as audience responses were concerned, in my view, the black woman who spoke about why her son had considered carrying a knife and how it felt to be stopped and searched while going to the shops, was the one whose comments most resonated. This lady had perhaps not had the elite education of most (all?) of the panelists, but her words were no less convicted and powerful and she appeared to have thought things through as well. If we don’t engage our hearts as well as our minds we will continue along the one track and frighteningly fascistic society we seem to be becoming: one where being ideologically right (I mean left) is the only way that is tolerated = the road to totalitarianism.

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