After a heated discussion about the prevalence of extremist groups in America, a local SLO resident has been punched in the face after arguing that both the far left (ANTIFA) and far right (white nationalism) have perpetrated violence and are worthy of scrutiny.
Caspius Wickerson is a SLO resident of 35 years. The Kohls salesperson, known for being frustratingly undecided on issues that aren’t really that up for debate, was on the recieving end of the blow.
“It hurt, literally and metaphorically. I wanted to approach the issue from a level-headed and compromising perspective… I’ve heard arguments on CNN and the internet about how these issues lack consensus, and I wanted to approach the discussion the same way.”
We spoke with the citizen who threw the punch to understand what triggered such a vigorous reply.
“I don’t even align with ANTIFA, whatever that actually means. I just can’t physically tolerate false equivalence.”
Whilst violence (against fellow members of the proletariat) is not condoned at the SLO Cracker, we find it important to dissect what false equivalence is. And while Wickerson’s feelings are valid, his argumentative basis is a tricky type of misinformation that can be seen throughout the news, and shouldn’t be fed.
What is False Equivalence? Why is “both sides” a harmful argument?
False Equivalence is a logical fallacy that presents an issue from both sides, implying there is equal validity to each end of the spectrum. What makes this a fallacy is by claiming both sides as being guilty, it excuses the more guilty side by asserting that their counterpart is also in the wrong. Oftentimes, the guilt of one side is leveraged to condemn the other side of the issue, even if they aren’t nearly as guilty in actuality.
You can see this in almost every argument that shouldn’t be an argument anymore.
Far Left vs Far Right
Israel vs Palestine
Journalism does this all the time to seem balanced and to make sure all sides of the issue are fairly represented, which isn’t actually fair if one side isn’t based in reality. They are taught to be honest and holistic of all perspectives on an issue, which allows misinformation to spread. This is how opinions not based in reality recieve validity. You can probably find 200 quotes of Trump doing this… hes the Mike Tyson of logical fallacy.
Not only is ANTIFA significantly less harmful than the Far Right, its barely even real in comparison to white nationalist groups (which actually have centralized leaders and political backing). And yet, people don’t shut the fuck up about it. The desire to be fair to “both sides” regarding their extremists is not valid when ANTIFA fights to oppose fascism (and has ONE associated deaths) while the Alt Right has 350 confirmed deaths and spreads a distinct message of hate and unacceptance.
Wickerson said he doesn’t plan on pressing charges… mostly because he’s completely fictitious. What isn’t fictitious is the danger of false equivalence… so please remember.
Journalists are wrong all the time.
Independent fact-checking and healthy skepticism is necessary for the consumption of news in this new age.
Both residents have stated they hope to move on from the incident, and the citizen has since apologized for his outburst. Whether or not his actions warranted violence is uncertain, but what is certain is that both sides of the issue have their supporters and critics and should be evaluated the same.