The Cost of Misinformation on Our Community [OP-ED]
I am not here to tell you how to think, vote or express yourself. That's not my job or my place. But, as a member of society, I do believe it is our duty to be informed...especially if you vote or publicly want to spread your views. And when I see outright lies being told which in return muddies the water and makes it difficult for some to fashion informed decisions, it drives me nuts. Sadly, historically speaking, if you tell a lie enough times it just becomes the truth. Most don't fact check or challenge, they just accept.
Everyone today has access to the modern day equivalent of the printing press in their pocket and can share their views and opinions with the world at a moments notice...but many do so carelessly and spread false facts.
To make my point, lets play a little game. Below, I'm going to post real posts/texts I saw yesterday. And then we're going to figure out if those statements are true or false:
"I'm not paying a garbage fee, I'll move to Bossier first"
FALSE. If a garbage fee is enough to make you move, well...you're going to have a hard time finding somewhere to move because most (i.e. nearly every single) cities and municipalities charge a garbage fee. In fact, Mayor Perkins' $18 dollar a month fee is less than most other cities in our area (with the exception of Monroe). You don't have to like it...but it is kind of standard practice.
"I wanna know how much these goobers are being paid that Perkins hired!! They are not even from here"
Again, another false statement...at least a partly false statement. I can't speak to whether or not Adrian's appointments are goobers, I don't know most of them personally. But the Mayor, after making his appointments, publicly stated how much they were being paid. And furthermore, most if not all are local folks. Keith Hanson, the Chief Technology officer, is a local tech guy. Mekisha Creal, the new city attorney, is a long time employee of the Caddo DA's office. The list goes on.
"DA [James] Stewart will not up the charges on those 3 killers. He's infamous for giving a slap on the wrist to criminals. Especially black ones." (referring to the arrests in the Officer Payne murder)
FALSE. Are you sensing a theme here? I'm not telling you to like the job DA Stewart does, but to make this a race issue is ridiculous...specifically in this case. Lets just go back to the Officer LaValley murder. Grover Cannon, his accused killer, is a black guy. James Stewart, the district attorney, is pursuing 1st degree murder charges and the death penalty. Your theory has an obvious flaw.
And this is just a small sample of the things that were said yesterday. Again, I'm not telling you how to think or feel. I'm just telling you that before you jump to conclusions or publicly make statements, do some research. Know what you're talking about. Be informed. You can dislike the Mayor, the DA or me...that's ok. But before taking to the internet or your friends to bash and trash, do a little research.
One of the biggest lies I see spread in our community is in regards to former Mayor Cedric Glover and Elio Motors.
Regardless of what you think of Cedric as a mayor, he literally had nothing to do with the Elio deal because the building is located in the Parish, not the city. Yet, many in our community believe that deal is the embodiment of Cedric's failure of being a good leader for Shreveport. And because that story has been told countless times with little to no opposition, its viewed as fact and not a piece of fiction.
Fake news isn't something that can just be blamed strictly on the main stream media. We have a responsibility to be informed too.