This morning was the first time I had really listened to the AM radio program the cabbie was listening to while on my way home (I get out of work at 4am) and I was disturbed with the comments made.
First, the announcer was saying the usual comments about corupt politicians who only use their funds to buy better cars, etc. and he connected this with ABSCBN’s donation for more chalk for teachers. There was a demand for these so-called corupt politicians to donate chalk – “Hoy magbigay kayo ng chalk!”
I need to ask, if it is a donation, why is there a demand coming from this announcer for politicians to donate chalk?
It will be a good thing, obviously, for people to donate to a good cause, but I think the problem here is the underlying attitude which makes it acceptable to demand for donations. Similar to the beggar who got mad when noboby gave him any coins after he wiped jeepney passengers’ feet with a dirty rag, the Filipino masa seems to be so desparate and so unable to save themselves that they depend on people who are better off for survival. And since this has long been practiced with those in higher socio-economic levels giving in to the demand for donations, the masa has come to expect it.
Second, there was a report on a jeepney meeting a grave accident where some of the passengers died. The announcer immedietly went on to say that he does not doubt that the driver has no license and that he was drunk.
Although he did say that not all drivers are like this, still the fallacy has been made. At that time, nobody knows if the driver has no license and is drunk, yet judgmental statements are easily made.
Third, there was a report on a school principal charged with rape. The announcer mentioned the details of the news but did something which I think ought not to be done if we are aware of other people’s rights. The announcer mentioned the name (first and surnames) of the alleged rapist and even spelled it out.
WHY? The tendency then is for people to label this person as a rapist despite the current lack of evidence. Take note there was no investigation yet.
I find these three examples disturbing because the Filipino masa is a group of non-critical thinkers and I state this as a fact. They will listen to such comments and accept them because persons like radio news announcers are generally considered credible. Such comments perpetuate the culture of non-critical thinkers making it more difficult to destroy it.
The one way to destroy incorrect ideas accepted by non-critical thinkers is to keep perpetuating the correct ones until the time comes when the majority accepts the corect views. I have long accepted that you cannot change a non-critical thinker, and even if you can it will be very difficult. While critical thinkers are able to disconnect themselves from their currently accepted views, the noncritical thinker will consider their views as related to their identities. Hence to attack their views is to attack them personally and they respond with emotion. With programs like Gising Pilipinas perpetuating fallacious thinking, it will take some time before we change the incorrect paradigms of the Filipino.
How do we cope? I think we can have hope for the future if we plan for it. I have written about the responsibilities of true intellectuals. If they are able to increase their influence, then there is hope. It takes time, but it is certainly doable.