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  • Courtney Price

Weaponizing Education

(Originally Posted 12/13/20)


I think one (just one!) of the things that frustrates me about social media this year is the weaponization of the word "educated".


You don't have to look far to find it. We all have friends who have said that people need to "educate themselves" or who imply (or directly state) that they are more educated than those who disagree with them.



How exactly would an adult quantify this? Would it be based solely on college degrees? Would we count certifications? Would area of expertise be taken into account? How about books read, how do we count those? And how do we compare what we know ourselves to what other people know? How do we know what they know so we can make sweeping judgements?


There is no answer, of course. To attempt to judge how educated someone else is and to tell them that they need to "educate themselves" only succeeds in revealing the person who utters this phrase as unable to uphold an intelligent conversation.


We must learn how to disagree and keep talking.

"Just because you disagree with something doesn’t mean it’s hate

speech or the person saying it is a deviant."


Arthur C. Brooks,

Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can

Save America from the Culture of Contempt

We must remember that asking questions is important. No. It's vital. When people gravitate to facts that are different than the ones you gravitate to, it does not make them wrong or stupid. We can take the very polarizing issue of pineapple on pizza as an example. You can yell "fruit doesn't belong on pizza" at me all day, but I'm still going to like it.


We are forced into false dichotomies all the time. But the truth of the matter is that you don't have to choose one of two things in life. And if you choose one, you don't have to passionately loathe the other. Pizza possibilities are endless. And that is true in the political world as well.


What people are really doing when they dismiss another person as "uneducated" is tell them that they are hopeless. They are treating other people with contempt.

“We don’t have an anger problem in American politics. We have a

contempt problem. . . . If you listen to how people talk to each other

in political life today, you notice it is with pure contempt. When

somebody around you treats you with contempt, you never quite

forget it. So if we want to solve the problem of polarization today,

we have to solve the contempt problem.”


Arthur C. Brooks,

Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can

Save America from the Culture of Contempt

The irony is that anyone who is truly concerned with education would never imply that another person is hopeless in the realm of education. Those who truly wish to educate are concerned with imparting knowledge in a kind, welcoming manner. Educators do not utilize contempt in their repertoire. What case studies have shown those who have studied education is that students learn best in an environment that welcomes questions as well as people from diverse cultures and belief systems. Nobody is excluded.


My call is to those who wish to better the world. Do not use your education as an excuse for contempt and distain for others. Be true educators.

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