A Psychology Today article written by Dr. Noam Shpancer on stereotypes states that while “decades of research have shown that stereotypes can facilitate intergroup hostility and give rise to toxic prejudices around sex, race, age and multiple other social distinctions” but despite the fact they “are often harmful” they are also “often accurate.”
It’s not uncommon to see some people devolve into throwing out harmful stereotypes whenever they find themselves in emotionally charged conversations. Oftentimes individuals will attempt to discredit, emotionally injure, or demoralize another person expressing an opinion or viewpoint that differs from their own by invoking these harmful stereotypes. This causes the other individual to either react with an equal or greater level of emotional violence, or to continue to belabor their point with more evidence and not insults designed to be hurtful.
We can see this phenomenon occur quite often in American political discourse. The most vocal proponents of far-left and far-right ideologies will often decry one another on social media or during outdoor protests, rattling off stereotypes and judgments about “the other side.”
Namely, “super conservatives” will accuse Ultra-Liberals of being lazy, entitled, spoiled brats who are total strangers to adversity who will sympathize with everyone on the planet except fellow Americans. “Super liberals” will rally back and those who aren’t supportive of the Democratic party are racist, war-mongering, heartless, ignorant reprobates who are spiraling humanity towards the dark ages and destroying our planet.
While these can be harmful stereotypes, and research indicates that the majority of Americans are political centrists, there are some instances where Dr. Shpancer’s statement rings true, which may’ve been proven by this TikTok posted by user @thegoodliars.
In the now viral clip, a man rocking a confederate flag T-shirt at a National Rifle Association conference is asked flat-out if he’s pro or anti-slavery, and he refuses to answer the question.
@thegoodliars At the NRA Conference, we asked a guy in confederate flag shirt if he was pro or anti-slavery. #fyp #texas #nocomment #interview ♬ original sound – The Good Liars
In the video, the individual wearing the shirt says he wants to “keep it flying.” (He’s referring to the flag.)
“And why do you want to keep it flying?” the interviewer asks.
“Why would anyone want to erase our heritage?” the man responds.
“Well, some people would say that that flag symbolizes racism. It symbolizes slavery. And they might have some valid points there,” the interviewer counters.
“That’s their opinion they’re welcome to their opinion if they want it,” the man says.
“Are you pro slavery? Are you against slavery?” the interviewer questions.
“I have no comment but thank you for the interview.” the man says.
The interviewer from @thegoodliars seems taken aback at first, but then asks, “I’ll give you one more chance: pro or anti slavery?”
The man hesitates, then says, “No comment.”
“I’ll give you one more opportunity to say if you’re pro or anti-slavery,” the interviewer asks yet again, seemingly begging the man to say he doesn’t advocate enslaving people.
“No comment,” the man says, while looking away from the camera.
“Alright, well, there you have it. ‘No comment’ on the if you’re in favor of slavery or not,” the interviewer says while walking away.
Commenters were shocked at the clip, which received over 10 million views on TikTok.
“Excuse me sir, what?” one viewer commented.
“I’ve heard a lot – but I’ve not heard that,” another added.
Someone else quipped, “Time zones sure are interesting. If its 7pm in Chicago, its 8pm in New York, 5pm in LA, and 1935 in Alabama.”
Another wrote, “I am very in touch with people and I think he might be pro.”
Many noted the man’s silence.
“i’ve never heard a silence quite this loud,” one viewer said.
“His silence was louder than an answer could have been,” a second wrote.
“‘No comment’ turned out to be quite the comment,” another chimed in.
“He gave him 3 more chances than I would have given him,” a fourth user claimed.
Others said what many others are thinking. While some would argue that it’s a stereotypical thought that gun advocates attending an NRA conference, or those who wish to “honor the heritage” by wearing a confederate flag are racist, the fact that this man wouldn’t say if he’s pro or anti-slavery may indicate that stereotypes are indeed “often accurate.”
Other commenters also expressed their displeasure with the man’s “heritage” argument.
“Let’s not stop with just his heritage,” one viewer countered.
“He’s not an American so don’t associate him with the rest of us,” another added.
“You have to keep in mind they have manipulated/ changed history. The south thinks that flag represents ‘southern pride,’” a third viewer reasoned.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @thegoodliars on TikTok for further comment.
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