Much of my life has been spent as an educator. I have always been a firm believer that teachings and words that are validated with eyes and ears offer the most meaningful instruction. I loved laboratory experiments because students could see with their own eyes what was happening, and they didn’t have to take my word regarding the science lessons. Labs also let people go forward with a sense that they “know” the lesson and have not just ingested it like a pill.
My mind has opened a lot during the last month as I dialog with people who think differently than I do since Roe vs. Wade was reversed. The changes to my perspective justify sharing it. My wife doesn’t like the abortion conversation because most people enter that conversation unwilling to yield before the first words are spoken. That mentality leaves ill feelings towards the person who thinks differently. I don’t want that to happen to you, either.
I loved doing homework on the history of the topic. I learned that the equivalent of the morning after pill was available during the Roman empire about 2000 years ago, and the book of Exodus references punishment for those who commit the act. Those words in Exodus occurred a couple of thousand years before the Roman invention. I learned that the Catholic church made it illegal in 1869, over 150 years ago. All of this historical context was new data for me. It convinced me more than ever that there is nothing new about our current oscillation of opinion.
Yet, the part of my story came from my discovery of Emmitt Till and his impact on civil rights. I could not help but see the connection between that event and America’s current situation. His story represents a building block of my position that focuses on the importance of truthful education and fundamental social change.
In 1955, Emmitt was a 14-year-old black boy who went to visit family in Money, Mississippi. While there, he told his cousin that he had a white girlfriend back home in Chicago. After some posturing with his cousins, Emmitt decided to make a point to show them he wasn’t kidding and approached a white woman sitting down at a drug store counter. They told him not to do it, but he didn’t heed their advice. All he knew was life in Chicago, and he had no experience with Jim Crow laws.
To no one in the town’s surprise, the woman was offended by Emmitt approaching her, and she told her family what happened. Although the details aren’t clear about what Emmitt said or did, no one said that he harmed anyone in the trial after his murder. That evening, the woman’s husband and his half-brother went to Till’s family’s home and abducted young Emmitt. He was lynched and mutilated. He had been beaten to the point that his facial features were destroyed, and he was found three days later in the local river, bloated with a bullet in his head.
The body was sent back home to his mother, and the sheriff of Money left a note on the outside of the box telling the woman not to open the box, as Emmitt’s face was a sickening sight. The men who committed the crime were arrested but found not guilty by a jury of their peers. Seeing that this injustice would continue unless other people got to see what was happening in the south, Emmitt’s mother defied the sheriff and opened the box. After seeing her dead son, she decided to have an open casket funeral so all could see the impact and output of this hate crime.
Unbeknownst to the event’s details, a young woman from Chicago was among the 600,000 people who viewed Emmitt Hill’s tragic ending. Her name was Rosa Parks. She referenced seeing the truth of what happened to Emmitt when she explained why she did what she did.
I am one of the thousands of thinkers who asked the question, “how long would we have had to wait for civil rights if Emmitt’s mom followed the social norm of the time to have a closed casket funeral and hid the truth of what was happening from the general public because it is disgusting to look at?”
For perspective’s sake, no president has ever had 600,000 funeral visitations. The truth of the violence and the gore led to public discussions that instigated the change to be fast-tracked. It is no accident that HR55 is called the Emmitt Till Antilynching Act. I say, “thank God” to Emmitt’s mother for letting the truth be seen, no matter how ugly.
Concurrent with learning about Emmitt, I thought about the many pro-choice/pro-life conversations I had listened to. I decided to do my own “lab” to see what sort of education existed. I knew I had to start with baseline homework, so I picked knee replacements. I did a google search for HD video knee replacement surgeries. I wanted to see if the “education” associated with seeing the whole procedure existed for those who wanted to be educated. Knee replacements are a part of health care, with insurance codes, diagnostic codes, and folks specializing in it. After all, a knee replacement is downright gross. It includes cutting through two of the thicker bones in the body, pulling them out, and throwing them away. It also involves hammering spikes into bones, not much different than Christ on the Cross, and drilling screws into the live bone. My thought was simple. If I was going to have this procedure done to me, could I see what was about to happen before it happens-was education available for me?
I found many places with HD video footage for patients, as it was considered part of their health care. It made sense. There were also animated versions, and the requirement for “HD” views of the bone, before and after, was plentiful.
Next, I flipped the switch to see if the same education existed for what is called a “Women’s health issue,” I discovered that vacuum aspiration abortion was a widespread kind of abortion, so I typed in “HD video vacuum aspiration abortion,” and started looking for some education.
Nothing HD video on the first 20 pages of google. Nothing on YouTube. That said, there is a link to planned parenthood, so I clicked on that (it made sense, as they claim to be offering women’s health services). Instead of a video, I get a link to donate to planned parenthood. Hmm. Click out of that.
To PP’s defense, they offer a video, but it is stick figures and the opposite end of real education. I click on another link that takes me to a pro-life webpage. They have more graphics but are still animated, not HD video of the real thing. Twenty clicks later, I give up. There are no HD videos readily searchable for me today via google.
I switched to google UK. A few pages deep into their search engine, I find a site that allows me to watch a procedure and see the “output.” It is standard def, not high def, but I decide to take a look.
I experienced physical discomfort as I watched a lifelong lie unwound before me. I was taught that a fetus is a bunch of “undifferentiated cells that can’t live outside of the womb.” Halfway through the video, I see little hands and feet show up on a metal plate, and I turn my head. One leg is still twitching, and I can see the toes. I need no prompting. I begin to feel sick. I see that conspiracy of big tech and the power of leading people without informing them of the truth of this “medical procedure.”
My hypothetical mind jumped to a new question before the end of the video. What if this video education was as available for women considering this procedure as the knee replacement videos were?
I shook my head. I can see more clearly what has happened. It happened to me. We now have several generations of lost women who were duped into what was about to happen. Perhaps many of them lacked the courage to watch. Maybe some of them lacked the desire for education in the same way that some people don’t want to know about mutual funds. Either way, a building block of the American education system was removed from the decision tree, and it only made sense to me that this debate shall continue.
I inverted the conversation and thought about how someone considering a knee replacement would react if they were not allowed to see the exact details of the event, in high definition, before they decided. Where is the voice of the woman who wants the truth? Where is she in this process? There is no way I am the first man to ask this question.
Regardless of how our culture processes this, we can’t miss the lesson of civilization that truth integrated with education makes us better. If someone can see that video and proceed with the details of the procedure and the reality of what is occurring, I can look at them and respect them and the process that educated them. However, I can’t watch that video and proceed with anything that ends an innocent human life with justification. My eyes were not “lied” to, and they certainly were not being swayed by political or religious opinion. What I saw of those little body parts can’t be unseen.
I challenge you to find and watch a real video of this procedure, not a politically driven animation and see how you react. I challenge you to be a scientist instead of trusting them.
Outside of this conversation, I got to see the depth and power of big tech to limit freedom of speech and access to information. That should infuriate everyone who agrees that truth must be inseparable from education.
If our culture continues to conclude that wholistic ignorance is an acceptable architecture, we are doomed.