Adventures in conclusion jumping, Part 6: Throwback Edition

BLOGGER’S NOTE: This post is the final in a six-part series on why people make judgments based on limited information. Here are the first five: “Adventures in conclusion jumping, Part 1,” “Adventures in conclusion jumping,Part 2: Police shootings,” “Adventures in conclusion jumping, Part 3: Game of Thrones,” “Adventures in conclusion jumping, Part 4: George Zimmerman’s artistic outlet” and “Adventures in conclusion jumping, Part 5: Charter schools and their stats.”

(Photo Credit: Associated Press)

Since this is the last in my six part series on jumping to conclusions, I decided to bring up a good one from the recent past. This nugget is from former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Herman Cain’s comments during his failed presidential run is one of my favorite jumping to conclusions moments.

Cain said this during the rise of the Occupy movement back in 2011:

“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! … It is not a person’s fault if they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed.”

The Georgia native seems to believe that if someone doesn’t work hard enough or doesn’t have gainful employment, it is their own fault for their misfortunes.

Cain’s comments were typical of people who’ve forgotten how they got where they are. At one point or another, we’ve all needed help to get where we want to go. In Cain’s lifetime, he has a degree from Morehouse College, he became a businessman, an author and a radio show host. I’m pretty sure he had some help along the way. Maybe he confuses being driven with some of his individual goals.

This is where the “pulling oneself up from their bootstraps” argument has a flaw. That argument is easy to make when most don’t even have boots.

You’re better than that Herman.

Instead of shaming folks, you can mentor young people to follow the plan you laid out for yourself.

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