Just the Facts, Ma'am

My mind's eye can see it as if it were yesterday. While the television series, Dragnet, had at least a couple runs, it was the late 1960's and 70's version I remember most.

Sergeant Joe Friday along with his partner, Officer Bill Gannon, would investigate some of the most intense criminal cases in Los Angeles at the time. , There would frequently come a time when, while questioning some witness to a crime or event who would spout some opinions about the case, Sergeant Friday would interject those infamous words, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Lately, I'm strangely drawn to this statement. In fact, I'm convinced that our nation would be in a much better place relationally if each of us demanded, just the facts.

How many times in your life have you heard some sensational news or story or rumor and immediately jumped to a conclusion about those involved? I know I've done that probably dozens of times in my life. What would invariably happen subsequently is that the story was blown way out of proportion. In fact, I discovered that many of the so called "facts" were nothing more than exaggerations.

What a fool I was to believe something without getting the facts!

I've said it many times before that so much of life revolves around mathematics. More specifically, probabilities and statistics come into play. (I'm certain our math teachers at Lighthouse Christian School will like that!)

A good way of using probabilities and statistics is the next time you hear a story or news report of some sweeping generalization. Ask yourself, "What's the probability of that actually happening? Or if a reporter or politician states some annual rate of occurrence of an act or crime, do some digging for the actual statistics, or a better way to put it, Do the math!

A perfect example of this is the reporting of rampant police brutality against black Americans or that police officers across the nation are epidemically and systematically seeking out and killing black Americans with impunity.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH! Step back and do some research. Don't simply jump on the bandwagon of riotous outcry without first looking at the facts. Remember, just the facts, ma'am. A couple folks who have looked at the facts and done some research on many of these claims include Brandon Tatum and Candace Owens. I'd encourage you to do a search and listen to what they've got to say. At the very minimum, it would do all of us some good to hear different perspectives on these and many other subjects.

And, again, just the facts, ma'am!

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