I don't want to beat a dead horse on the Sandmann issue, but there is one additional thing to say, which played itself out over the last two days on my social media feed.

Once it became clear that the initial narrative of the event did not reflect true events, I expected the issue to more or less die quietly. At best, I thought perhaps conservatives would start referring to the matter as evidence in favor of "fake news," or media bias, or other such things. That's not what happened, however.

Instead, many of the people who were quick to condemn the MAGA boys tried to dig up additional dirt on them. Some posted photos of other students from the same high school, who had painted their bodies black at a sporting event. The idea was that the students were donning "blackface." The reality was that black is one of their school colors, and people paint their bodies at sporting events all the time. Someone else posted a seconds-long video clip of a group of boys alleged to be the same as Sandmann's group, shouting something unintelligible at a scowling girl, who claimed they "harassed" her. A few additional commentators pointed to problems with Sandmann's school, attempting to damn Sandmann by association.

In short, few of the people who were initially wrong about the Sandmann story ended up changing their minds, even despite conclusive evidence that they were wrong.

Now, I don't expect anyone to write an enormous mea culpa about the matter, although in truth a few commentators did just that. They should be lauded for doing so. But I don't expect that average person on Facebook to should from the pulpit that they got one wrong. That would be an unrealistic expectation; nobody does that.

What I never guessed was that people would cling to empirically falsified claims once those claims had been unambiguously falsified.

Upon observing this, I have to admit that it has taken the wind out of my sails in terms of political discussion. I've already written that people in animated debates might not even be talking about the same stuff. Now it's clear that many recent debates are fact-stasis disputes. Even with incontrovertible video evidence, two people can argue about what is really happening, even while it happens right in front of their eyes.

Given that, what is the use of debating anything at all? Nothing I might want to say will matter to anyone, and not merely because I have different values than another person, nor even because they interpret the words I use differently than I do, but rather because we can't even agree on A = A.

That's exasperating.

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