From: L. Michael Hall
2023 Neurons #7
February 6, 2023


There was a tragedy. You probably heard about it on the news. Actually it occurred January 7, 2023 and it resulted in the tragic death of Tyre Nichols, a 29 year old black man. The officers claimed to have stopped Nichols for reckless driving in Memphis Tennessee. Then several things went wrong and it resulted in a tragedy for everyone.

The first thing that went wrong was that Nichols began resisting the officers and fighting with them. Bad decision! So after pulling him from his car, they used pepper spray and a taser on him. Then as Nichols continued to resist, he managed to break away from them. That’s when the next thing that went wrong occurred on the officers part. That’s because when they caught him, they were not in the right state and they beat him for three minutes, punching and kicking him in the head and striking him on the back with a baton and they did that while he was restrained. More really bad decisions! Afterwards Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition and he then died three days later.

Now all five of the Police officers were also black. Two were new to the force having been hired after the Police lowered standards for hiring in order to get more people on the force (another bad decision!). As of January 20, all five officers have been fired from the force. Not only that, but in addition, three firefighters, two emergency medical technicians and a lieutenant who attended the scene were relieved of duty and subsequently fired for failing to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Nichols. Two other police officers were also later relieved of duty.

That was the event—that’s what happened. But what does it mean? What explains it? The simplest and most obvious explanation is that it was an interplay of two sets of forces—on the part of Tyre Nichols, his resistance and refusal to cooperate. He should have known better. Anyone pulled over should know better. Cooperation always makes things go better. Talking it out to determine the truth of a situation is always the best choice.

On the part of the officers, they seemed completely incompetent about knowing how to subdue a person and how to do so showing respect to the person while trying to control a situation. Several videos have been publicized on television and on the internet since this event showing simple trainable techniques for subduing a person without causing bodily harm. But these officers apparently did not have that training and fell back on more savage behavior.

As noted in the previous posts, experience and meaning are two very different things. What happens consists of the sensory-based facts. Meaning comes after that and goes to a person’s interpretations. And with determining the validity of an interpretation, we have to look to the person’s ability to be as objective as possible and the cognitive biases that predispose a person to read into events things that are not there. William of Ockham insightly said:
“With all things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.”

The simplest explanation here—unintelligent resistance plus professional incompetence equals tragedy death and firing. What a disastrous combination! By way of contrast, a dozen or more so-called journalists on the mainstream media used their biases and ideology to interpret this event. Unbelievably they were able to distort things to such an extent that they concluded that the five black police officers were “white supremists” of all things(!) and/or “contaminated by white racism.” And as ridiculous as that is, they expressed that ideology with a straight face. That’s how blinding any ideology can be, how unsane. For them, interpretation comes before facts. And, let the facts be damned if they don’t support our ideology.
[Who has said such non-sense? The former ESPN talking head Jemele Hill was one who rushed to blame White supremacy. CNN’s Van Jones echoed the sentiment, as did Democrat Reps. Maxwell Frost of Florida, and Mondaire Jones of New York, and Black Lives Matter activist Bree Newsome.]

There was no racism in that event—there was incompetence. There was stupid resistance. There was hiring of officers who had lower standards. Simple as that. To read more into it than that demands that a person rely on his ideology, prejudices, and biases—the opposite of critical thinking. The solution is to teach people how to truly think, and to think clearly and objectively. And that’s what the Meta-Model of Language is designed to facilitate.