Why Is “Educate Yourself!” Seen as a Controversial Statement?


In my time on social media and YouTube speaking out on social and political issues, I’ve come across many reactions to certain statements that seem needlessly petulant and unbecoming of people who claim to want to seek serious discussion. One recurring reaction I find particularly confounding is the visceral reaction some people have when  told; “educate yourself.”

People seemingly take a lot of offense to being told that. Well, honestly, it’s not even that these people take such offense to. The real point of contention is that the party telling them to educate themselves is essentially saying “I’m not going to take the time to teach you this; look it up.” I find the visceral reaction to “educate yourself” mildly amusing; one of the bigger separations between US high school educations and post-secondary educations is that in college, your teachers don’t tend to “baby” you as much. That is to say, you’re typically given lectures and assignments, but your professor is unlikely to hound you to do them (contrary to what some early ’90s teen sitcoms would have you believe). You’re essentially held responsible for your own education in college, as you’re considered, more or less, an adult.

Considering these confrontations between social justice advocates and those coming to them as contrarians usually happen in nonacademic settings (as I said previously, they most often happen on social media), the consternation with the “educate yourself” retort is even more baffling. We’re all grown adults with access to the numerous Internet search engines; information about virtually any topic is right at our fingertips. Since it’s not an academic setting, it’s not about citing sources or else risking a failing grade. As someone who makes educational videos and writes an informational blog, I want to be certain that the information I put out is accurate. I don’t want to be a content creator who just says what I think everyone wants to hear/read to get more views. That means if I want to know something about, say, my state’s food stamps laws, or whether or not raw veganism is healthy long-term, I need to educate myself.

Fellow far leftist/vegan YouTuber Captain Andy made a video last October wherein he touched on this very issue, citing several “anti-SJW” YouTubers who made woefully misinformed statements, including:

  • “Fascism is a left-leaning principle…!”
  • “…women were never oppressed…”
  • “Hitler was a socialist! Mussolini was a left-winger…”
  • “…we all know that Hitler was a vegetarian…”

Additionally, some of these people cited by the good Capt. expressed the following opinions:

  • Bernie Sanders is a communist;
  • Anarchists who believe in rules are contradicting themselves;
  • There’s no reason feminists would concern themselves with a race issue;
  • There are only two genders…

…and so forth.

Yeah, as someone who actually has a life which includes many other videos and writings in the coming months, I don’t really care to play the role of teacher to these people. My time is better spent researching topics of interest to me and putting out the best possible content I can. And in all honesty, if being asked to educate yourself causes you so much pain, yet you can’t help but spout uninformed tripe like this…DON’T SPEAK.

In all seriousness, Google Scholar is your friend.

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