One of the most annoying rallying cries coming from the left over the last several years is the reemergence of the concept of “your truth.” It’s not a new concept, but it’s one the left has embraced as part of what they say is a cultural shift. They describe it as being about individuals who speak (paraphrasing) “their truth from their perspective as it relates to their experiences.”
The Philly Inquirer‘s Anna Orso described it this way in a piece she wrote on the issue in January 2018:
Is living your truth a laudable goal, or is it the left’s version of Orwellian doublespeak, similar to “fake news” or “alternative facts”? And what if “your truth” is that the Earth is flat or that dinosaurs helped build the pyramids?
As a rule, of course, it’s not. When Winfrey and others say, “Speak your truth,” they typically mean something more like: Share your perspective, tell your story, open up about your experience. But in an America some call “post-truth,” semantics matter.
Orso’s piece was in response to a speech Oprah Winfrey gave at the January 7, 2018 Golden Globes after receiving the Cecile B. DeMille Award:
The media mogul referenced [“speaking your truth”] three times while addressing the seismic #MeToo movement, including: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
You can read and watch the full speech here.
It was Winfrey’s amplification of “speak your truth” during that speech that PragerU used as an example in a video they released this week aggressively challenging the concept.
As you’ll see, Palm Beach Atlantic University Professor Paul Copan points out in the video that “you can have your experience” or “your perspective” but that there was simply “no such thing as ‘your truth’ or ‘my truth.’ There’s only ‘the truth.'” Which, Copan notes, means “that which is true for everyone.”
The video also referenced a tweet from Wall Street Journal‘s Byron Tau written after Winfrey’s speech in which he questioned the validity of describing personal experiences as “your truth.” The phrase “undermines the idea of a shared set of common facts,” Tau wrote:
Oprah employed a phrase that I've noticed a lot of other celebrity using these days: "your truth" instead of "the truth." Why that phrasing? "Your truth" undermines the idea of a shared set of common facts.
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) January 8, 2018
After expanding on Tau’s point, Copan wrapped up the video by stating “Truth can’t be relative. If it is relative, then it’s not truth…. Truth is inescapable because reality is inescapable.”
Watch the two minute segment below:
You can also watch a related, expanded version of this video where Copan talks about “is truth relative?” here.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –