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Did the world get Aung San Suu Kyi wrong?

Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar. Photo courtesy of
2008 Furman University political science graduate Danielle Lupton. She is a professor of political science at Colgate University.

Rising to a sort of political sainthood in 2015 when her party came to power, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, is now the target of global criticism. Her once shiny image is now tarnished by the actions Myanmar’s military, which is waging a “campaign of murder, rape and torture against the Rohingya minority group,” reports The New York Times.

2008 Furman University alumna Danielle Lupton says, “We keep ending up in this situation where we either idolize or demonize foreign leaders.” Lupton, a political science professor at Colgate University, argues that our perception of leaders is based not on politics alone, but also on the “notion of confirmation bias: that you have a predetermined belief about either an outcome or in this case whether a person is good or bad. That bias leads people to subconsciously select information that reinforces those beliefs — and to ignore facts that are inconsistent with it.”

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