No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ignorance

I get really frustrated with the ignorance I encounter almost daily. Not stupidity, like the jackasses who approach the traffic circle's YIELD sign and stop, that's a whole different issue. I mean ignorance in the truest sense of the word.
For example, when a certain acquaintance of mine continuously comments negatively about "them Mexicans" or "those illegals" or "Mexican immigrants" and completely demoralizes Mexicans as a whole, even though I've told her time and again that I am in fact Mexican.
That's ignorance.
I recently read the comments section following an article in a online science journal about how 32 new planets have been identified, outside of our galaxy, in which someone went on a tangent about how these "stupid scientist expect us to believe that they've actually found planets so that we'll sink more money into their research projects, when most of us are smart enough to know that if there were more planets, we'd of found them by now."
Again, I cite ignorance.
Not to mention the Medicare recipients who showed up at Town Hall meetings all up in arms, shouting "The government needs to keep their hands off my health care!"
I mean, wow, really? I hate to be Mrs. Obvious, but hello?!

Beyond all of that ignorance, and believe me, I know that is a mountain already, lies something even more troubling to me; The ignorance exhibited by the children coming out of the school system here in my home state of Tennessee.
Looking at my state's report card, I see that the graduation rate is below 90% for the last 5 years. It has actually hovered just barely above 80%.
That is truly sad. I wonder why people here are so quick to drop out of school while other states have maintained a 96 -98% graduation rate? Have we made it too easy for kids to give up on education? There should definitely be stiffer repercussions for dropping out of school early.
Even if they don't drop out, the education that they do receive while in the school systems here is definitely lacking.
The Wifester and I were playing Taboo with some people one night, the other couple drew the card with Anne Frank. The one person went through everything one could possibly imagine to use to describe Anne Frank, without using the forbidden words. The buzzer finally rang and I stole the point. After the round was finished, the person who couldn't guess Ann Frank looked to her partner and said, "Oh my god! Did all that stuff really happen to that woman?"
I was flabbergasted. I could not imagine that a grown adult could have made it through the school system without knowing who Anne Frank was. It wasn't even a matter of having blanked out for a moment, she had no clue. She said over and over agian, "I've NEVER heard of her, I'm sorry." And she did graduate...and even attended college for a period of time.
Amazing.
I got a phone call from a business acquaintance the other day. She was aghast over some comments she had received on a discussion thread on Facebook because she had made a comment in support of President Obama. Someone hand called her a communist bitch and told her that she needed to leave the country. My only consolation for her was to again cite ignorance. It seems that the offending party was of the mindset that anyone who was not in agreement with his train of thought was not deserving of living in America.
"Get out of my country!" Ignorance.
The thing is, if we are graduating people who don't know about Anne Frank, and if those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, what then is in store for us in the coming years?
If we are so intolerant of other cultures who are different from our own, and if we've forgotten that the only true Americans were all but totally annihilated by most of our ancestors, and to this day still live in the ghettos we call reservations, what then will happen in the coming years to other races... To our own, which ever it may be?
It seems even those of us who have read Anne Frank's diary and seen the play and studied the history of Germany and the Nazis and Hitler...even those among us have exhibited true ignorance when it comes to the cumulative, adverse effects of intolerance and bigotry.
Why else would we be fighting for equal rights still today? Why else would the false, but ever present idea that Barack Obama was a Muslim have been such an issue? Why else would my own marriage be denied?

When, I wonder, will it stop?

10 cookies cracked:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on the education and Anne Frank point. And yes - YES!! - people are ignoratnt in this world.

But I also think that sometimes people say things out of frustration or because they are not artful speakers and it makes them sound ignorant. And then then people dismiss their opinions because they are deemed ignorant.

Immigration, healthcare, the definition of marriage, etc. are all valid issues with ignorant and smart people on both sides.

Not that you are doing it, but I think many times people think anyone who had a differing opinion is "just ignorant". You know what I mean? Sort of like, if you don't see things the way I do, then you must not be smart enough to understand.

Great topic. :-)

KAREN - I have to post under annon because Google won't let me log in.

Fortune Cookies said...

stupid google! ;)

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Cookie, that is what I always ask when I hear an ignoirant comment 'weren't they paying attn in school?'. No, no they weren't and some closed minds wanna stay CLOSED.

Bizarro Aunt Jackie said...

You got me... I don't get it either. I am a product of the south as well and have seen it all my life, yet I am ever amazed daily at the levels of ignorance.

I know I'm not perfect, but I can't help but marvel at how well adjusted I came out according to the beliefs I was raised on.

Jay said...

People are not only ignorant, they seem to be proud of it. It's really sad.

Fortune Cookies said...

OMG Jackie and Jay - I suppose it's because you are Southerners as well, but you totally get what I'm talking about. Sigh. I don't know how anyone escapes being raised here to become relatively well adjusted, articulate and adaptable humans. Thank goodness some of us do!

Christine said...

My state of Florida has a 59% graduation rate so you should be dancing in the streets. Well, maybe that is the problem...all the Florida kids are dancing in the streets when they should be home studying.

Kathy T. said...

You've got my brain spinning and not in a good way. :(

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