The Bubble of Ignorance
Disclaimer: This post may be longer than usual.
If you’re friends with me on Facebook you know that I’ve had a lot to say about the upcoming elections, the recent shootings of black people by police, and the overall shenanigans that have unfolded in our country over the last few months. I spend a lot of time on social media, mainly because I don’t have a TV in my bedroom and because when I need to check out of the never ending emotional roller coaster that is my personal life, Facebook let’s me do that. It may not be the best way to handle it but that’s for another post.
Based on people’s comments and posts, I’ve come to realize that people are ignorant. And I don’t mean ‘completely unaware ignorance’, I mean ‘choosing not to be aware ignorance’.
That choice to be ignorant is what easily allows our prejudices to turn into hate. That choice to be ignorant allows us to set aside our rational thoughts and pick up fear and concern about things that we shouldn’t be concerned about. That choice to be ignorant allows us to vilify a group of people based on the bad actions of a few while defending the wrongs of a few of another group. That choice to be ignorant is why a speaker at the DNC had to actually tell people to vote for someone who’s sane. We had to be reminded that sanity is important in the election of the President of the United States because people are choosing to be ignorant!
Now, let me say this – I have not arrived. I don’t know about the experiences of every race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation in this country. And obviously, I don’t know what it means to be a man. But what I have tried to do is build authentic relationships with a variety of people so that I’m not as ignorant. So that when I meet a woman wearing a hijab I don’t feel the need to stare at her or wonder if she’s doing it against her will. So that when I meet a person who speaks Spanish I don’t automatically assume they’re Mexican. So that when our friends come over for dinner and our children play together they don’t care if their hair or skin looks different – that they only care if they like Princess Sofia and cheese pizza.
We all have our preconceived notions and prejudices. 99% of the time they are based on our experiences. But when we limit our experiences to only those people who look like us, worship like us, and believe like us, we choose to remain ignorant. And we choose to allow that ignorance to divide us.
Until next time…