Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ignorance is bliss....?

"I can't stand it when people try to get me involved in their cause. I mean what if I were trying to be politically apathetic" said a female in my English class today....

I sometimes wish that the irony of people's statements would hit them as hard and as clearly as the force with which they state them. Here was a woman sitting in a classroom of an institution that was, at one point in time, all male, across from a black male (me), conversing with others about her gripes with protesting, after explaining her plans for acquiring a PhD. in English.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish people would educate themselves on things outside of their own narrow-minded, personally affecting circle of understanding. How did she suppose she was allowed the opportunity to get somewhere other than the kitchen? It's a proven fact that people in power do not share it unless they have reason to. With this in mind, why in the world would a man have made room for an individual whom he saw as a "weaker (lesser) vessel" without some form of reeducation by the type of people who wanted to get others to see things from their point of view (individuals with a cause)?

Do people not see the political and social masochism in protesting....protesting? I may not like the idea of people rallying against organized religion, but I do realize that restricting their rights also restricts mine. I think that if people would step outside of the "it's them not me" mentality and see things as (at the very least) "them equals me in the long run" a great deal of ignorance would not automatically translate into widely accepted acts of cruel stupidity.

This idea applies to a plethora of other asinine acts of mass ignorance and denial that could be easily avoided with a moment’s meditation. The concept may be offensive to some (namely groups whose entire method of operation rests on seemingly unchangeable, outdated and often harmfully discriminatory rules) but I feel that peace will never come to people who maintain that the only right behavior is that which shares the same strictly upheld idiosyncrasies as their own.

I mean honestly, if individuals would only take off the lenses of their specific experiences and start judging the cultures, beliefs, and action of others based on observations that compare and not contrast their differences, I feel that a great deal more understanding and clarity would be shed on situations such as the one that happened in that classroom. The girl would come from under her politically apathetic, "if I don't see/acknowledge it, it can't hurt me blanket" and wake up and smell the, "but I was just a non-combatant/civilian riding the subway" coffee.

It's only but so long that people can ignore horrible situations that seemingly pass right over them until they are excluded from that passing over and they experience first hand what the fuss was all about. That shouldn’t be the ultimate motivator, but in this day and age...I fear that appeals to our intrinsic desire for self preservation are all we have.