Prejudice: America’s Commitment To Ignorance

“Prejudice is a commitment to ignorance.” ~ Jane Elliott

Prejudice: America’s Commitment To Ignorance
Photo by Alex on Unsplash
“Prejudice is a commitment to ignorance.” ~ Jane Elliott

America is working overtime to be committed to ignorance in 2019. We have more smart technologies than anytime in history, yet we have some of the dumbest people of all time walking among us. Our nation has made planes fly, we created the internet, peanut butter, eye glasses, television, and even the light bulb, yet we can’t figure out how to combat racism, inequality, and prejudice.

Prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. We all have prejudices. I am prejudice against sushi; I don’t care how good people say it is. I catch fish; I see the stuff on and in them; I don’t want to eat raw fish. I also know the harm that can come from eating bad seafood. There is nothing like pulling fish out of the ocean with parasites riding on the scales or cutting it open and seeing a live parasite living inside of the meat of a hearty catch.

Thanks, but no thanks. Cook my fish, please!

In my mind, I have a good enough reason not to eat raw fish, but it doesn’t stop people I dine with from eating fish eating. I have never eaten raw fish, I just fear what it may do to me. I’ve never had the sushi experience, and I never will. I don’t try to turn other folks off from eating sushi, I just don’t eat it.

With that said, my sushi prejudice (me not buying or eating sushi) doesn’t harm anyone. There are enough consumers of sushi where my two cents won’t hurt the industry or consumers. My prejudice isn’t harming anyone or anything. In fact, I may save some fish. Prejudice problems evolve when preconceived opinions harm or cause injury which results from some action, inaction, or judgment.

So much of the world is in crisis today because of prejudice against our fellow brothers and sisters. Prejudice thrives in silence. Prejudice is strengthened when we willingly commit to ignorance. Ignoring prejudice makes it so much worse.

If you ignore prejudice, you are committed to ignorance.

If you condone prejudice, you are committed to ignorance.

If you deny prejudice, you are committed to ignorance.

If you are silent about prejudice, you consent to ignorance.

When you teach prejudice to children, grandchildren, and friends, you are committing others to ignorance. It makes the world a dangerous place.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The world has become unsafe for us all because we have so many dangerous, ignorant people among us. What these people don’t realize is that we have more in common than they think. We all bleed red, we need food and clean water to survive, and we all need love to flourish. The more our parents, family, friends, and neighbors divide us, the more we are driven apart.

Prejudice is darkness.

What grows in darkness? Nothing much. Prejudice is like a dark room that never gets any light. All kinds of little nasty nothings hide there from the light. As soon as darkness meets the light, all the nasty things lurking go away.

Nothing gets rid of darkness like the light, and nothing gets rid of prejudice like exposure. If you find yourself with some prejudices, especially if they are the kind which could harm others, try to work to get rid of them. The only way nations can heal and the world can move forward is if we deal with our prejudices. We don’t have much time. We can’t make decisions to harm people, animals, or the earth and call ourselves good people, and we can’t spend our lifetimes hating people we don’t know individually or collectively.

We need more love and understanding.

Let’s all commit to being smarter, more respectful, and more open. We need more inclusiveness, less exclusion kindness and equality. We need to share more, care more, and be kinder to our neighbors. Everyone has value, and people deserve second chances. We all have redeeming qualities.

Our prejudices are killing us, and I’m tired of seeing us die because so many people are committed to ignorance. Be smarter and wiser or align yourself with stupidity and willful ignorance.

Which two do you pledge your allegiance to?

Frontline PBS: A Class Divided: