I G N O R A N C E
Ignorance is bliss they say, but if we seriously consider things, is it? Ignorance is created by one man and his failings to understand that individuals are inherently the same. His failings to acknowledge that people’s preferences do not label them as ‘abnormal’. Ignorance is fear of the unknown, judgement without education and false assumptions inflicted upon groups and individuals in society. Throughout history, we can trace major social and cultural conflicts back to the oblivious attitude of mankind. Acts of racism, homophobic prejudice and sexism has left entities and collections of people perpetually persecuted due to ignorance. The effects of ignorance are heavily imprinted on humanity in many aspects and are significantly noticeable. “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” We are the cause of ignorance and we are to blame, however through action we are capable of amendment.
Racism; hostile or oppressive behaviour towards people because they belong to a different race. An unexplained hatred and belief of superiority due to hereditary characteristics. Racism is pre-conceptions due to skin colour or appearance however mentally, physically and emotionally people of all races are the same. Biologically, there is one human race. Ignorant or racist individuals believe that anyone other than people belonging to their own race, are not equal or are inferior. Racists directly or indirectly use several forms of derogatory action to express this. And although, throughout history we’ve taken several steps towards racial equality, it has not vanished. During a poll conducted in the United Kingdom, 60 percent of African-British citizens admitted that they have been racially abused on some or the other occasion. Closely related to this idea of racial inferiority, are the stereotypes given to people of a different races. Judgements passed purely on what a person sees, without knowledge of anything deeper than physical attributes. “He’s Asian, he can’t drive.” Or “S***, that Arab is on the same flight as us”. The perception of an individual not as a singular but a collective expectation of someone, simply because they belong to a race. Stereotypes are ugly, generalizations made due to lack of understanding. In Australia, indigenous aboriginals did not receive the right to vote, until 1967. They were considered “second class” and unequal, because they did not belong to the same race as the European settlers, because they appeared to be ‘different’ and ‘uneducated’ simply because their skin was another shade to what they were familiar with. But perhaps it was the Europeans that were uneducated when it came to anything other than their own culture; they created ignorant assumptions towards the Aboriginals such as deeming them unfit to vote up until 1967 because they were bound to another race. However the natives understood more about the land and how to navigate it, than anyone else. Racism has enormous effects on the victim. It can make them irritated, bitter or violent. It can destroy self-esteem and create a horrifying defeatist nature. “I was put through years of it, they made me believe I was I different, yet not one of them knew me well enough to pass judgement.” A thirty two year old Black Woman who wished to remain anonymous, experienced first-hand the ignorance and false assumptions inflicted on her at her mainly white, American high school. They idea of considering someone less of a human being than yourself, due to what you see belongs only in the minds of the uneducated, ignorant individuals of society. To be treated equally is a basic human right that no one should be denied of. “Our true nationality is mankind.” Personally, find it frustrating that people are degraded because of the way they look; we all feel the same things, we all share things in common regardless of our skin colour. And I don’t believe racist comments and stereotypes should...
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