Maybe it’s merely the context in which they are always used, but oftentimes (in this current day and age) many people like to use labels to pinpoint and encapsulate the essence of another individual or their actions. Pop culture and textbook history alike have given many the license to learn and utilize different verbal agents for their personal understanding of a human entity. Sometimes they use what they’ve learned to project the hurt that they themselves harbor, and to utilize their coping mechanism tailored for their personal insecurity to belittle others. It is learned from a very young age- name-calling, teasing, slang and derogatory remarks being tossed around like footballs and dodgeballs on the Kindergarten playground.
As young minds become old souls, they’ve navigated enough social waters to find out just what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. For the people that consistently enact themselves in the field of the unacceptable… and we, the more rational, love to say these magic words.
“Don’t mind them… they’re just really… ignorant.”
Many will look upon these words as a sort of validation, a logical approach as to why that “ignorant” person chose to do what it is that they did that made it so that he or she would be considered as such. However, for the more critical thinkers, there seems to be a slight issue. While it may make sense, the word “ignorant” has turned from a damning declaration to more along the lines of… well, an excuse.
lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated. (source: Dictionary.com)
For some reason, saying that someone is “ignorant” doesn’t sit well with those that fancy themselves aware of the social landscape. To say that someone is ignorant is, by definition, to tell the world that THIS PERSON doesn’t have a clue. However, we are wrong in doing so. In 2014, many have access to different pools and chasms of information that can allow a person to become knowledgeable in certain areas. Even from that young age where we are scurrying about the Kindergarten playground, we are taught not to bully. Not to be mean. Not to be ignorant. So, some may say that it suffices to merely state that someone is “just so ignorant”. However, some may feel that that isn’t enough.
While young black men are getting murdered senselessly at the bloody hands of those appointed to serve and protect, and while rapists and sexual offenders are receiving counseling and support at the expense of the safety of young women and children all over the world, it is n0t enough to look at those who are aware of whats going on and CHOOSE not to acknowledge the wrong. It is not enough to call them ignorant. It is not enough to merely say that they are uneducated. That is providing an excuse for the supremacist system (which is intrinsically wrong) that populates the bloodline of the world at large. While this may be a label to throw back at the curses, derogatory remarks and ill-founded theories that come from the mouths of our oppressors, it is a rubber bullet hitting a swat shield compared to the hollow tip projectiles that tear through the skin of the masses. What I am trying to say is this: call a spade a spade. For too long, we have been giving excuses. I will much quicker call someone a d*ckface and/or assh*le than ignorant. That’s just keeping it all the way real.
Photo Source: KAREN ELSHOUT