True ignorance is any notion or false concept that would lead us to believe that we’re not ignorant.
I have spent my entire life trying to free myself from the ignorance of suspicion which was infused in me as a young man growing up in Middle America.
Although I can speak of my triumphs of creating a section of my brain that is prejudice-free and bent on equality, I must tell you that I will never be totally absent “eyeballing bigotry.”
“Eyeballing bigotry” is that first thought that pops into our minds when we see anybody who’s different from us and therefore doesn’t immediately gain acceptance. Of course, we reject this first impression in favor of more enlightened views, but it is still there.
- Black people still see white people.
- White people still see Asians.
- Asians still see Hispanics.
Well, it goes on and on.
I think there are three keys to achieving the kind of natural maturity that will help us get along with each other, accept one another, find our similarities and generate tolerance:
1. Deep in my heart, I don’t believe there’s any difference between races and genders.
2. Yet in some corner of my brain, I still see your color and sex.
3. So let’s laugh about it.
When my son returned from China with his wife, who was most certainly Chinese, I was completely comfortable, overjoyed and pleased with his glorious emotional acquisition. Yet the Midwest boy returned and I felt a bit uncomfortable at first–being “whitey” in the presence of the Asian girl. Rather than taking it seriously, I laughed at it, because not only was she intelligent, beautiful, valuable and present, but also in many ways she was more American than me. At least in a “hip” sense.
So it’s not so much that we occasionally burst forth with the ridiculous statement that Asians are “good in mathematics but horrible drivers” as it is essential that we follow that with the immediate realization of the limitations of such a proclamation–and giggle at ourselves.
In so doing, we won’t be looking for evil empires, dark religions and sinister terrorists, but instead, take the world on one by one–as solitary people.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix