In my younger days I use to think that most ignorances were just benign and mostly harmless. You don’t know what life is like for young cricket players in Bangladesh? Not because you’re stupid, because you’re ignorant. A simple lack of knowledge does not always equate to stupidity. Now, that fact still remains, but as I’m older I’m learning what turns that ignorance into stupidity. It’s putting out opinions based on your lack of knowledge. Sort of like what I do all the time on this blog.
The past few months I’ve been on a quest for knowledge. Not just my usual quest for knowledge, I love learning, it’s one of my favorite things in the world to do. I have been on a quest to figure out why. Just that. Not the easy ‘why’ either. That’s just a bunch of blatant bull poop.
Over the past few months I’ve been disgusted with what I’ve found. People actually don’t want to dig for the truth behind stories. They just look at the surface of everything and go from there. They make opinions based on a smidgen of information and create a tidal wave of misinformation spinning out of that. The real villains are lazy journalists. Not really journalists either, that’s a mistake I’ve been prone to making in the past. Lazy news broadcasters are usually to blame. Then it moves on to bad colomnists. Then just media personalities who want to drive ratings by saying dumb provocative stuff.
I know I’m not covering any new ground here, but just stick with me for a second. I’m working to a conclusion on some level. I was hearing about Jesse Jackson’s comments recently dealing with LaBron James and Dan Gilbert and wanted to look into what he said for myself. What did I find? Jack. Nada. The AP, TMZ, and every other source I looked at neglected to post the entire transcript of what was said by Jackson. They’ve only clipped out pieces. Now everyone goes to rush to judgement based on a small, out of context quote, that uses language that makes Americans all jumpy. (we’ll get to that later).
As a result of this I am unable to form a complete and solid opinion on the subject. It’s just not possible without the context. This is not the only time this has happened. This goes on all over the place. Someone will be talking with media, something provocative is said, everyone reports on one provocative phrase, the entirety of the conversation prior and after that provocative phrase is lost to the ether because telling the whole story doesn’t sell enough.
Now that the reporters have thoroughly botched their jobs it’s up to people on radio and tv to actually do their jobs and raise a stink over it. Not once to any of them ask for the full context of the quote, they just take the small piece they were given and go for broke. Then all you regular every day morons hear what the people on TV and the radio have to say about it and form your opinions around that, sounding completely and thoroughly stupid to anyone who’s taken more than five seconds to think about it. There you have it.
Is it all your fault you’re ignorant and now stupid? No. You’re not a reporter. It would be nice if you did think for five seconds before you say stuff. Chances are you don’t understand all of it. I don’t understand all of it, but I understand enough to know that some key questions aren’t being asked. I know enough not to just take what has been presented and then go spouting off really base opinions because of it. You don’t though. You see things that seem to make sense to you and just assume that what the report says is the whole story and that makes you stupid.
You didn’t know that certain owners of professional sports franchises donate huge sums to certain political parties? No big. Didn’t know that those same owners have certain views on how certain members of the population should be treated? How would you? Then you didn’t k now that those same owners who view certain people a certain way also directly contradict themselves by contributing to the very problem they hate through their off field business practices? Nope. Then they release a statement. Then something political goes down that could potentially effect the team they own. That owner says people shouldn’t really mix sports and politics after a player speaks up on a subject. You say “YEAH! That’s right!” Little do you know that politics (and probably even dirty politics at that) are already in your sports. Now you’ve been effectively made a fool by that owner. Tastes good, doesn’t it?
That’s where I’ll end this part of the discussion. The only real place to go from here is how to deal with the fact that life is hard and people don’t really want to think about extra stuff. How it’s just so much easier to say “that guy is stupid” without realizing the implications of that statement, because there are no real implications in your life. At least you think there aren’t. We’ll move into how we try to project our lives and sensibilities on the rest of the world and just people that grew up different than we did. We’d chit chat and argue about how sometimes things come across that we don’t intend. How maybe people aren’t racists, but just say racist stuff or do racists things because they don’t think about it in those contexts. We’d get all heated and you’d get mad and I’d be right, but you wouldn’t see it. It’d just be a big mess, so yeah. We’re going to stop off here with just me pleading with you to be smart. Don’t let your ignorance turn you into a moron. Before you let stuff come out of your mouth, or out of your fingers take a step back and think about it.