Blatant Ignorance

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posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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I had a conversation with a complete stranger last night, and I was blown away by what was said in less than five minutes between her and I. This conversation has sparked this thread, and I would like to open the floor up to members who've had similiar experiences with people they know, complete strangers, or even a story they've heard. The people who are so ignorant, that it is literally spewing out of their ears.

When we arrived last night, the place was fairly packed. Not too much seating room, but we found a large table which only had two people sitting at it. I politely asked if they minded if we sat on the outside of the table, and they politely offered the seats. So we all sat down and talked amongst ourselves. I'm not really sure what was said to spark everything, but it was something race related. Her response to the statement was, "I don't have a problem with them, but them god damn Muslims disgust me! They all look alike, and none of them are any good!" Now, she came across initially as this little, sweet lady who would never hurt a fly. In moments that followed that statement, I was amazed that she would actually say something like that. We all have thoughts and feelings, some of which we do not express. But to say something so derogatory, outloud, in a public setting, with four complete strangers sitting next to you, I just could not get over it. My girlfriend looked at me immediately, and knew that I was going to address this statement.

I looked at her for a moment and then responded with a polite, "Excuse me?" She was adament. None of them were any good and they all look alike. To which I responded with, "You can not blame all Muslims for the actions of a few". This caught her off guard I believe, because I think she was naive enough to believe that everyone supported this absurd statement. I continued with a few statements about judging people on benign details, how it is not fair to the individual whom may be a great person, etc. Then I used personal references of her to further my point. Saying how inappropriate it would be for someone to hate her because she was white, because she was a woman, or because of her religion.

She agreed, and said she agreed with much of what I said. But then said, "I don't really give a . because none of them are any good anyways! I just hate them, thats all!"

....


This ignorance just floored me. I know racists exist, and I've heard statements that I would of rather not heard. But to have a complete stranger be so adament against a specific population, I could not believe it. She honestly had a genuine hate for all Muslims, and did little to hide it.

How can someone be so Blatantly Ignorant?

I mean, how absurd is this? On one hand I grit my teeth endlessly, but on the other I sympathize with them as I can not possibly comprehend their mindset. I guess to understand why they are, the way they are, you would first need to understand why they think like that.

Has any one else had a similiar experience? Where a complete stranger just opened the flood gates and poured our her hatred? Coming from a relatively small town, things like this do not happen to me on a daily basis. I guess living in a large city, this is something that you would see on a regular basis and be desensitized. I don't know any Muslims, I've never met a Muslim individual, and I probably won't in the immediate future. This issue is not restricted to Muslims, but this short exchange last night has left an impact on me.

It is an eye opening experience for me personally when I meet someone who thinks like this. Even though we are inundated with it on the television every day, experiencing it personally is a whole different experience.

So I ask our members if they have had similiar experiences. Or even just your thoughts on this.

Are these people a victim of their own hatred? Is ignorance a disease that has consumed them? I'm having a tough time being able to empathize with them, and understand how someone could possibly think like that.




posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 06:04 PM
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I myself have never talked to someone that ignorant before, but I know of people who are like that.


Her response to the statement was, "I don't have a problem with them, but them god damn Muslims disgust me! They all look alike, and none of them are any good!"


I think people say things like that because the only Muslims they know of are the ones who do the bad things.

If you turn on the news or read a newspaper you hear all about Muslims blowing stuff up, or doing other bad things. The news doesn't talk about all the other Muslims who are nice and good people who don't deserve to be talked about the way they are. So the only Muslims people like that lady know of are the "evil" ones - so to her all Muslims are like that.

(Not sticking up for her though, just saying what I think)



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by enjoies05
(Not sticking up for her though, just saying what I think)


No, I understand where you are coming from, and I agree.

However, maybe I am being naive, I just think that we should be able to think for ourselves. The media tends to show Muslims under a negative light, on a regular basis. But expressing a genuine hate for a population due to the actions of a very few, well that is frustrating to say the least. The fact I was a complete stranger, and her willingness to say what she said, left me in utter confusion. You would think that she would be hesistant to make such bold statements. For all she knows, I could be married to a Muslim woman. The ignorance that she showed, by not even taking this into consideration, it floored me.

[edit on 24-3-2007 by chissler]



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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Yes, that there is no excuse for.


If every person in America was like her and said exactly what they thought out loud in public there would be lots of people walking around with broken noses.


It's ok to think what you want to - no one can stop you (yet
)

Just keep it to yourself!!



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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I believe I will chime in on this one and give my opinion and experience.
What you have witnessed is simply blantant ignorance. Most people in todays society are reasonable, however, the term a few bad apples can spoil the bunch, is more what is occuring. You probably have not noticed it, but it occures alot more than that. Consider this, smoking is the great evil in society today, but if you look, the onset of weight related health issues are on the rise. Yet if you took and put a person who smoked next to a person who is over weight, the general populace will demonize the person who smokes. We all discriminate, and that is human nature. However, when taken to the extreme, it becomes bigotry. It is easy to take and hate someone or something that has caused great harm, rather than try to see that not all of it is a bad item. Take Japan or Germany after World War 2, or Koreans or the Vietnamese after those actions. The public had an interest, but hated them in general, as they did not know anyone of those nationalities. I tend to just nod politely and excuse myself out of those conversations.



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 06:29 PM
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Chissler,

I run into that every now and then too.
We were at a holiday dinner party at a friends house.
One of the other women there started badmouthing those"evil jooos".
She smiled after her little rant, like we were all supposed to raise our fists and chant "yeah, yeah, down wit the jews" in agreement with her.

My wife, one of those "evil jooos", well, her eyes were huge.
She was about to stand up, so I asked her, "hey honey, do you need me to stop at the post office to pick up stamps for the hanukkah cards?"


We stayed for dessert, the other woman, made some piss poor excuse, grabbed her husband and left the party.

Ignorance denies dessert.



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 07:11 PM
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So much happens at dinner !

Mmm. I still feel a raising of the blood pressure when I remember a group of local businessmen with whom I had the regular distasteful task of sharing a table.

It was back in the days of the spare-rib craze. So there they sat, flanking the big rustic table, oversized bibs tucked under their chins. Lots of beer and wine had already flowed down their gullets. Their less than charming spouses, with their plastic-nails and tasteless jewellery were interspersed amongst these 'self made men'.

They were all middle aged. All had teenage children. All those children, regardless of qualification and ability, were employed by these, their parents' friends.

Then a little-Napoleon raised his greasy chin and contemptuously announced: " Kids today don't WANT to work ! "

Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle -- faces lowered to the trough.

" They don't WANT to work ! They're lazy bums. They just want to collect the dole and hang out at the beach all day! They wouldn't work if you PAID them, heh, heh, heh, heh ". He looked around, drunken eyes sunk in the back of his fat head. "

No-one disagreed with him. I shouldn't have -- we did a lot of business with him. But to hell with it .....

" When was the last time you advertised for an apprentice? " I asked.

" Don't use 'em. Don't need to. I can get all the qualified tradesmen I need and to spare. "

" Tell me, Glenn ------- how did you enter the electrical business? "

He glanced around at his audience with a greasy grin: " I started as an apprentice with my father's mate. "

" Glenn, you're give the impression you're fairly average, yet you were able to gain an apprenticeship. And the reason for that is because back in your day, there was full employment in this country, right? "

" Yeah "

'Well look around. We've had two Prime Ministers (Hawke and Keating) who ruthlessly sabotaged this country, first as Union leaders, then as zionist-employed thugs who simultaneously outsourced virtually everything to Asia at the same time they crippled the rural and regional districts. The result has been that this current generation of young people are the most highly educated this country's every produced ------ and the least likely to gain employment. These kids who you claim 'don't want to work' have been sacrificed to Big Business."

"Arghhhhhh --- don't start your commie bullsh*t with me. Kids are lazy. If they wanted a job, they'd find one. "

" Really? Is that why --- even though you got a foothold courtesy of the apprenticeship handed you --- you can't be bothered giving some other kid a chance by offering at least one apprenticeship ? "

" Told you -- I don't need to. Why p*ss around with a kid when I can have a tradesman. And I tell you what --- anyone gives me any strife, I boot them. Plenty more where they came from. "

" Uh huh. So now you know why kids are forced to accept the dole and contemplate suicide. It's because people like you are creaming it off the top in these hard times. Are you aware that 1,800 people applied for one part-time, dead-end job at the Royal Golf Club? 1,800 people. It was announced in the local paper. Do you think a lot of those unsuccessful applicants were the same kids whom you claim aren't interested in getting a job ?"

Obviously he didn't give a damn, because a few minutes later, he told one of the most filty misogynistic jokes I've ever heard.

And everyone kept eating as they laughed at it.



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 07:26 PM
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well said and good analogy, sdcigarpig. LOVED the story spacedoubt.
Maybe I just hang out with the wrong crowd but I run into this kind of blatant ignorance on a daily basis. It's disheartening. And when I try to reason with the blatantly ignorant, I'm usually given the evil eye until I finally shut up, or outshouted by the overruling mob who oppose reason. Still, one must try to sweep the cobwebs of ignorance, hate, and superstition from our own little corners. I believe it was Mark Twain who said: if you're going to go out and fight for truth, don't wear your good pair of pants.
Fight the good fight Chissler. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
(These and other useless cliches can be had by sending $9.99 to uselesscliches.com.)



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 07:58 PM
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More blatant ignorance, although I'm not sure if it's in the sought-vein.

Arrived at the check-out counter with trolley load.

Several minutes heaving items onto counter.

No greeting from check-out operator. No communication. Not a hint of acknowledgement. Operator was busily chatting with adjacent check-out operator. They laughed. Giggled. Mine paused several times, hands idle, when their conversation became really fascinating. Then po-faced, returned to scan another dozen of my items before stopping and engaging the other operator in face-to-face conversation once more.

Time ticked by. Behind me in the queue, other customers waited, jiggling from one foot to the next, some with small kiddies.

Swish, swish -- my operator continued the difficult task of passing my items from one side of the bar-scanner to the next, a distance of some 30 to 50 cms. max.

When I'd finished unloading, I leapt to the other side of the scanner and began retrieving my items and loading them once again into my cart.

The operator finished his task before I could, naturally.

Then I fumbled and hurried to dig out payment, while the operator boredly glanced at his watch, sending me 'hurry up' signals.

The computerised cash-register told the operator precisely how much, and in which denominations, to provide me the change.

He dropped it in my hand.

I automatically thanked him.

He turned his back in my face and with another comment to the other operator, began swiping the next customer's items across the scanner.

I tapped him lightly on the arm: " Excuse me. We haven't concluded our transaction yet. "

Operator: " Uh ? "

" I said 'thank you' to you. I believe you're now required to say 'thank you' to me. That's how it's done. "

Operator: " What ? "

" I've just paid $280 to this establishment. I do so every week. I'm a good customer. Your employers wouldn't want to lose me. I think they'd expect you to say 'thank you'. It's simple good manners, in any case. "

The operator stared at me. The other operator stared at me. People in the queues stared at me.

Finally, the operator snorted through his nose and mumbled an approximation of thanks, his back already in my face once more.

As I was packing my items into bags, I watched a supervisor go to the operator I'd spoken with. Then they both turned to stare at me, still mumbling between themselves.

Ever since, I have been treated quite badly by the staff of the supermarket in question. I am singled out for a bag-search in a way which implies to other customers that I am a 'suspect'.

I am trailed by 'security', even if I've just popped in to buy a container of milk. Security also stare at me 'meaningfully' and mutter ostentatiously in their walkie-talkies if I pause to look at items.

Operators (they're permanent staff) at the 'speed' check-outs make a point of dropping my change in my hand before immediately turning their back to me, or pretending to be preoccupied --- thus letting me know I am NOT entitled to a 'thank you'. Or .... after dumping my change in my palm (often they 'accidentally' miss my hand) they will effusively greet the next customer with big 'hellos' and theatrical smiles.

Could I have lived without the initial operator's painfully-extracted and reluctant 'thank you' ?

Of course I could.

Was it difficult for me to insist that he and I conclude our transaction courteously? Yes, it was, as a matter of fact. I had to force myself to carry it through.

Is it pleasant be treated as I now am as a result of my insisting on some semblance of common courtesy? No, of course it's not.

Could I just as easily shop elsewhere, rather than be subjected to this ongoing unpleasantness? Yes, I could.

Why do I continue to run the gauntlet of nastiness?

Because to run from it would be to acknowledge defeat in the face of blatant ignorance. And because I believe customers ARE entitled to 'service' AND common courtesy. And because if we all simply accept this epidemic of pig-ignorance, then many, many good and decent folk within our society will be the less for it, will have their quality of life degraded.

Sure, it's a Don Quixote stance and don't imagine I'm unaware of it.

But, if employers and parents aren't prepared to the spend the time tutoring young people in simple good manners, then society is required to accept that responsibility. If we all evade such responsibility, it could be you and or your children or grandchildren who's next treated as something less than human. ARE you or they entitled to courtesy? I believe so.



posted on Mar, 25 2007 @ 11:28 AM
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Well, Dock6, if I hadn't already voted you Way Above once this month, I'd do it for this post!
Very well-written and very good points! Bravo!

My story:

My husband and I were camping with my brother and his wife. In the evening, we women were sitting at the table busying ourselves with some meal preparation task while the men stood at the barbeque with their brews, out of our normal hearing range.

As "Mary" and I talked, the subject of race came up. "I hate black people", Mary said. "They're lazy and dirty and can't keep a job to save themselves."



Being less diplomatic than chissler, I asked, "What do you mean? How can you say that"?

Mary was happy to go on... "Well, they're dangerous and I just hate them. I call them n-words. Dirty n-words! I don't care who hears me, either. It's what I think and how I feel and I have every right to say it. My kids tell me I gotta be careful saying that in public, but I don't. I can say whatever I like. I don't care what people think."

Now, I pride myself on being open-minded and I do my best to accept others and allow them to fully express their opinions even though I may disagree strongly.

"Well... " I replied... "Why do you feel this way? I mean... I have had different experiences with black people. What you're claiming isn't my experience."

"Every n-word I've ever met has been lazy and worthless", Mary continued. "I don't think they should have pets because they're too lazy to take care of them. And I just can't stand the thought of a white woman with a n-word man! It's the grossest thing I can imagine"!



I was just flabberghasted. I honestly didn't know that people like this still existed and here was a flaming racist bigot right in my own family!!!



"Well, Mary", I said, having lost all sense of decorum at this point. "I dated a black guy for a year and a half. I had a lot of sex with him, too! And it was great! And he was really black, too, because he was from Africa."

Now it was her turn to be shocked at the picture I had so carefully placed in her mind.


Stunned silence...

She nervously got up and left the table, wiping her hands on a towel and making some food excuse to go in their camper and compose herself. When she returned, somewhat calmed down, she sat down and said something like, "Well, I suppose I shouldn't talk to just anyone about how I feel because not everyone understands. I can't even talk to my own kids about it without them getting all upset." (Oh, really? Wonder why...
) "I guess I'll just save my thoughts for when I can talk to my mother about it..."

I couldn't help it. I know it was harsh, but before I could censor the words in my brain, I replied curiously, "Oh, is your mom a racist, too"?

I swear I thought her head was going to boil up and explode right off her shoulders!
She was FURIOUS that I would call her a racist!!!

What? Didn't she know?

I thought it was so funny... It seemed after everything I had just heard that it would have been obvious to her that she's a flaming racist... I mean, was this a surprise? Because I thought she knew...

I will always remember this particular conversation because it was a wake up call for me. It let me know that these people are still out there. Where I least expect it. In my own family! People who willfully retain their ignorant positions in the face of all logic.



posted on Mar, 25 2007 @ 11:39 AM
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I think that is very common BH, and most people probably do not even understand. I don't think I really did until just reading that. Racism is bad, we all know that. Most racists probably understand that racism is a bad thing. So rather than face the facts, they excuse their behaviour with utter nonsense. I'm willing to bet that most racists are not prepared to admit that they are. These ignorant minds can not actually comprehend what it is they are doing, or what they are saying. If they knew it was wrong, they would not do it. Problem is, they think it is right. They believe this is the way to think, and "we" are the clueless ones. Even though it might be quite obvious that someone is a racist, placing this label on them would probably come with a lot of friction.

What is ignorance anyways? Is it an opinion? If we disagree on something, can we both be ignorant in the other one's mind? If you hate all blacks, whites, jews, hispanics, etc., I think that would be ignorant. If an individual who does hate large portions of the population based on a benign role looks at me, does he/she think I am ignorant? Am I ignorant for not sharing this way of thinking? Who is to say who is ignorant? Obviously anyone who hates for the sake of hating is consumed with some degree of ignorance, but I think it is a solid excuse for these individuals.

With the exception of organized societies that spread this hate, I think most racists do not consider themselves to be racists. Maybe they are too ignorant to see their own ignorance. Is it plausible to think that an individual should beable to determine if they are ignorant or not?





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