Mass Media and Ignorance

September 12, 2013

With all the ways in the world to enhance our knowledge, educate ourselves, learn new things, and cure our ignorance, we are still so lacking in owing basic information.

There is the old television and newspapers, and now the internet, face book, twitter and text, to name a few. One would think that people would be bulging and overflowing with news.

Not so! People are now more ignorant than ever they were in the past.

An American and I were recently visiting friends in Europe. A few of us watched the debate in the British Parliament on the crisis in Syria. Our thoughts and conversation turned to the American perspective on Syria. And then the topic of open debate in the US crawled into the conversation. And then racism and prejudice in the US came up.

My American acquaintance stated loudly and clearly that there is no such thing as racism and prejudice in America, and has never experienced hate, racism or prejudice anywhere here.

One Englishman asked about stop-and-frisk and the young Blacks and Latinos who are the targets. The American response was that if they do drugs they should be put in jail. The Englishman brought up several other issues – Trayvon Martin, new voting laws, etc. –but the American held fast and firm to the belief about justice and the law. It was clear that the English knew more about our racism and prejudice than the American, and I was embarrassed by “our” ignorance.

From this conversation one thing was clear. Americans are quite ignorant of what is happening in their country. Is it by choice or design? It is telling that an English person would know more about American hate crimes, racism, and prejudice than an American. If our policies are to keep the electorate ignorant and vote white, then those policies are successful.

Who is to blame? Yes, there is more news out there today than ever before, but people are fed propaganda and do not have the analytical skills to distinguish truth from falsehood. As long as it’s on television they gobble it up as truth with out question or criticism. We are intellectually lazy, and where ever this country is heading, we are to blame.

Democracy can not flourish, prosper and live on with an ignorant population.
Ignorance will be the demise of American democracy.

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