Whenever I find myself with a bit of writer’s block, I only need to turn on the television and catch the latest election drama. I could write a daily blog on this nonsense given the many issues out. The topic for this entry though is the price of ignorance, particularly as it relates to electing Senator Barack Obama. The ignorance that has engulfed his campaign from his alleged Muslim faith to his alleged abandonment of the Black community has really exposed the ignorance that still exists in the country on too many issues to mention here. Let me first explain by pointing out why I chose the title of this entry.
A recent CNN story focused on the notion that many Americans still believe that Senator Obama is a practicing Muslim, despite his assertions to the contrary. I thought if anything, the Reverend Wright controversy would at least show that he belonged to a church and not a mosque but that apparently would have made too much sense. A group of 23 out of 24 citizens of Tennessee would have none of it. Each of these nearly 2-dozen citizens stated that even though Obama said he wasn’t Muslim, they knew the truth. Even the Mayor of the town being visited stated that Obama is a Muslim. What sent me to the computer was the comment by one man who said “Barack Hussein Obama just doesn’t sound like Anglo-Saxon name to me.” Thus we see from this simple statement from this ill-informed individual that only White people with Anglo-Saxon names can be Christians.
Herein lies the ignorance that exists in America and it has very little to do with Obama. Due to our arrogance, many of us as Americans have become perfectly comfortable not only accepting what we hear from one or two individuals in an e-mail or on the Internet, but then speaking authoritatively on the subject and the media is all too willing to give them an audience. All of the examples I will give and have given so far come from the oh-so reputable CNN– “the most trusted name in news.”
This past week CNN showed a
Black individual heckling Obama at a rally
. The man and 2 others were holding up a sign saying â€œWhat about the Black community, Obama?” Obama let the man speak and with such certitude, the man accused Obama of not once speaking on issues such as Hurricane Katrina, Sean Bell, or racial profiling. This man was obviously caught up in the rhetoric present in parts of the Black community where the ultra-revolutionary-minded of us have resolved to prove how committed we are to the struggle by casting out Obama.
Had the heckler said something about Obama’s silence on the Congo, we’d be writing a different blog, however, Obama as he stated to the individual, has a clear and consistent record on all the topics the man mentioned. The arrogance of this man’s ignorance was highlighted when even after Obama proved him wrong, the man still held up the sign and said afterwards in an interview that he still wasn’t voting for Obama because he abandoned the Black community. I’m sure he’s a star now in his little incestuous circle of people who only converse with themselves on issues and never challenge their beliefs. You get the point? We don’t learn. We only accuse and this Youtube blogosphere culture can make anyone an expert if you get enough views. Who needs a degree anymore? TV is the new PhD.
My final example from the National Enq–I mean CNN–(hard to tell them apart sometimes) comes from a man in Florida who bought three billboard advertisements with the World Trade Center Twin Towers blowing up with a quote saying “Don’t vote for democrats” with the man’s website promoting his song prominently featured. When questioned on CNN about the ad, the man went into such an inaccurate depiction of the Democrats responsibility for September 11th that it would have been laughable, had CNN not spent 5 minutes promoting his website. Lastly, when questioned as to if his money made from his pro-republican song was going to help a campaign or help the troops, the man simply stated that any money he makes from his song is going to go to him. Thus CNN gave him free exposure and rewarded his ignorance.
In the past few months, CNN has done everything from helping this man sell his music to helping a bar owner in Georgia sell shirts of Curious George portrayed as Obama. Coverage like this rewards ignorance, which is all too abound today. We don’t travel, but think we know everything about the outside world. We don’t study history, but speak definitively when stating that America has and can do no wrong in the world. If you question that, you’re unpatriotic. Though there are more Christians in this world of other races than White and they don’t have Anglo-Saxon names (wasn’t Jesus Jewish?), then you are truly a heathen or worse nowadays, a Muslim. If you’re a Muslim, you’re a terrorist, according to the media.
What is ultimately going to do this country in is its increased closed-mindedness to the world outside and even within our borders. We are scared to learn languages and scared to experience other cultures. The arrogance that accompanies our ignorance has to be checked if these next generations are going to truly reach a level of understanding of others that most of us have not. Hopefully we can learn from these teachable moments of Obama’s campaign and become committed to truly uniting this country as supposed to staying in our boxes.