I have seen and heard people debate over political and current event topics. Some have made comments towards others that can be viewed as mean, hurtful or just downright rude. I have seen and heard people curse their friends, family and associates over a difference of opinion. I have seen and heard people make disparaging remarks about people who were violated in their younger years and finally have the courage to speak out as an adult. I have seen and heard people make very negative blanketed statements towards a group of people who are of a specific race, culture, religion or background. The thing that causes me not to lash out in an equal tone is that I have come to the realization that when people express themselves in such a way that it completely disregards the feelings triggers of others, these individuals likely fit into one of two categories: ignorant or stupid.
When an individual is ignorant, they simply do not know any better. Yes, there may be books, cited sources, personal experiences of others and other evidence that exists to dispel the argument, but something to ponder; there is no way of knowing what you don’t know if you don’t know what you don’t know! Read that again if need be. To be ignorant is to not know that there is knowledge available about something you think you already know. For example, when my hair was relaxed every 6 weeks, I thought I knew everything I needed to know:
- Don’t scratch your scalp 1-2 days prior to getting a relaxer
- Don’t get a relaxer around the time your menstrual cycle begins because it
- When the relaxer begins to burn, that only means it’s time to wash it out
I had no clue the damage I was doing to my body, my scalp and my hair. I didn’t realize more knowledge was available until I watched Chris Rock’s documentary titled “Good Hair”. Instead of dispelling everything discussed in the documentary, I used my resources (Google and Google Scholar) and did my own research and found PhD level dissertations supporting topics discussed in the documentary and I changed my lifestyle, which resulted in a healthier, happier me!
Now stupid; that is totally different. Stupid is when you know better, but you still continue to spew foolish words or do dumb ish. For example, believing all people of color are dumb, lazy and uneducated…stupid. Thinking you can do, say or even eat bad foods knowing it could have potential adverse effects in the long run…stupid. Then there are the intersectionalists: people who are both ignorant AND stupid.
Understanding that there are some who are stupid and some who are ignorant, has allowed me to be bit more tolerant of intolerable BS than I likely would have in the past. I hope my sharing this will help you decipher between the two when you are faced with a conversation or social media post that enrages you. Sometimes it’s best to not engage. Sometimes knowing that you know better is all you need…