Friday, November 19, 2010

Destroy Ignorance.

      When I was in middle school I got into a fight. I did not win. But I fought because I was being bullied, and when I went to the vice principles office he said I should …instead of fighting employ a tactic of ignoring. He told me that if I ignored the bullies and the bulling that it would just go away. Needless to say, that I in my belief that adults, and more importantly teachers were generally right utilized these tactics next time I got bullied. I wanted to see if they would work, and more importantly my mother had told me not to get sent to the office again. Needless to say, this tactic did …not….work.

     What I know now, but what what I did not know then was, history has shown us, that the tactic of ignoring does not work. Whenever a people has ignored an annoying evil, it grew into a small evil. From a small evil it grew into a large evil, and transformed into full blown out EVIL. Stalin did not start off his career as a dictator. Hitler did not wake up one morning and invade France, the Ku Klux Klan began as a group of old men trading old war stories.  How would our world, country, communities be different if people had acted in a  pro-active fashion and met these threats in their infancy, in their beginnings. How would of history been different if instead of ignoring these issues someone had directly confronted these groups and through a combination of norms, customs, laws and direct action we had phased these groups out of existence.

     There are reasons that ignoring doesn’t work, in this day and age of 24 hour media coverage and due to the rise of non-traditional  media such as webpages, social media and blogging;  ignoring a group or a message does not invalidate that group, it gives it a vacuum in which it can define itself. This applies to organizations as well as messages. For example, in 2007 Newsweek conducted a poll that said 41% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11. A 2010 Washington Post article stated that at least 20% of the population believed that President Obama is Muslim. Ignoring these issues will not cause them to go away, or vanish but rather will give them room to grow, to evolve, to thrive. It is in that same vacuum that hateful individuals and groups wish to flourish.

     The Westboro Baptist "Church" recently "brought their talents" to East Lansing, Michigan. They were protesting at East Lansing High School, supposedly because "God Hates Fags" and "God Hates East Lansing", who whatever other dilapidated logic made them think East Lansing would be a good place to go protest. An article in Michigan State University's student paper covered the event, and some students in the "on-line" version of the paper suggested that a good course of action would be to ignore the group, some were quoted as saying

       "The Westboro Baptist Church gets the win today.
I told everyone to ignore the event; however,
you went and watched 
the Westboro Baptist Church get their point accross.
Whenever you are protesting something you always want a large crowd. 
Westboro you got your large crowd. "

"If they don’t show up, they don’t show up.
If they do, maybe enough people will “not attend” that it will be a non-event."
"NOOOOO! Do not bring attention to any events these people go to! 
That’s what they want! They want people to come and fight them
and bring media with them. 
No one should ever cover(or go to) 
any story or event this group does or attends. BAD NEWS!"

These are the same "non-confrontational" strategies people wanted to employ when the skinheads come marching through town. And while I understand this way of thinking, I believe it's outdated, wrong, and never works. It's based upon an "Ostrich Strategy". If i put my head in the sand and ignore it, it will pass me by. And while you put your head in the sand, the groups feeds, lives and grows. Ignorance and evil must be checked, parried, and destroyed. It must be confronted directly, history has shown that to do less, is to invite travesty. I leave you with a pair of quotes: 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
-Edmund Burke 

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. 
-Martin Luther King Jr.  


  1. Please figure out a way for me to tweet your posts...

    I'll also be posting this and my reaction on my tumblr...when I figure that out lol

    Great blog!!!!

  2. ok, so now that I posted that response, I see where I can tweet it...nevermind lol

  3. Ignorance is the virus of the soul.
    We must find the cure before we die.