Willful Ignorance and the Art of Putting Words in Other People’s Mouths

Telling someone their own opinion is no longer for smart-asses and abusive husbands. In fact, it’s been happening on social media, on the streets, and at the Thanksgiving dinner table for about as long as I can remember.

But don’t give my memory that much credit. The ol’ cranium’s taken a few hits over the years.

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The title to this post kind of says it all. I believe, especially in the context of NFL protesters, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Millennials’ attraction to socialism / communism, that this kind of putting words in other people’s mouths or telling them their opinions, even as those people articulate their exact opinions, is a kind of willful ignorance.

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If I can keep yelling that these dumb Millennials want a return to Soviet Russia and Stalin’s Nutty Kill-Brigade and all that shit, I can ignore the fact that they are poor, overworked, and facing a dire, dire situation both in their personal sphere and in the larger world (or, at least, country).

The irony of this is that these same people are supporting the very Russians and Russian-buddyists they supposedly fear in the aforementioned example. Irony is, often, lost on… well… loud fucking idiots.

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Sit Down… No! Stand UP, Boy!

Ah, the subtle racism of those who wave the flag like it’s their own small, crooked member. Among my favorite reactions to the NFL’s protests (taking a knee, sparked by Colin Kaepernick and supported by many of his colleagues) go something like this:

“It’s an offense to the flag!”

No, no it isn’t. It’s exercising one’s first amendment rights. Don’t you normally get a big boner for the constitution? Only the second amendment? Only certain amendments when they serve your purposes? Got it.

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Not to mention that many, many veterans have come out and openly stated something to the effect of: “I didn’t risk my life to see citizens’ rights trampled on; I did so to defend the constitution.”

“They should be grateful!”

Grateful. Truly? That’s the word you choose to describe majority black people trying to shine a light on the murders of innocent, black citizens? Even the ones that cops murder who are guilty, you can’t see how this doesn’t happen to white, alleged criminals? Remember that guy on bath salts in Florida who was LITERALLY EATING ANOTHER GUY’S FACE? Yeah, apprehended without a shot fired.

At least he wasn’t carrying a radio.

Grateful that we let you sit up front or share a lunch counter? Grateful that we’ll tolerate your children in OUR schools? Grateful that you worked your ass off to get into the physical shape and develop the talent required to compete at the highest levels of athletic competition?

You should be grateful that we have a health care system in place to keep your Cheeto-eatin’ ass alive when things go south due to your own shitty decision-making.

Naw. Go, Nike!

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These athletes have openly stated that they are protesting social injustice.

These athletes have openly stated that they are protesting unfair treatment of blacks in America, a practice that has been happening since before the dawn of our (formerly, I’m told) great nation.

These athletes are protesting the murder of their children.

You don’t get to tell them what they are protesting. YOU aren’t the one protesting.

Also, if you respect the flag so much, maybe keep it off of your undies, bandannas, and sweet, sweet guitars…

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ALL Lives Matter

As the president famously said, the lives of cops who murder black teens are just as important as African-Americans…

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Anyway, this is the worst one for me to hear online. Representatives of the BLM movement have publicly stated that they are all about:

-Peaceful protest

-Protesting BAD cops, not all cops

-Any opportunists who show up to rallies to loot and pillage are just that: opportunists, not representatives of the movement

Somehow, none of it matters. Many, many “good people” are happy to shout them down, calling them thugs and criminals, accusing them of hating cops, and probably shit that’s an awful lot more racist than that.

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A Few Good People.

It is as simple as this: would you want your children shot by cops? By anyone?

I would hope the overwhelming consensus is no, all sarcastic assholes aside.

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That is ALL that these people are protesting. And they’re doing it peacefully.

You don’t get to TELL them their opinion, their purpose, who represents them, or anything else. Not any more than I get to tell you that you love to put bologna in your shoes, walk sideways to the castration depot, or herd swordfish for the purposes of creating some massive, deadly raft.

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Humble origins.

Heil, Marx!!

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And, sadly, we arrive at the poor position of a lot of Millennials. I recently found out that, at least by some definitions, I am one myself.

They are facing some shitty wages, job opportunities, and debt.

They are facing some serious yelling and opposition from… jesus… Gen Xers? Baby Boomers?

The term itself is used to make young adults look juvenile and ridiculous.

When these people rally under the banner of universal health care for all and when they cry for a socialist Democracy, they are laughed off of the stage.

Older folks (and young Uncle Toms… can I use that term?) are more than happy to point out that Joseph Stalin was a communist. That socialism and communism result in disastrous economic polices and, essentially, will see our citizens resorting to eating rats with ketchup packets and killing each other for toilet water.

On the last one, go ahead and see Flint, MI. Ask them about our current economic practices and what it’s done for them.

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Amazingly, she isn’t from Flint! She’s from a near future where we realize that the same kind of water contamination is happening at schools and cities across the country right now. Why aren’t we actively testing ALL of them? Willful ignorance, sadly, is not bliss.

Anyway, it is, again, as if their opponents remain willfully ignorant. There are countries out there with some form of socialism, usually in the form of health care and social welfare. Denmark, I believe, is an example. Probably lots of successful Europe is (yeah, I’m ignorant on this one… it’s true). And while people do pay significantly higher taxes, they also die less often and, oh, let’s say they don’t refuse to call an ambulance during a life threatening emergency because it would bankrupt them even further.

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OF FUCKING COURSE, these kids aren’t talking about a return to fascism, economic disaster, and some kind of tooth-and-nail battle over condiment packets. WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WOULD ANYONE ARGUE FOR THIS?! It’s like the worst deflection in the world, yet it appears to be the most widely utilized argument against health care for all.

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It boggles the mind, as some would say.

So it goes…

Why would they utilize such a ri-goddamn-diculous argument?

Again, willful ignorance is the best I got. You got anything?

What say you?

(Serious post script: this is, probably not on the surface, actually intended to be a place where someone could genuinely voice an opposing point of view; we don’t want this to turn into Writer’s Beat, do we? If you disagree, I look forward to serious, articulate, evidence-or-at-least-logic-based discourse. Please, join us)

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21 thoughts on “Willful Ignorance and the Art of Putting Words in Other People’s Mouths”

    1. Tom, I wish you’d just ague with me already! Naw, I actually had you in mind when bringing up the NFL. I just hoped upon hope (okay, I was 95% sure we’d be in agreement) that you’d be cool with this sentiment. Anyway, we’ll have to argue about movies or something… Gone with the Wind SUCKED!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. If u ask me, and u do, it’s nth but the fear of the unknown, that is being wrong, or let’s give it the right name, close-mindedness.
    I goes hand in hand with conservatives. What worries me is that so many young suffer from this, it seems, incurable disease.

    Great post, J. Absolutely loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What are you noticing in your students? That they do care about this stuff and are maybe similar to millennials and their concerns, or your students are okay ignoring facts and putting words in other people’s mouths. I just realized that denying what someone is actually saying and telling them their opinion is the opinion equivalent of “fake news.” Jesus… Orwell is spinning fast enough in his grave to power a geo-thermal plant at this point…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Your praise is always music to my ears. Thank you so much, Bojana. Remind me what kind of students and subjects you teach? Where in the world you teach? I know you’ve told me before… again, my memory… let’s blame the fear and loathing years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poem on…I like that.

        Prose as in fiction? Yes, I have, but me genre of love is fantasy.

        Prose as in blog posts? I have a few here, especially if you click the Katrina link at the top of the site.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s a bummer that we can’t argue, like Tom, but it’s also nice to be in similar company and agree on, what to me, are pretty basic, human, common sense issues. Anyway, we’ll find something to argue about, but it won’t be the fact that it’s a mad, mad, mad , mad, mad world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People shout to be heard but only a few listen. The ones who listen are the ones who get it.

    I was the shouting type and it got me nowhere. I was screaming the loudest until one day I realized the smartest one in the room was the person sitting in the middle of it all listening to both sides.

    Excellent post. I’m glad I found this.

    You made me think. How dare you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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