Being that this is Black History Month I have been engaged in many discussions regarding race and the it's place in American culture. The concept of prejudice was introduced and the multiple platforms it rears it's ugly head was explored. The FX television series "The Americans" chronicals a time in American history when the cold war was in full bloom and Americans were prejudiced towards the Russians and their socialist ideals. There are Russian sleeper cells infultrating America and their prejudices towards American ideals are also highlighted. Each is trying to "one up" the other but the undercurrent of the show is fear and ignorance.
Another observation occurred during several recent sessions with clients that have adopted failure identities and have begun to give up on themselves out of fear, frustration, and negative tapes playing in their heads stating "I can't do it" or "I am not good enough", etc. They're experiencing difficulty with a challenge perceived to be unique to them and have chosen to stay in the misery they know versus exploration and potential failure pursuing an opportunity of change. Ignorance is the inability or lack of desire to recognize one of my favorite AA slogans, "If nothing changes, then nothing changes."
One final point before I open the floor for comments comes with a look back into the American past which offers rich examples of ignorance. There was a time when Blacks or African Americans, whichever you prefer, were deemed inferior in every way except the most intimate. Blacks were not allowed to sit at lunch counters in Caucasian establishments, drink from the same water fountains or ride in the same car with Caucasians without being hastled, arrested or even murdered. Just the hint or idea that Blacks felt equal in any way to their Caucasian counterparts was struck down with the speed and efficiency of a "shock and awe campaign." The interesting questions, and most blaring example of ignorance in all of my recent discussions or observations, why were Black women good enough for sexual gratification, allowed to prepare meals for Caucasian families, and wet nurse their children? If there were so many concerns about comingling amongst the races, why were these most intimate connections allowed? This is the insanity of ignorance.