Wilful Ignorance

by Annaelle

It’s not a crime to be less than cultivated. A person isn’t duty-bound to know everything. Being ignorant of other people’s culture is not the same as being racist or xenophobic.

But when an individual distinguishes between Scott, Irish, English and Welsh but not between Cherokee, Seminole, Navajo and Lakota because the latter group are all Native Americans…

When an individual says they can tell apart a Belgian, from a French from a Swiss but can’t tell the difference between a Laotian, a Cambodian and a Vietnamese and dubs everyone from the latter group as Siamese…

When an individual says they can tell appart a Pole from an Hungarian from an Austrian from a German but doesn’t bother about learning to do the same for a Chadian, an Angolan and a Cameroonian.

When an individual pictures a Portuguese person as white and an Algerian person as brown even thought there is much overlap in the skin tone variables of the populations of these two countries.

Speaking of «counting as white», when this individual makes a Spanish American immigrant count as white, but a Mexican American counts as Latinx.

When an individual knows that Milan isn’t Venice which isn’t Naples, which isn’t Palermo, that Paris isn’t Marseille, that Toledo isn’t Cordoba, that Boston isn’t New York which isn’t Las Vegas which isn’t Dallas, Québec isn’t Montréal which isn’t Toronto. But that same individual believes that China and Russia are homogenous countries because «their all commies» and that everything from Aleppo and Mosul and all the way south until Jeddah is all the same because it’s all «sand and bombshells and blood» and «Arabs»…

Such an individual can’t be described as uncultured, but foolish seems an apt descriptor.

And in seems that, in such foolishness, racial factors do play a large role.

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