Part of why I write and part of why I learn is because I was lied to as a kid. This isn’t some “oh, woe is me” crap I used to pull back when I wore eye liner and hawked MySpace at every opportunity. I was legitimately lied to during my youth about so many things. We were all lied to as kids.
When I would sit on the living room floor with my breakfast and watch Saturday morning cartoons, I was routinely reminded by Rachel Leigh Cook and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America that my life, and the lives of others, would be awful is I even so much as thought of smoking a joint.
When I would sit in class and teachers would give brief explanations of race relations in American history, I was told racism is solved.
After 9/11, I was told that it was important for me to embrace patriotic ideas, that we are superior to the enemy with which we were fighting, and that the American way is the best way. “So, put your hand over your heart,” teachers and administrators would order, “and say the Pledge of Allegiance. By the way, you’re to report to P.A.S.S. for calling George Bush a terrorist.”
When I was learning how to be a productive member of the workforce, I was told ad nauseum about capitalism being “the best economic system” in the world and “these socialist ideas” I was embracing had “no business here.”
I may have put a lot of you off already, and that’s fine. I expected as such. But for those of you who have not clicked the back button, or entered a “if you don’t like it, go somewhere else” feedback loop of anger, this is the larger point Meme Maury and I are trying to make.
In the United States, we have a problem with being objective. We revise our history to make us seem like winners. We embark on moral crusades without thinking of the consequences. We still cling to our tribes sporting just majestic degrees of isolationist behavior. We are devaluing education, reason, and logic for our stupid feelings.
These are all lies because American history is not as clear as we’ve been brought up to think. Moral crusades are only valuable to those who wage them and are detrimental to those who fall victim. Refusing to embrace the unknown cripples our social growth, while rendering young people deficient in education, logic, and reason ensures that upcoming generations will perpetuate the plunge the United States has been enduring, that very same plunge that people who devalue education get upset about, but fail to understand they are the cause of.
Being ignorant is our sin.
Featured image by Pixabay.