Deliberate ignorance

Shaw, Stacy



Deliberate Ignorance Cognizance is the prerequisite to obtaining, actuating, and sustaining all rudimentary facets that are pertinent to knowledge. But knowing is only half the battle. To “know” but neglect to “do” is an intentionally driven response and a term I like to refer to as “Deliberate Ignorance”. Anyone who understands, acknowledges, and develops the mental wherewithal to foresee the subsequent effects thereof is imparted with the added responsibility to conscientiously respond. To concede and keenly educe but still elect to disregard the imminent consequences preceded by the act is deliberate and completely culpable. As a cultural whole the society in which we live in is systematically drowning in an expansive sea of imbecility; atypical behaviors that are not excused due to a lack of cognizant observation, because we do see, recognize, and comprehend with a profound sense of acumen. But our unwillingness to truthfully account for and endeavor towards rectifying the many social mishaps that have stagnated unitary cultivation is enough proof that substantiates our vital necessity to begin the process of emanating the constructs of a new and more viable source of social amalgamation. My remedial summation is not centered around bathing in the problem. My efforts are geared solely towards therapeutic solutions; remedies that will hopefully open the eyes of the socially blind. As an adolescent I grew up amid the iniquitous city of St. Louis. The era in which I was raised in was engulfed in a perilous deluge of money, murder, and mayhem. The duality of drugs and guns served as connotative fragments of motivation. They also played a vital role in the continuity of trapping so many young black men in the vicious prison cycle we now refer to as “Mass Incarceration”. My residential area was saturated with a profusion of lost souls; misguided individuals desperately searching for answers to extremely recondite questions. As I go back in time and reminiscently cogitate over the decadent environment I was subjected to, I now realize that much of the anarchic impairment handed down to the unfortunate masses was fomented by the very ones that either carped over the disheveled conditions of our people, but failed to act on their empty promises; or those who were mentally inebriated by their own drunken agendas, with little or no regards for the calamitous effects being reaped on their home front. Both have marred and devalued the trust of so many. In my opinion, it is totally irresponsible for us to incessantly blame others for the problematic situations that have plagued us for decades. Especially since many of our issues derive from the very ones we call “brother”. It is through the perennial existence of choice that we have thus begun to narrate the plot to the imminent reality of our collective demise. And that placement of truth is sure to come into fruition unless a momentous revolution is soon established. Furthermore, it is time that we cease pointing the finger elsewhere, and focus our attention on what direction the other three fingers are aimed towards. The delineating factors that have kept the average black urbanite a step behind “White America” is readily apparent. No sound minded individual would forge the audacity to argue the fact that black people have been compelled to overcome a plethora of hardships and inequitable obstacles; more so than any other group of people. However, the acquisition of such knowledge is designed to either devalue, deplete, and ultimately defeat a people; or that same sense of knowhow can enlighten, motivate, and propel a people to be greater in their capacity of growth and development. My question is simple: In what direction do we truly aspire to go towards? The magnitude of choice is an act upon us all that is at times misappropriated and diluted by the omnipresent nature of conditions/circumstances. These factors have, at times, vicariously impelled some to give way to the pseudo-notion that conditions/circumstances are the absolute causation and not an influential component of our decision making. Until the realization of such is made manifest, then the full range of accountability, on our part, will remain devoid of any conducive driven solutions. Moreover, social cultivation will continue to be stifled by the blame game. The past, when dissected all the way down to the root, is designed for one curative purpose; to learn from it by searching and finding the arcane and sometimes evasive lessons hidden within the dormant confines of what has already transpired. Conversely, complacency has left many fixated on the misleading reverie of what once was. With relative ease we become enamored with coalescing yesterday with the matters of today, instead of utilizing the past to simply learn from. Case in point: Centuries ago a diabolical mastermind by the name of Willie Lynch indoctrinated into the heart of the America's a psychological idealism that changed and re-shaped the course of history. During the time of slavery this native of the West Indies brought into nascence a conceptual ideology that was pre-ordained to control, command, and irrevocably conquer an entire people. The method to his madness was predicated on “divide and conquer”. By separating the men from the women and children, that indispensable foundation of guidance was extracted from the homes, which left the sustenance of familial structure immensely weakened. Secluding the older men from the male youth disrupted the fundamental equipoise of strength and unity. To the women, men were nothing more than sperm donors. It was this exemplification of procreation that ensured the physical and psychological bondage of our people for generations to come. Admittedly, the laboring aspect of slavery was indeed arduous, but the toxic psychological ramifications inoculated into the minds of the masses proved to be the most impairing aspect of cultural domination in human existence. The primordial stages of such has evolved from one form of enslavement to a new, more self-defeating one. Our progenitors were forced into physical servitude by insidious marauders; evildoers who sought out deceptive stratagems to turn one tribe of people against another. Not to mention the fact that, blinded by their own avaricious desires, some aborigines of the Mother Land aided these invaders in their quest to introduce the first widespread case of human trafficking. Fast forward to contemporary living. Today we are faced with similar dilemmas as our beloved ancestors. In my opinion, though the nature of servility has evolved, the consequences, by virtue of deliberate ignorance, have gotten progressively worse. No longer are manacles locked around the ankles and wrists of our people, today’s servitude is less brazen on behalf of the oppressors. We are now being systematically overthrown by consciously placing ourselves directly into traps the hunters have set before us. So, how can we possibly begin to blame the system when the system only works because we allow it to? When recognition is thought, felt, and seen, the level of responsibility has to be elevated. If not, the consequences following the behavior is destined to be an afterthought. If I may, allow me to give some reliable insight on how irrational thinking coupled with destructive behavior has adversely staunched cultural cultivation in urban communities. More times than not the “White Man” has been dubbed the culpable culprit when it comes to accounting for the negative behaviors in the hood. Once upon a time I too held on to similar sentiments. However, over time I eventually came to a lucid understanding and developed a great appreciation of knowing that it is far more beneficial to introspectively analyze my own role in any given situation. By doing so I can see each ordeal from a more responsible set of lenses. Now I do believe that it was contrived by sinister individuals to import into inner city communities the parasitic proliferation of drugs and guns. And the reason is because together they serve a dual purpose in perpetually consolidating the establishment of modern day slavery. From one perspective, the manufacturing and distribution of drugs are composed to accumulate dividends for the struggling hustler. And guns are concealed, brandished, and often times fired to protect the invested product. Nevertheless, the dysfunctional irony of it all is this: the drugs are being sold to others enduring comparable quandaries as the drug dealer. And the guns are used against the very same people, if they pose any threat to the drug dealer and the capacity of his investment. Consequently, there is a domino effect that eventually disassembles the structural foundation of black families. One bullet projected from the chamber of a gun to protect the investment of one rock, equals the loss of two black men. One succumbs to the suffocating grips of death, while the other falls prey to the infamous realm of the chain gang (Mass Incarceration). Which in turn brings about unnecessary pain and heartache to both families. Furthermore, the men are once again taken away from the homes, leaving the women with the tedious task to play the role of both mother and father (one being an impossible task to complete). Thus, the vicious cycle continues. These issues have been recognized and viewed with enmity, yet little is being done to help lessen the blow of this illustration of cultural digression. Still, there is an even more profound component that has helped to further subjugate our people. Previously, I spoke to the point that the physical ramifications resulting from the many avenues of corruption in our neighborhoods has affected us in such an adverse way. But, even before we lose lives to the bullet and to the penitentiary, we lose something within ourselves. We lose our psychological freedom by becoming mentally subservient to the nefarious nature of “the system”. Consciously, we acquiesce to, comply with, and grasp at the illusive puppetries instituted by the mastery of our environment. We start to buy into the often chanted mantra that denotes all there is in the word for a black man is prison and death. But to believe in something you have been assured otherwise of is another form of deliberated ignorance. If I so chose, I could probably lament for the next week about the deplorable conditions of people. However, by doing so, I would essentially add to an already escalating problem. To speak on an issue but neglect to take proactive measures to resolve that which is being spoken on is yet another example of deliberate ignorance. As I have alluded to before, I am all about solution; social corrections that begins with addressing, as a collective whole, our defective thinking and dysfunctional systems of belief. When a group of people is able to cognitively recognize and acutely ascertain the essence of where they came from, it then equips them with the required knowledge needed to accurately perceive their current state, find, by virtue of knowing, they can better navigate the course to their chosen destination. The history of "black folk” has been told and retold from a myriad of perceptions. Nevertheless, one irrefutable commonality construed from these recitations is the fact that we have been, and continue to be our own worst enemy. The potentiality of our growth is being impeded on by our own ill-bred actions. Thus, the ones to rectify what we have played such a vital role in defining is solely on our shoulders. I believe that in order to begin the process of reconstruction we must first disperse from the manifold of secular distractions that have kept us ineptly allured The one sure way to yield fruitful results from the covetous diversion of these impediments is through the inception of intentional segregation. Decades ago the decrepit origins of this idealism was adversely detrimental to the holistic perception of equality. Furthermore, the justification beneath the surface of its institutional derivation lacked the actuality of a humanistic purpose. In truth, it was established to compel one group of people to believe that they were superior to another group of people. And the consequences that are suffered in these modern day times encompasses the debilitating reality that among the respected groups there is an undulating force of tension that is on the brink of erupting into overt acrimony. On the other hand, within the parameters of an envisaged ideology, I have a cogent purpose, in relation to offering a suggestive solution to our ongoing fight. I do believe that segregation is desperately needed at this point. And this is why: As a race we have lost our identity; the very essence of who we are. At one point in time I could vividly recall us altruistically taking pride in uplifting one another. There was a permeating sense of morale that seemed almost contagious. Children showed the utmost respect for adults. And adults were consistently placing jewels of wisdom upon the crowns of youthful adolescents. In retrospect, working together to augment the prospect of societal progression was the underlying agenda. But somewhere along the way we lost sight of that all-important tool of social unity. Consequently, it is now imperative that we begin to redirect our oftentimes preoccupied attention back to the essence of our existence. Meaning, it is time to retrace those enduring footprints in the sand and go back to where it all began. If not, we risk the chance of complete subculture alienation. Knowing the history of a people gives the seeker of such, a glimpse of the greatness, as well as the pitfalls those particular people encountered. That information leads to a better understanding of their current conditions. As an individual race, living within the boundaries of westernized regulation, we are by far the most divergently dysfunctional group. And this rings true, not because of our material possessions or lack thereof. This is about the insufficient practices being perpetuated as a unified whole. Our actions are liken to that of a barrel of crabs. We spend endless time pulling each other down with the intent to get out of the barrel. However, the moment we reach the rim of that barrel, another crab is pulling us down. That is and has been our mentality for a long period of time, that is the very reason as to why we need to be reminded of our greatness, and how we achieved it. But just as well, we have to be reminded of how and why we fell from that pinnacle of greatness. My vision is not implied to segregate as a means to separate. My objective is to transitorily segregate with the purpose to educate. Thus, it is through this form of cultural guidance that we will be imbibed with the inspirational appreciation of our own divinely unique prominence. The generations that will inevitably succeed our existence should be equipped with the historical understanding of our ancestral heritage. That, in itself is an indisputable source of empowerment; energy that is desperately needed for our youth. Essentially, I do not want the above mentioned suggestion taken out of context. Therefore, it is incumbent that I offer a conclusive aspect to my vision. Any nation of people who is falling short of their glorified individuality should take the necessary steps in finding the lost keys that open the door to their treasured legacy. Meaning that, on a universal platform, all nations possess a certain form of greatness. And It is through that greatness that they begin to recognize the unitary connection that exist between them and other groups. The only way to coherently understand this universal design of humanistic symbiosis is through the longstanding appreciation towards the organic value of ones own cultural assemblage. By way of this sense of appreciation, the projection of such is naturally unfurled amid other cultures. In my opinion, that is the only way to accomplish what I believe is the ultimate goal in life, which is obtaining balance in humanity.

Author: Shaw, Stacy

Author Location: Missouri

Date: October 23, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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