Do Not Glorify Ignorance- Change it
Start writing a post

My heart sinks in despair whenever I hear the casual remark of "Oh, you are American- aren't you supposed to be stupid?" I realize this is a stereotype, and like all stereotypes is based off of perceptions from entertainment and prejudice. As somebody who has had a lifelong love and interest in geography, I find it rather amusing and sad. When I was a young child, I spent hours on a musical globe memorizing all the countries of the world. I would go to the library every week and pull out a book on a different country each week, I would eat food and sing music from this country- these were the fondest moments of my youth. I was too young to know there was a stereotype that Americans were "stupid" and "uneducated." I realize that public schools at times are in need of reform- but outside of the school atmosphere- there are libraries and the internet-- the great storehouses of knowledge! My dear reader- ignorance has chained us to a belief we could never do more. But I am here to challenge that myth- we can liberate the masses from the ignorance that has blinded them, and through making education enjoyable enlighten the flame of knowledge.

I was homeschooled, so I acknowledge my upbringing may have been different. I had a wonderful history curriculum which not only explored Western Europe and the USA but also- Africa, Asia, Latin America and countless stories from all corners of the world flooded my imagination. That being said, my favorite country has always been France- I remember being particularly interested in French history, and years later had a wonderful opportunity to intern in Paris. There are many other countries that hold special places in my heart- Poland being one because of some fun travels there. Although I've never been to Bolivia, I had a penpal from there back in gradechool and she always captured my imagination when talking about her country.

Years later, I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes at some person in a suit making a snarky remark about how "shocked" he is the "American knows all the capitals in South America." Alas, to the person in this suit- you have greatly underestimated my country. I know Americans who are ignorant, and I know Americans who have a thirst for knowledge. Likewise in your own country there are people just as ignorant as you claim Americans are. I have sadly encountered people in Poland who believe Venezuela is in Africa! Ignorance is not confined to a particular nationality, and it is bigotry to assume because I was born in the USA that I must be "stupid."
Americans also are guilty of playing up this stereotype- I have seen countless videos circulating the internet of Americans thinking its funny to pretend they don't know where Canada is. I've also seen unfortunate incidences of Americans ignorantly explaining the situation in Venezuela or Belarus when it is clear they never studied the situation, and talking over the people who actually lived that. We need to stop this attitude! Not only does it perpetuate the stereotypes about us, it is rather annoying to the rest of the world as well. Every country has flaws- this nobody can deny, but when we let a stereotype rooted in negativity define who we are- we are succumbed to the flaws.

As I said, ignorance is not tied to a particular country. I understand there are circumstances like war which make it rather difficult to obtain books and knowledge- but I know people who have been through such hardships who are the most dedicated individuals when it comes to pursuing knowledge. I also know rich people who have access to the world but cannot locate Ukraine on a map. There is something more sinister at play- and that is the love of ignorance that we keep talking ourselves into.

I speak to my own Patria- we were once 13 colonies owned by the British Empire. Under imperialism, we were deprived of our rights and considered second class to European born subjects. This also happened to the colonies owned by France, Spain and Portugal. Hence, this instilled in our subconscious an attitude that we will never be as "smart as Europe." This mentality must be renounced my dear reader! Just because we were born in a particular country this does not determine our intelligence. No matter where in the world we were born- we all have a natural drive within us to be more and learn more. If you are reading this on the internet you have access to knowledge just one google search away.

Citizens of the Americas! We have been bound in the chains of ignorance for too long, we have believed myths that we will never be able to achieve anything because of where we were born. Americans (yes the whole hemisphere) this I challenge to you- learn about a new country today, spin a globe and learn about another culture. Do not like this myth of "but we are ignorant" tie you down. Break the chains of oppression and because your liberator as your rekindled the flame of knowledge that burned so brightly in you as a child. Citizens of the world! I realize every nation carries negative and harmful stereotypes perpetuated by hatreds of the past. Break these chains, and through knowledge and discourse- become the liberators of knowledge. May the books on your shelves be the guide for your path, and may your computer screen's light forever kindle a desire to learn and share knowledge with others.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixaba

Unfortunately, the time is here. It is officially the spring semester, and you know what that means: lots and lots of studying. If you are in the same situation I am, then you are probably doing your 3rd semester of online/hybrid school. Not being at school or not attending classes in person definitely makes learning and studying a lot harder. Because I know this struggle all too well, I put together a list of study tips to hopefully help us all succeed a little more this semester.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

29196
Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.

8742

You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

5768
Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.

109933

I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.

58960

I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments