The Right To Ignorance

The Right To Ignorance

Americans are getting dumber, and how much so may shock you.
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How is it that America, the greatest country on Earth, at least in my opinion, can also have what have to be some of the dumbest people on Earth? It’s not as if we don’t have the potential to be smart, we just choose to be dumber. We let our news networks tell us what to think, we blatantly ignore facts because we don’t like them, and worst of all, we refuse to retain some of the most basic information that we should have learned in Elementary school. If we don’t begin to educate ourselves, we are doomed as a country.

We like to believe that we all will never forget what will probably always be the worst terror attack in American History, yet according to a 2006 poll by the Washington Post, a good number of Americans did (Lang 2013). 30% of Americans did not know what year 9/11 took place on (Lang 2013). If you are someone who would have fallen in this category, it was 2001, meaning that only five years later, three out of ten Americans had already forgotten what year a terror attack that killed thousands occurred (Lang 2013).

Another statistic that should concern you is that 25% of Americans do not know what country we gained our independence from (Lang 2013). Some of the people who don’t know even believe that we gained our independence from France, the country that allowed our Revolution to be successful (Lang 2013). Even if you were going to take a wild guess when asked this question, why wouldn’t you guess England, considering that English is the language that is predominantly spoken here in America. Then again, if you actually have to think about that question, that kind of rational thinking is probably a bit too much for you.

The last statistic I’ll give, and believe me there are plenty more like these, is that half of Americans are not aware that Judaism came before Christianity (Lang 2013). You’d think it would be pretty well known considering that the majority of Americans are Christian, that the Jews persecuted Jesus in the Bible for being a heretic in their eyes and saying that he was the son of God or the fact that the story of the Jewish people all takes place in the Old Testament would help us figure out this one (Lang 2013).

We need to get our heads out of the sand, we are getting dumber as a country. I realize that some of these statistics show that the majority of people in our country do know the correct answers, but considering how basic these questions are, we should have almost no one getting these wrong. And it can only get worse from here. If we don’t do something, pretty soon sarcastically calling someone “Einstein” in this country will require an explanation of who Einstein is, as well as what sarcasm is. And if you still don’t think the statistics listed are that concerning, feel free to look at some of the other ones in the source I listed.

References

Lang, N. (2013, October 7). 14 Surprising Things Americans Don’t Know, According to Poll Numbers. Thought Catalog. Retrieved from http://thoughtcatalog.com/nico-lang/2013/10/14-surprising-things-americans-dont-know-according-to-poll-numbers/

Cover Image Credit: Raven Magwood

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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