Ignorance is not bliss

Jessica Hodge

“Judging a person doesn’t define who they are…it defines who you are.”

Think about it. Judging someone by the color of their skin or by the religion they practice says more about you than it does about them. But what does it say about you? It says you’re insecure, rude, judgmental and ignorant. 

So what if the boy in your math class prays to Allah instead of God? Who cares if that girl in your history class celebrates Hanukkah instead of Christmas? Do you really not want to pair up with the boy from science class just because he’s an African American? Are these the things that define a person’s character? 

They shouldn’t be, but people do it anyways. There is more that goes into a person’s character than the way they dress, their skin color or their religion.

There are a lot of stereotypes out there that many of us choose to listen to and believe in. 

The media shows us videos that depict Muslims as violent and terrorists. Yes, there are terrorists who are Muslim. There are also terrorists who don’t even believe in any sort of higher power. Certain religions can’t be blamed for terrorist attacks. 

The media also often shows us only the violent crimes committed by African Americans. But again, did you know that people who commit violent crimes aren’t only African American? There are Caucasian people, Latinos and Asians who commit violent and awful crimes as well.

Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the many statistics to back these arguments up.

The FBI published a study saying that 90 percent of terrorist attacks are carried out by non-Muslims. The FBI also publishes a UCR, or Uniform Crime Report, every year in which they break down crime statistics and the demographics of those crimes. In 2013, the UCR showed that 68.9 percent of people arrested were Caucasian while only 28.3 percent of the people arrested were African American. 

This is actually a common trend that has been happening since 1995, when the FBI first started publishing the UCR online. The percent of Caucasian people arrested never went below 65 percent. In fact, the only crimes that were consistently committed more by African Americans than Caucasians is robbery and gambling.

Ignorance is NOT bliss. Judging someone is not only hurtful for that person, it’s also detrimental to society. You can have no clue what a person is like simply by looking at them. The more you play into the stereotypes that other people make, the more ignorant you become. 

The media skews America’s view on crime in the wrong way. Wearing a Hijab doesn’t make someone a terrorist, being African American doesn’t make someone a criminal. Being Caucasian doesn’t make you perfect and exempt to crime. Don’t believe everything the media tells you. Giving everyone a chance, despite what they look like or what they believe in, says great things about you.

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