Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Proliferation of Ignorance; The Realization of a Dream

I don't know if it's just me or if others have noticed as well, over the last few years it has become increasingly difficult to avoid witnessing the proliferation of ignorance that more and more seems to surround us.

Some of the ignorance, I can overlook or dismiss; but much of it is already or will be affecting the lives and well being of all Americans. It has gotten to the point in dealing with businesses and their associates that I am surprised when I find someone who is competent, courteous and genuinely helpful.

I dropped into my local Micky D's last Friday for a late breakfast. I had forgotten to take my meds at the usual time that morning and talking them late, I could not eat for an hour after taking them. I walked into Micky D's at 10:30 and asked the young clerk for a sausage, egg and biscuit sandwich and a milk. She mumbled something I didn't catch, but I knew it wasn't, "Yes sir, coming right up." I said, "I'm sorry what was that?"

This time she pointed to the menu board overhead and repeated her one word reply, "Lunch." Who in the hell eats lunch at 10:30 a.m, I wanted to shout; but I said, "Thank you" instead and turned to walk out. A well dressed woman around my age had been standing at the door as I entered. As I walked to the door to leave she was still there. "Is there a problem," she asked.

"No," I replied, i'm just too late for breakfast I guess."

"I'm sorry, what did you want?" she asked.

I told her, and she said, "Well surely we can fix you up. Hold on a second."

She went back into the kitchen and quickly returned and asked if I could wait two minutes for the sandwich?

I said, "Sure."

In no time at all, she delivered my hot, fresh sandwich. I paid the "one word" clerk for it, and said, "Thank you."

The older woman said, "We can't have people walking out unsatisfied." I told her I appreciated it.

I know the world is different now, but I started working in a drive in hamburger joint when I was 14. Had I ever handled a customer, the way the young lady at the counter in Micky D's handled me, I wouldn't have lasted a day. Customer service was expected to be a constant. A one word reply to a customer's order which couldn't be filled for some reason demanded an explanation and an apology for the inconvenience.

That afternoon, I went to the ATT store to set my phone up for international service since I am leaving for Italy later this week. I was met at the door by a young associate who appeared to be 19 or 20. She was pleasant and smiling, an improvement over the "one word" associate at McDonalds. I told her what I needed, and she said she would be happy to help me with that and to explain several options to me.

She asked where I was going and I told her Italy. She said she was sorry but she wasn't too good with geography, and then asked where Italy was. I managed a smile and a small laugh and told her it was in southern Europe. There were no other hitches, and she soon had me fixed up. She gave me the international number for ATT customer service and told me to call it if I had problems while in Italy. All in all she was pleasant and helpful; but I couldn't help thinking, how can a 19 year old high school grad not know where Italy is?

Yesterday, I was watching television. The segment was Water's World. Jesse Waters was at a GLBT Parade at Coney Island in New York interviewing the participants of the parade. I have to admit the costumes of the parade participants did not fill me with pride to be a bisexual man, but I was torn about what upset me most, the outlandish XXX rated costumes or the people lined up watching the parade with their small children in tow.

But my decision making on that question was interrupted when Waters began interviewing some of the parade participants about their patriotism and love of country. I was shocked that, almost to a person, the revelers said they did not consider themselves patriotic. A young man in a sailor suit and lipstick painted lips and the mannerism of a flaming homosexual said that he was not patriotic and neither did he feel any love for his country. I know I'm an old man getting more and more crotchety all the time, but I couldn't help but think that both he and the country would be better off if we deported his ass to Iran or even Saudi Arabia where he could get a taste of how governments in that part of the world deal with homosexuals. Maybe in his last breaths, he would realize how much he did in fact love his country and the freedoms with which it bestowed him. Being gay or bisexual is no justification for constant mindless hedonism.

Last night, my wife and I went to dinner and a movie with another couple who are our decades long friends. We saw The Butler. It was, in spite of some of its reviews, a very good movie. It brought
home to me once again how brutal segregation and racism had been in much of the South. In 1963, I was working, as I mentioned before, in a hamburger joint. The one exception to the rules concerning customer service was for negro customers. Negro customers who entered the store were informed they could not be seated, but they were welcome to order and take their food out.

The reality was, it was simply a policy I didn't understand, and it embarrassed me beyond measure to have to refuse service to a black person. I had grown up in a small Texas town that had no black residents. I had never been in personal contact with a black person other than my grandfather's farm hand. He was a nice guy, always laughing and carrying on, but a hard and dependable worker. Why would anyone want to refuse to sell someone like him a hamburger and let him sit and eat it?

The same went for Jews. There were no Jews in our town, but in the next town east where we did a lot of our shopping, the men's store was owned by Mr. Bernstein. When I first learned Jews were hated and discriminated against world wide and that Hitler had killed six million of them for no other reason than that they were Jews, I just couldn't place Mr. Bernstein in that picture. He was a nice man. He always gave me candy when I was in the store with my parents. What was there to hate about someone like Mr. Bernstein?

As the newsreels from 1963 Birmingham and other southern cities unfolded once again on the screen as part of The Butler screenplay, I could remember seeing those same television reports that summer. Even as a 16 year old white boy, I was appalled. How could anyone hate that much? I simply did not understand then, and I cannot understand now.

But I couldn't help but think Dr. King would also be appalled if he knew what the present state of his dream is today. When the movie ended, the theater patrons, mostly middle age and elderly whites, stood and applauded. To me it was a repudiation of the 1960's brutality against the Civil Rights Movement and an apology for what we all had allowed to happen during the 100 years of segregation in this country. It was also a promise that, while this country is, and never will be perfect, we are, as a people, committed to judging people, not by "the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," just as Dr. King dreamed.

How could anyone stand up and say race relations have not improved in this country at all over the last 50 years? Yet many young blacks and a few black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who make their living off racial strife, have repeated such statements or implied such falsehoods often over the last decade. I understand the so called leaders. For them, it is just personal economics. I understand the young people too. They are just ignorant in the classic sense of the word, but there is no acceptable excuse for such ignorance. To state or even think such a thing is a slap in the face to those who suffered, bled and died in the Civil Rights struggle.

Dr King and his supporters endured arrest, jail, beatings and even willingly died to get black students into white schools in the mid 1960's. Today, black kids are so thankful for that sacrifice they willingly walk out of schools   by the thousands by their own choice without finishing their education.  Nation wide the dropout rate for blacks is more than 13%. But in some states the dropout rate for black males is 53%. Still, many in the black community as well as the white liberal establishment have the audacity to blame continuing racism for the overwhelming number of black men incarcerated in this country. Does anyone really think anyone, black, white or green, can make an honest living in this country without at least a high school education? If they do, they are part of the proliferation of sheer ignorance that is bedeviling the country and those of us who are responsible and informed citizens footing the bill for ourselves and the ignorant.

The right to an equal education for black children was literally purchased with the blood of the fathers and grandfathers of the black children who are choosing to walk out of school and turn instead to a life of crime or complete dependence on the social welfare network.

Of course, these children are not alone in their ignorance of the realities of life. Somewhere along the way, the generations who faught, bled and died to do away with segregation and promote racial equality forgot the full context of Dr. King's dream. Dr. King said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." In too many minds this dream of Dr. King's has been shortened to, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin."  The condition of character has long since been forgotten in favor of stoking the eternal flames of racism.

Somehow, black parents who faught so nobly for basic civil rights, allowed their children and grandchildren to fail to rise to the level of education and work ethic that is required to maintain a working society. Blacks, especially black men, walked away from the black churches which had been the heart and soul of the Civil Rights Movement. Black culture fell victim to the drug culture as well as to the single parent culture. Black children born out of wedlock is now almost 75%. Boys raised without a good male role model will grow up to father children for whom they can never be a decent role model.

And to make matters worse, virtually none of the increasing number of black millionaires and even larger community of highly successful black business men and women who have proved that race is no barrier at all to success in this country have bothered to mentor the present generation of fatherless black children and teach them the value of education, hard work, self respect and love of country. For the most part, these successful blacks live in their own comfortable world. It seems their attitude is, "I got mine the hard way. You can damn sure do the same."

And white society is not immune to this process of systemic and systematic degeneration. It is happening there too. It's just that white society was a little better established than black society and had further to fall to reach the bottom, but the fall is underway. It shows in the fact that there is no longer much of a white middle class. White society is now largely divided into two halves. One an educated upper class who pay taxes, work hard to educate their children and prepare them for success in the modern world. The other, an under class of uneducated or under educated who barely scrapes by and is loosing ground with each passing year. I see this in my own extended family. Many of my cousins will never reach the level of success their parents enjoyed. Their social status is in reverse. Somehow the white underclass has been overwhelmed by the demands that are part and parcel of the American dream in which each successive generation builds a better life than that enjoyed by their fathers.

For too many in present day America, basic ignorance is ok. It's even celebrated. Who needs to know who the Secretary of State is anyway? Who needs to know where Korea is located? Who really needs an education anyway? Isn't everyone entitled to his or her opinion whether they are educated or not and whether they have the slightest bit of intellectual gravitas to support their opinion?

Thomas Jefferson, probably the most revered of the founding fathers next to George Washington said at the beginning of the 19th century, "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." Today, many twenty something year olds cannot name a single one of the founding fathers. They think the 19th century ended thirteen years ago, and they never heard of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was one of the best educated people of his generation. God help us if he was right about the vital requisite to our survival! We no longer have an educated citizenry of voters. We have become and are becoming more and more a citizenry of ignorant and uneducated fools who have never had a serious thought cross their brains.

Our heroes are Milly Cyrus and foul
mouthed rappers who cannot string a cogent sentence together. Who in the hell was John Glenn or George Patton? Who in the hell cares? There is nothing to learn from the past. The only thing that counts is having fun today. Isn't that the truth?

Fortunately, I am provided some hope for the future by a few young friends of mine. One is a young man who is just 31 years old. In spite of his tender age, he is married to a beautiful woman whom he loves and supports. At 31, he is already pulling down an annual salary in excess of 100K. But he is just beginning to fulfill the goals he has set for himself. Betterment for himself and his family is his constant concern. He finds fulfillment in the work he does for his company. He enjoys knowing that he makes a difference in the world. In addition to working for a paycheck, he volunteers a great deal of his time to help young people who are just beginning their careers.  I haven't told him yet, that not only the survival of his family but the very survival of America is on his shoulders and the shoulders of the minority of American young people who are his equal.

My worry is there are not going to be enough young people like him to support those who have made the choice to drink, dance, do drugs and wile away their lives on someone else's dime as long as the good times roll. Who needs responsibility? The government should take care of us. The Constitution or some old document somewhere, says we're all equal. I have my rights! That pretty well sums up the attitudes of the congenitally ignorant who are so prevalent in number these days.

And it's not just Americans who are so predominately ignorant these days. In too many places around the world American young men and women are sacrificing and dying for freedom and democracy in
foreign lands while their party minded ignorant brothers stay home where mama can wash their underwear and dad can foot their bills.

With the blood of American soldiers, we give oppressed people around the world the power of the vote; and what do they do with it? They elect Islamic radicals who openly abhor freedom, and then they blame their failure to achieve freedom and prosperity on America, the great satan.

Nero (an old Roman guy) is said to have fiddled while Rome burned. Whether or not that actually happened is disputed; but there is no dispute at all that the American Congress, Executive Branch and Judicial Branch are fiddling while this country falls to the ground all around us.

Congress has not passed a meaningful law of any kind in over a year. The Executive Branch is printing trillions of dollars in new money to cover up the fact that the country is broke. Trillions of dollars in worthless paper cannot be injected into the economy without the bill coming due at some point. But who cares about the economy.  What is "economy"? The government has money. It's free. Why shouldn't I get my share?

The Judicial Branch concerns itself more with social engineering than making sure that the rule of law is sound and supportive of the American culture for which our founding fathers gave all their worldly possessions and sometimes their very lives.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (a really old English guy whose been dead 121 years) (what could he have known that's relevant today) once said, "Blind and naked ignorance delivers brawling judgements, unashamed on all things all day long." Ain't it the truth? Jessy Waters proves it every week on Waters World. Does it count that I'm ashamed for them?

If you're under thirty-five, here's a sure fire recipe for your future success.

  1. Just be half way competent and somewhat enthusiastic. 
  2. Show a modicum of respect for those who are older and have proved their ability to prosper. 
  3. Never fall for the myth perpetrated upon the last two generations by the liberal elites that America is indeed the great satan of the world. 
  4. Don't be ashamed to love your country. 
  5. Never fail to recognize how, in spite of the fact it is the greatest country the world has ever known, there is always room for improvement and that improvement can, in fact must, begin with you.
Do these 5 things. Live by them. You'll be rewarded monetarily, socially and spiritually. You'll go far in life while your brothers and sisters who have decided to live for today and not worry about tomorrow fall into early graves, poverty and/or despair.

With ignorance in bold relief all around you, a humble display of these 5 things will take you far, very far in life whether your bisexual, gay or straight. Increasingly, the world is in fact (regardless of those who are too blind, too ignorant and too self absorbed to see it) moving to embrace Dr. King's dream. More and more, people don't give a damn about who you sleep with or what color your skin is. They are willing to judge you on your character and your ability to contribute to the good of the country and its people.

The downside of this increasing willingness of Americans to judge people by their character is  judgement of those with no character will be brutal.  Those judged lacking, whether they are white or black, will be properly considered outcasts. And until they choose to change their ways, such judgement is fair. It is not racist. In fact, one of the most often seen acts of flagrant racism these days is playing the race card in the face of properly applied judgement.

For those with good character and the willingness to apply the 5 principles llisted above, a good and prosperous life is yours for the taking.  

Jack Scott


  1. Oh, god, what a load of crap! Gay or bisexual men that are not patriotic should be sent to Iran? Liberal elites running down the country? Black families decimated by out of control income disparity should be better parents? Lawdy, Sarah Palin - who is the ignorant one here? Of course, someone who cheats on their spouse is certainly not the best example of integrity, eh, Jacki?

    If you don't see the altruism and activism of the young of America, you need to get out more. Young people are taking actions to help communities, the environment (is global warming another "liberal lie"?) and fight for equality in other ways than the traditional political structure that you grew up in. What choice do they have? They are excluded by the system.

    Oh, let's go to Miley! Because other generations had such upstanding models of intellect and cultural depth - like the Monkees, Cher, Mae West, MADONNA - freaking Madonna. Celebrity is celebrity - and I catch more guys your age checking out Miley than frat boys. (Hey, I work at a libural (sic) university.)

    Sorry to break your heart, but as long as the wealthiest country turns its back on hard working citizens to enrich the top tier, this is not "the greatest country the world has ever known." Most of the abuse of the system is done by the financial elite at the expense of those who work hard every day to survive. Turn off FOX news and check out the real world.

    1. My sincere thanks for your comment. I write this blog to elicit comments from others. It is much too rare for someone to strike back at what I write. You have done that, and I find it refreshing.

      That said, you let your anger blind you to the full scope of what I wrote. I pointed out a few specific instances of ignorance I have seen in young people of late. I also made it very clear that I took hope from some young people I know who are nothing like the ones I wrote of in the blog.

      Like you, I deplore the disappearance of the middle class in this country. Unlike you, and your liberal friends, I am not an apologist for the poor and downtrodden.

      The rising middle class and upper class black families in this country prove that discrimination is no bar to achievement in this country. The bar to achievement is laziness, failure to take advantage of opportunities and a sense of entitlement rather than a willingness to work hard to achieve.

      Liberals like you get their satisfaction and sense of well being out of "taking care" of the poor, treating them as dependent children who need you. They give your life a cause and meaning. Try being honest with yourself for once. How many successful black people can you name who were once themselves "excluded from the system" but choose not to be content with their exclusion? The numbers of such Americans today are so high that it gives lie to everything you've said, but you can't admit that because then your own life would have no meaning and no cause.

      Conservatives, do not hate the poor. Many of them, like me, began life as very poor individuals. Conservatives simply want to teach the poor how to fish rather than promise them a daily supply of fish for the rest of their lives.

      As your comment well shows, you have nothing constructive to say in defense of your position. The only way you can defend yourself is to attack those who disagree with you.


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott