01 February 2009

Ignorance without Consequences

During my reply to Willow's Post, "No Means No" , I started to reply that the people involved were basking in the glow of their ignorance.

But then, it hit me why this is the case - and why, regardless of the approaches used, the obsequiousness of the PoC responding to the drivel, nor the "educational level" of the posters involved, the same outcomes occur in 99% of the time.

It is the Exercise of Ignorance Without Consequences...or Repercussions. I don't know if Power Privilege has ever been defined as such - but when it comes down to it, this is the ultimate action of Privilege: The ability to ignore facts, informed opinion, and/or the reality of the moment without having to suffer immediate consequences and/or long-term retribution because of it. And, by extension, it allows the Privileged group to draw some unrealistic (and terrible) conclusions regarding other people and having the levers of their power act accordingly, whether it is on a personal (group); political; financial; or legal level.

People of Color are never allowed this freedom of ignorance. Especially when it comes to dealing with the World at large. This kind of ignorance often leads to a loss of job...or a loss of freedom...or a loss of love...

...or even a loss of life.

Ignorance is only "bliss" if you have the power avoid the consequences and brush off the repercussions of being willfully oblivious to those around you.

And that is what the exercise privilege is.