Ignorance is not always bliss

SMP Editorial Board

Not long ago, Jimmy Kimmel hosted a segment called “Lie Witness News: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Edition.” A fake news team went around and asked 14 random people what they thought about Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on MLK Day, Jan. 19, 2015.

Only seven of the 14 people realized that it was a setup.

Participant pretending they know what they are talking about. Art by Mary Roberts.
Participant pretending to know what they are talking about. Art by Mary Roberts.

The participants acted as if they had seen Martin Luther King Jr. speak on that day just so they wouldn’t look like they were out of the know.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is in the pages of our American history books, so one would think that all 14 participants would have caught on.

“Ignorance is really no excuse for that; that’s just probably laziness,” said Steven Terry, adjunct history professor.

This is why students shouldn’t sleep in history class. History is in our curriculum for a reason: to learn where we came from.

If our generation doesn’t know that Martin Luther King Jr. died in Memphis, Tenn., many years ago, then who wrote the Declaration of Independence or what event made America join World War I?

The classes we take are required for a reason, so we should take advantage of that. The benefits will pay off in the long run.

As Terry says, “Having the well-rounded knowledge about the way things are and why they are makes you a better informed person, and that allows you to make better informed decisions.”