Willful ignorance

Katrina Andaya

As the 2012 Elections comes to an end, it seems that this year many people expressed their right to exercise free speech and made their opinion heard.

But for some, their exercise of free speech shed the light of ignorant statements, choosing to target the entire group of people who chose to vote against their own beliefs, calling them delusional or just out right wrong for believing opposite of what they believed, without any justification behind their words.

This has been seen especially on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter starting weeks leading up to Election Day and the majority of the statements being said on the day itself, causing heated tension on the sites between people with opposing views. 

For example, there were statements posted on Facebook like, “Some of you are so delusional it kills me. Maybe you should do some of your own research rather than listen to what mommy and daddy tells you. Goodbye Romney.” There was also, “I’m moving back to Texas, and hopefully after One Big Ass Mistake America, Texas will recede from the United States, and just be their own country, because we sure hell can do better than America.”

“People are going to have their own opinions and that’s fine. That’s what makes our country great is that we are entitled to all have our own opinion, but a lot of times people don’t have the sources to back up their reasoning and I have noticed that a lot on Facebook,” said Saddleback College student Jackie Wade, 30, nursing. “… It makes me angry. If people can justify what they’re saying I think that helps, but I don’t think that name calling is helping anybody.”

Everyone can say what they want to say and there are ignorant people in the world, but what these people don’t realize is that name calling and bashing of a certain group leads to tension between people and cause conflict in their relationships.

If you can’t justify what you have to say, then keep it to yourself. There’s no point in attacking a certain group just to get “likes” on Facebook or to get “re-tweeted.”

“If I see someone putting a candidate down and I see someone who supports that candidate is hurt by those words, that’s the only time I get upset about it,” Saddleback College student Janesse Butterfield, 21, economics, said. “I think if you have a strong point and you want to express that point you should do that with facts and evidence and have reasoning to back that up.”

By all means as Americans we should exercise our right to the freedom of speech, but when it comes down to it we need to be cautious with the things we say. Although it may not seem ignorant, it may come off that way to certain people and cause unneeded tension and conflict in our community.

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