You know, those wonderful phrases that some person, who doesn’t actually have a valid answer for your problem, offers up to give you some type of direction. Although they can be very well intentioned, after hearing “There’s plenty more fish in the sea” after your latest breakup for the twentieth time I’m sure you wanna slap somebody. So of course I had to make a list of all the phrases, clichés, and adages that either conjure an eye roll or side eye from me whenever I hear them.
Ignorance Is Bliss
Ignorane is not bliss. Being completely unaware of things that are possibly vital to your survival and existence can never be blissful. I usually hear this when someone finds out some one they love and or care about has done something particularly sheisty.
For example, Joe finds out that for the entirety of his relationship with Ariel she was working the pole under the pseudonym Chocolate Cheeks. Prior to knowing she was an exotic dancer, he thought she was the most magnificent creature to step onto the face of the Earth. But now that he knows she shakes it like a salt shaker for money his heart is destroyed and his life is in a perpetual shade of gray. This is usually where he thinks his life was so much better before he knew, and by better he means when he was living a lie. Wouldn’t it be better to know that you’re girlfriend, or boyfriend for the vice versa, works the silver column now before you marry them and find out years later that the majority of the income came in singles and fives? The truth is always better than a lie or being blind to the truth.
Kissing Someone Who Smokes is Like Kissing An Ashtray
This phrase hasn’t gotten much play in the recent years but when i was younger there was an anti-smoking campaign that had this as its tagline. For years I believed that I would never kiss someone who smoked because it would be exactly like licking an ashtray…FALSE. Not like I have much experience with kissing people who smoke but still. I just hate when people make these far fetched parallels to make a point.
Wanna know what is like kissing an ashtray??
….Kissing an Ashtray.
That’s about it.
Being in the field of sociology I talk about racism a lot. I mean A LOT, A LOT. We discuss all the ways racism, both overt and institutional, affects the way America runs. All my fellow colleagues tend to have a good grip on the prevalence of racism and how those with privilege can’t ignore the voices of millions who say everyday that their lives are affected by their race. Which is awesome, but then there are others who believe in reverse racism. If you don’t know what reverse racism is, it’s a phrase used to describe the reverse of the traditional white on black discrimination.
Usually I hear it like this- White Person:”OMG, my friend got called a cracker while walking through this low-income neighborhood. Bet you won’t hear that on the news, no they’re too busy talking about Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, no one ever wants to talk about reverse racism!”
You’re right no one ever talks about it…because it doesn’t exist!
The word Racism means ANY discrimination on the basis of race. Webster defines it as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race; racial prejudice or discrimination.” The reverse of front is the back, like in the cha cha slide when the guy yells “REVERSE REVERSE!” But There is no reverse of discrimination. Saying that blacks discriminating against whites is the reverse of “traditional” or “ordinary” racism implies that whites are the only ones who can engage in racism…which is false. Not saying that white racists don’t tend to have a bit more cultural weight than black or hispanic racists but to imply that only whites can BE racists and that only blacks can be the object of racism makes you ignorant. Plus reverse racism never has the same effect as “traditional” racism because everyone knows that a white person in America is way more likely to get justice if he is discriminated against than non-whites (but that’s another topic for another blog post)..And if you EVER happen to use this phrase in my presence, please expect this response:
…Just Like Slavery
I’ve heard this one SEVERAL times over my years. Every time some group of people or some person is disadvantaged people like to parallel this trouble to American Slavery. I once heard of people from PETA comparing the entrapment of Whales or dolphins or something to slavery. Really? The entrapment of ANIMALS is comparable to the mass displacement of millions of people and the following century of disenfranchisement and abuse of said people. Here’s an article about PETA and their tactics. If you ever have the urge to EVER compare anything to slavery….don’t! Just don’t. There is nothing comparable to Slavery. NOTHING. There is only one exception about something that can be compared slavery…
…it’s more slavery.
Shake It Like A Sleigh Bell
This phrase isn’t an old one but I discovered this one on Twitter. The tweet read “Shake It Like A Sleigh Bell: Download the Christmas Bounce 2012 Mixtape.” Aww Lawd these heathens done took over Christmas. I will NOT twerk in celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Is there nothing sacred anymore? Can we not have one holiday where folks ain’t bent over and shaking it like they mean it? I just cannot with my people, oh my New Orleans people!
I have yet to hear it, I mean but really? I’m assuming that the various artists of the city have gotten together to put a bounce beat behind Christmas carols…I just I cannot. I just. No words. I quit.
Well that’s all folks! Are there any phrases you’re tired of hearing or never properly understood? I’d love to hear them! Comment and let me know what they are.
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”-Jeremiah 31:3
8 thoughts on “Ignorance Is Bliss (and other adages I think are wack wack)”
Died laughing at working the silver column! Je suis d’accord avec toi! Great post
Thx sista friend!!!! Glad it made you LOL!
Okay, first of all, I laughed…out loud. This was so funny to me. But anyway I HATE when women say they don’t want to be married because they “want a career” or because they “don’t want to be tied down”. I’m like, who the freak are you marrying? Master Thomas? Marriage is not slavery and your husband is not your master, he’s your partner. He HELPS you accomplish your dreams with his support, and vice versa. Marriage is a partnership. Why are we so afraid of that, and where do we get these notions that it is otherwise?
Ikr! Like can you not be married…and employed at the same time?
Riggghhhttt…So this will now become a blog post of mine.
Okayyyyy, lots to say about this one! Get ready cuz it’s long lol. Sometimes, ignorance really IS bliss! If we’re gonna use the “chocolate cheeks” example (which made me literally laugh out loud btw) I would NOT want to know if my lover had been a stripper or some such if they’ve stopped living that life now. Unless it was illegal or will affect our relationship now, if I’m happier not knowing, by alllllllllllll means, keep it that way! But, meh, that could just be me….
As for “reverse racism” yeah technically, racism is the belief that one race is superior to all others and can be extended to mean the discrimation of all races outside the “superior” one. HOWEVER, although whites can CERTAINLY be discriminated against by blacks (or latinos, or asians, or any other people of color), institutionalized racism- the existing socio/political-systems (in America, for purposes of this argument) that operate OFF OF racism are not reversed. For instance, a white person may not get served in a black restaurant and harassed while there, but if he should sue and take the case to court, they will most likely encounter a judge, jury, and even lawyer who are more inclined to facilitate his side of the case because of the deep embedded racism within the judicial system (minorities steal, are lazy, are violent, etc.). It is a proven fact that minorities often receive harsher sentences for the same crimes as committed by white counterparts.
So the problem with this argument is that many white people who I’ve talked to like to say, “Reverse racism definitely exists because I was beat up and called names in school by the black/mexican/arab students.” That is absolutely HORRIBLE and I feel for you- but this is only part of the issue (also, I’m sure if you called the cops you could have them locked up for assault faster than we could dial the NAACP). Racism as it exists as an institution is never something white people will experience. They will never not get a job simply for being white, get followed in a store and be told “white people steal” or get talked down to at a professional/upscale place because it is assumed they aren’t smart enough…and it is the aforementioned issues that are (usually) the racism that minorities have the most problems with, not just isolated attitudes and events of a few people.
I definitely do not believe that racism against whites is the SAME as racism against blacks. It is far from it. Maybe I didn’t make it clear in the article but what I was saying is that I have issue with the term “Reverse Racism” as proof that whites endure the same struggles as blacks.
In a class at my school when the teacher asked if racism exists, everyone said yes and when asked to explain what they meant their proof was “oh affirmative action, reverse racism totally happens.” I HATE the term reverse racism being used as an excuse for why whites are so disenfranchised when they’re not. That’s what I was arguing.
Blacks are racists to the degree we have the power to subordinate and disenfranchise whites.