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Willful Ignorance in Les Blancs

Willful Ignorance in Les Blancs

Race relations is a constant effort of identifying with one another. However, it is difficult to identify with another race when one is not able or willing to know about the other. While Charlie and Tshembe both have experience with Western culture, there still remains a sense of ignorance between the two. Despite Charlie’s desire to build a bridge between himself and Tshembe, their relationship doesn’t extend beyond the superficial higher level. Part of this is due to their own stubbornness, but there are many other factors to their broken relationship. Charlie’s and Tshembe’s ignorance of each other’s culture and individual personality remains constant not because it cannot be overcome, but because of their unwillingness to admit and shed their own ignorance.

While many would attribute the ignorance of another race to a white person, it is ironically Tshembe who makes the first blatantly cultural stereotype. He tells Charlie, “American straightforwardness is almost as disarming as Americans invariably think it is” (Hansberry 73). This statement immediately tells Charlie that he is going to be classified as little more than an American by Tshmebe, and that it may be difficult for the two to form a relationship. This reversal of the characters’ stereotypical roles in ignorance is also evident in the form of Tshembe’s defensive assumptions about Charlie. After Tshembe defensively responds to one of Charlie’s questions, saying he has only one wife, Tshembe says, “It may be, Mr. Morris, that I have developed counter assumptions because I have had . . . too many long, lo-o-ong ‘talks’ wherein the white intellectual begins by suggesting not only fellowship but the universal damnation of imp…

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…common ground is not enough, though. Both groups have to be willing to change in order to accommodate the ongoing relationship. Ignorance is part of any race relation and will almost always exist no matter what precautions are taken to prevent it. If a bridge is to be built between the races, people must recognize the importance of differences. They should realize that differences are not something that will hurt or destroy race relations but the very thing that allows the races to exist. A dialogue between the races doesn’t imply a need to merge cultures; instead, people ought to see the beauty in differences, allowing the other race to do what it has always done, to live with the differences. These differences inevitably cause some degree of ignorance. Ignorance may serve to hurt race relations in the short run, but it is an inevitable part of race relations.

Truth, Belief and The Holy Bible

Truth, Belief and the Bible

Order, pattern, method, harmony, and purpose – these are the qualities on which we, humankind, have come to base our existence. We strive to find meaning in all that we do, say, read, write, and live. A story is not just a story; it is a lesson. A thought is not merely a thought, but a revelation. Hardship is not simply misfortune, but an act of God.

Truth is considered the result of a divine arrangement – one that is complex and intricate, and finally revealed to us through a glorious realization. We believe there is a logic behind everything. The key is unlocking or discovering the pattern that masks this logic. All truths must have a pattern. The Bible, as a body of literature, exists because human beings need to know certain spiritual truths to which we cannot attain by ourselves. Thus, these truths must come to us from without – that is, through objective, special revelation from God. God speaks to us, saying “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.”1 This passage, the first of the Ten Commandments, can only be understood if one interprets the words [1]of Scripture according to God’s original design for language. That is, according to the ordinary, plain, literal sense of each word. To understand the Bible, we must take it at its word. By doing so, we assume that, because God sovereignly chose to use human language as a medium of revelational communication, He would generally use, and expect us to use it in its literal, normal, and plain sense.

But what is the pattern behind literal meaning? What…

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…uld be more common than complete darkness or a total eclipse, which would occur less often.

One could argue that the order of the ten commandments and the order of the ten plagues on Egypt were necessary in relation to their ability to persuade the people of that time. There was reasoning and logic behind their arrangement and they were written to persuade the people to believe. Today, this pattern is less obvious, as we have, over the course of time, gained in knowledge, as well as modified our values. The order, if ever it did exist, is no longer relevant or necessary to interpreting the commandments and plagues.

[1] Exodus 20:1-17, Revised Standard Version

[2] Exodus 7: 14-24. Revised Standard Edition

[3] Exodus 10:21-19, Revised Standard Edition

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