I can assure you that the form of ignorance I have just described and have been describing in many of my posts is not an “out”, nor an “excuse”. It is willful but has nothing to do with denial. It would be gratuitous of me to say that they are clueless, and surely there is nothing innocent about them.
This is why I wanted to disabuse people of the oversimplification, misapplication and superficial use of the word ignorant — not knowing, it is more than this. Ignorance in its derivative form means to ignore. This sort of ignorance is a perpetuation of not knowing, and it is active. It isn’t as simple as saying I did not know. It goes beyond that into “I choose not to know, or accept, therefore I ignore”. You have only answered the question why, but you should wonder how too. This requires a set of negligences and actions that support that sort of thinking.
There is a belief wrapped up in this maelstrom of white supremacy, white privilege, white resentment, and white ignorance, that is insensitive — unable to respond to ethics, morality or rationality. That lack of response to such stimuli is a severe groupthink epidemic of character disturbance or character disorder.
When Trump displays his ignorance here most will lazily and ostensibly presume that he is ignorant — doesn’t know all the facts about American history. How and why though? This may be true but only to an extent, he also does not care to know simply because it would not benefit him in the least bit. He has already convinced himself that he knows this much, that it is sufficient, and that this distortion of facts is all that matters. He is motivated by his ignorance in this regard.
This is no different than the motivated ignorance in private versus public statements as seen here with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull…
Most people would snicker at that remark, “I am the world’s greatest person…”. I found nothing amusing about this and I would not ignore it or dismiss it as merely narcissism. There is a belief insensitivity here that is motivated by a wide ranging ignorance.
And again if he read any of the briefings or previous executive orders issued that are available to him (or essentially perform some presidential tasks) then he would know, even the prime minister of Australia knows, this simply can’t be excused as just not knowing. Trump refuses to know because he is insensitive to knowing, especially when it would result in his own beliefs being wrong. There is no incentive in it for him.
The same goes for white nationalists, neo nazis, the alt-right and the like. They have no problem with lying, nor with being fallacious, and they do it without hesitation. This impairment is cultivated and produced to their benefit due to an overwhelming support and lack of introspection.
There is nothing passive nor excessively polite about the articulation in this particular discourse on Trump. Motivated ignorance, as I have highlighted, does more to clarify and contribute to the root cause analysis of racism or the social construct of race.