America has a problem.

Yesterday I watched the latest installment of Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin and I had to retract my previous view of Mrs. Palin. A view in which, I had categorized her in the lower educational tier but I had to upgrade her to just plan ole mediocre. Sarah Palin’s mediocrity is what endears her to so many Americans, she is the emerging face of America, the face of mediocrity, a face that does not represent the need to “better” ones self.

Sarah Palin proves to Americans that you can be an average Joe or Jane and reach the Governor’s Mansion and even dare to reach for the highest office in the land. Sarah Palin typifies the problem Americans face in an increasingly globalized world: the sentiment that it is alright to be anti- intelligent. It is a hard pill to swallow but I get it. I thought being dumb or pretending to be less than smart was strictly a black culture phenomenon. The rise of Palin in the Republican Party has quickly disavowed me of that notion. America as a whole has an anti-intelligence problem.

Before I was of age to attend school, my mother was teaching my brothers and I our alphabet, the sounds of vowels, colors, and numbers. There was always an opportunity to learn. She was preparing us to face a world that would not accept anything less than an above average (at times I would find that above average was not even enough) black person living in America. When it came time for college I had to take the SAT twice not because I did not get the average score that was excepted by my college of choice (1200) but because my mother thought I could do better (and she was right).

For those of us that decided to seek knowledge (through traditional means or nontraditional) to be labeled or accused of being uppity or practicing elitism is outright laughable. America has become a culture that is spoon fed with few electing to research and learn. I fear for this country, I fear that our lack of desire and thirst for knowledge, like days of old, will result in our continued lagging educational performance behind developing nations. I fear that America will not be able to regain its once hard fought and earned respect. I fear for those people that believe knowledge and those that possess it are full of malevolence for the common man, immoral, or better yet “uppity”.


Reader Comments

You took the SAT twice?

That's called grit and determination and I call it admirable.

You didn't give up or throw in the towel.

I had a hell-of-a-time with college algebra.

I had to take a pre-algebra course twice before I was prepared for college algebra. But I refused to give up and I kept at it. I passed college algebra with a "C." The only "C" on my college transcript.

Ha, Christopher I don't know how much of grit and determination it really was versus the verbal beat down from moms. WHEW my moms a tiny lady but boy if she gets going she can make you feel about the size of a pea. It was much easier to take the test twice than have to hear day in and day out what you don't think your good enough, I didn't raise stupid children, etc..Get my point. lol

I had two C’s in college one in Calculus (which my mother made me retake and I got a B) and in Gen Chemistry which she let me make it because I busted biochemistry wide open the following semester.

You describe America as country of anti-intelligence, underachieving luddites... and find it laughable that someone would call you elitist.

Sure. Why not?

@ Phelps, The problem is not average people. The problem happens to be people who are comfortable in their lack of knowledge. I don’t expect everybody to know everything or even everybody to know a little of everything. I do expect people to read a book and for them to be able to recall the last book they did read. I want people to take the time to learn at least one thing that is important to them and be really good at it. If you can a person an elitist because they want for other people to have knowledge on some level, what does that make you?

I'll freely cop to being an elitist. (I don't know what book I last read, because I don't know what your definition is. The last book I finished or the last one I was reading? I'm usually going through multiples at a time.)

But then, I'm vastly different from these types:

i guess there's a reason for the occasional stupid/ugly american comment. i am at times guilty of anti-intellectualism, but i'm trying to overcome that. not to bring trite platitudes to the discussion, but "knowledge is power."

p.s. my writing in lowercase is self-expression and an instance not mediocrity. :-)

ooops, i meant: not an instance of mediocrity.

@Phelps I guess we have a different working definition of elitism. My personal views of the elite are people who are incapable of moving in different circles other than their own. I can hold a conversation with professors and people from back home in the country with no problem, I feel comfortable in both environments.

@r. “p.s. my writing in lowercase is self-expression and an instance not mediocrity”

R I’m not that harsh. It has only been the recent comments of I want Joe six pack in office because he/she is just like me, bump that I want someone better than me leading the country. Most of us are guilty at some point in time of being lazy and not wanting to push ourselves, but there has to be a time when we wake up. Thanks for stopping by and leaving

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