Fact vs. Opinion vs. Ignorance

Opinion.

noun opin·ion \ə-ˈpin-yən\

Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, lack of fact

Word being used correctly: In my opinion, Law and Order is better than Criminal Minds.

 

Now that Mr. Donald Trump is president, racism and bigotry are spreading like wildfire. Whether you are Latino, Muslim, LGBT, female, etc -  people are constantly belittling you but claiming that it is okay because they have a right to their own opinions. From what I have observed, people have forgotten the meaning of opinion, so I have made it my job to educate those people.

 

An opinion is a personal viewpoint on something that can’t be proven by fact. For example, one can’t say, “In my opinion, all crayons are purple”. They can say, “In my opinion, my favorite color is purple”, or, “I do not like using crayons”, but they can’t say, “In my opinion, crayons were created by Jim from The Office”. When something is a proven fact, you can’t have an opinion on it. Edwin Binney is the creator of crayon, this is not an opinion, it is a fact.

 

Now that everyone is reminded of that definition, let’s look at things that you CAN’T call an opinion.

 

Example: “All Muslim’s are a threat to this country (USA)”

Facts:

There are a reported 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

There are about 106,000 individuals who identify as Muslim extremists.

This means .006625% of Muslims are terrorist. So why do people keep saying all? That is not even half. That is not even half of a half.

Final result:

Not all Muslims are terrorist, so stop making that assumption. Knowledge is power and when people keep making these assumptions they are just spreading their ignorance and stupidity.

 

Example: “All Latinos are criminals and rapist”

Facts:

19% of males in jail are Latino.

39% of males in jail are Caucasian.

15% of men in jail who are in for rape are Latino

51% of men in jail who are in for rape are Caucasian

Hmm… From the looks of just the first few stats I have found, it looks like Latinos don’t commit more crime than white people, they actually are responsible for less than half the crimes that Caucasian males are responsible for.

Final result:

Not all Latinos are criminals. Not all Latinos rapist. Not all Latinos are here illegally. Stereotypes like these are what is wrong with America. Just because you watch some movie about Mexican gangs doesn’t mean all Mexicans are in gangs. Pick up a book and learn something. Maybe you won’t be as supportive about the wall when you learn that Mexico has given you- tequila, tacos, guacamole, and color television.

 

I am writing this article because I am so tired of generalizations. Most Caucasians in this country would get very upset if compared to KKK members, Nazis or slave owners, however, if people stereotyped them the same way that they stereotyped others that’s what they would be. If someone told them that they could not go to a school because most school shooters are white therefore, “In my opinion, all white people are school shooters”, chaos would start. Most would say, they aren’t good representations of the Caucasian or Christian population. So why is it so crazy when people of other ethnicities or religions do not want to be stereotyped by their bad representatives?

 

I am also tired of people covering up their bigotry with, “Oh, this is just my personal opinion”. That is not an opinion. An opinion is whether you prefer paper or plastic bags, not whether or not people should have rights in this country. In my opinion, these people are uneducated. Many of these people claim that they love traveling but in my opinion, they need to travel more and learn more about culture and history. In my opinion, these people need to be less ignorant so that racism and hatred can stop.

America was founded by people who wanted to be accepted despite being from different parts of the world. America was created because a group of people didn’t want to be told what they had to believe in. Americans love to remind people of the freedom to bear arms but why does everyone forget about the freedom or religion? Obama once said, “We didn’t raise the Statue of Liberty with her back to the world, we did it with her light shining as a beacon to the world.  And whether we were Irish or Italians or Germans crossing the Atlantic, or Japanese or Chinese crossing the Pacific; whether we crossed the Rio Grande or flew here from all over the world -- generations of immigrants have made this country into what it is”. So the next time you have an “opinion” about immigrants or people who are different from you, ask yourself how your family got here because I can guarantee you they were once immigrants and different too.

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