There are few things more frustrating than ignorance and arrogance combined.
I lived in England for twenty five years, and I’ve lived in America for about thirty.
I can tell you from experience that an awful lot of Americans are pretty darned ignorant. This is not to say they are stupid. Its to observe that they just don’t know stuff. They are poorly educated and inexperienced about the rest of the world. For the most part they are ignorant but not arrogant.
Europeans, on the other hand–especially the ones from the educated and privileged classes–are insufferably both ignorant and arrogant.
An ignorant person can be educated. An arrogant person can be lowered, but a person who is ignorant and arrogant is unassailable.
The recent article by Fr Spadaro and Figueroa is a perfect example. They pontificate in lofty intellectual, generalized terms about America and Americans and don’t have the faintest idea of what they’re talking about and what makes is it worse is that they don’t have the faintest idea that they don’t have the faintest idea.
If you were to meet them face to face and say in a broad American accent, “Hey Father, let me just say that you don’t really know what you’re talking about. With due respect. You got it wrong padre.”
They would wave a hand loftily and say, “Crass American…Proves my point…”
They’re ignorant and arrogant.
They don’t know what they don’t know.
I found this kind of insufferable snobbish ignorance about America and Americans constantly when I lived in England.
I could tell you stories until the lights go out about the uppity English and their ignorant, arrogant attitudes about America and Americans.
The French? Don’t get me started.
The Italians? Usually much better–more laid back and accepting.
The Germans? They’re in competition with the French.
As readers of this blog will know, I’ve got plenty of criticisms about my fellow Americans, but we’ve got pluck, guts and a “don’t tread me spit in your eye” attitude that is the best answer to ignorance and arrogance.
It reminds me of the crusty WW2 veteran who happened to be visiting France. He endured a long tirade from some young liberal about the stupidities and crassness of Americans.
The vet said, “Scuse me. Do you speak German?”
The Frenchman said, “Non.”
The vet said, “You’re welcome.”