Ignorance Is This

By Bill Maher

According to a "special college report" in TIME (the vanishing magazine that only lives at airports, like a rare toad or something), 83% of recent US college graduates are unable to identify the Emancipation Proclamation, or say what it did.

I know, it's a tired game: asking college kids questions to make them reveal that they they're basically Golden Retrievers with smartphones, but this... let's say "gap"... is significant. It's not like not knowing about the Whisky Rebellion or the Stamp Act. The Emancipation Proclamation was important. It reminds us that, in America, not very long ago, you were a human being if you were one color, and you were farm equipment if you were another. And it reminds us that quite a few other countries got rid of slavery before we did. (Because we're exceptional, duh.) And they did it without civil war.

If only 17% of college graduates know that, it's still worth having a conversation about race. We can say "we're beyond racism" when we get that number up to 25%.