Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Musings: Ignorance Ain't Bliss

The heady fragrance of mock orange blossoms greeted me as I opened the door this morning. It was dark, even at nearly 6, and I had a hard time getting out of bed. But Venus rewarded me with her bright, cool light.

Venus has just moved into Virgo, and the best way to handle that energy, according to Cosmic Path is to stay on the higher plane and avoid criticisms, even when I know I’m right. That might be tough, as it takes a month for Venus to move through a sign, but I’ll try.

Superferry polls have been popping up all over, with most of them claiming big support for the vessel. I don’t put much stock in polls, especially the kind conducted over the Internet or administered by PR firms.

But in the case of the Superferry, my reservations are heightened because despite all the words that have been written and spoken about the project, there’s still tremendous ignorance. I don’t think most people really know enough about all the ins and outs of the issue to cast a reasonable vote.

Just read the comments posted on any Advertiser story about the ferry, which I’ve stopped doing because it’s too depressing, and you quickly get a sense for the level of misinformation that is being promulgated.

Numerous Kauai people have told me they had to educate their ohana and friends on Oahu and the mainland because even after all the months of controversy, they still didn’t know what we’re upset about.

I’m concerned about this ignorance because it makes it easy to depersonalize people — especially activists — and turn them into the enemy.

This came to light when a friend recounted an experience that happened during the last Kahoolawe access. It seems a man who has some prominent role with the Oahu SWAT team ended up on island with a lot of Kauai folks.

He had no idea about the Superferry issues that were inflaming Kauai residents; he was merely doing his job when he helped mobilize the SWAT team that was sent to Kauai on the second day of public demonstrations to control faceless, nameless “protestors.”

But after Kauai folks filled him in on their concerns about the ferry, and told him who had been out there in the water and on the seawall, he began looking at the situation differently.

Through that sort of one-on-one education, the Superferry issue was humanized for him, to the point where he promised to keep “the boys” in line. And when you’re talking about guys with the power to shoot folks, that’s very good news indeed.

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