If you are an American of a certain pigmentation, like Bobby Seale, Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela, you may understand black author James Baldwin's words differently, and perhaps with more intensity and reality, than you or I. Understandable, since you and I probably did not have to experience what he portrayed in such books as Another Country.
If you are of a different nationality, like Anne Frank, you may have understood those words more quickly and poignantly than you or I.
The pervasiveness of ignorance throughout the country determines--in reverse ratio--the greatness of a nation.
Most of those in the self-proclaimed greatest nation in the world in the middle of the 20th century proclaimed "ignorance" when an upstart nation dedicated its people to service and in the process earned the title "Greatest Generation"; and helped the Allies defeat the braggart leading the then most powerful military machine in the world.
When the defeated greatest military machine was confronted with butchering freedoms, instituting the hellishness of a Holocaust, and proliferating gruesome Auschwitz prison camps, the good people of that greatest nation pleaded "ignorance."
There are several ways to make good people ignorant. Here's one of Der Fuhrer's ways.