today in black history

April 14, 2024

Elston Howard becomes the first Black player on the New York Yankees baseball team on this date in 1955.

Contagious Stupidity

POSTED: October 10, 2013, 6:30 am

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The symptoms are clear; unintelligible babble followed by delirium and a pale and almost catatonic appearance. It is a classic case of stupidity and a contagious strain has infected congressional Republicans on Capitol Hill. The side effects include the tendency to lie and to make nonsensical statements that reveal a deep disdain for the poor and African-Americans that is usually suppressed when stupidity is in remission. Tragically, there is a bad outbreak of stupid in Congress and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is unable to quarantine the Capitol because the agency is out of commission due to the federal government shutdown, ironically caused by the outbreak of stupid that is ravaging the Rayburn, Cannon and Longworth House Office Buildings. Senator Ted Cruz was diagnosed with a minor case but it has been isolated and revealed to be just a low grade strain of idiocy.

All jokes aside, the Republican leadership on the Hill really is stupid and it is difficult to ascertain if their madness has been acquired from their Tea Party minions or if these elected officials are the hosts of the virus. What is certain is that their recklessness has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known and self-identified by President Obama as “Obamacare,” the landmark health care reform legislation that was considered and passed after being vetted by our democratically elected legislators and signed into law by the President of the United States. In other words, it is the law and even these seemingly dense Republicans know that it is not about to be recalled or delayed.

Republican opposition to the health care law is a ruse, and a dangerous deception at that. This is nothing more than an attempted coup, an assault on executive power by a Republican faction – the Tea Party – that has wrestled control of the GOP and is intent on holding the nation hostage until it gets its way. What does it want? These extremists want a government that supports unfettered access to firearms, the reduction of aid to the poor, and by their thinking that means African-Americans, and could care less about the welfare of children as their denial of the destructive nature of guns attests. Like Ronald Reagan they see government as the problem but unlike the late President they also see government as the great equalizer for the traditionally discarded of society, Blacks, women, gays and Spanish language minorities. And they are scared out of their wits by the prospects of an America in which people of color will be the majority and white entitlement will wither away. They see the handwriting on the wall. Yet, they are too sick and too medicated with hatred to come to terms with their illness. It is why they can root for their favorite Black football player on Sunday afternoon and call President Obama a nigger on Monday. For these types Blacks as entertainment is one thing, Blacks in power is quite another. The mere presence of a Black man in the Oval Office has sent these extremists over the edge and they are now aided by the lunatics on the Hill.

Just listen to the tone of Senator Ted Cruz and Speaker John Boehner when addressing the President. These self-claimed patriots cannot hide their hatred of President Obama and the intensity of their dislike for the nation’s first African-American President is evident in how they disrespect the office he occupies. Observers around the world can tell that the Republican leaders of our legislative branch could care less about the dignity of the Office of the President by the way in which they parade their animosity toward President Obama. While there have been heated exchanges and ideological differences between Congress and Presidents in the past, never has there been such an outward display of disrespect for the individual and office that occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If no one else sees the pathology of the Republican Party, African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans need to recognize the sickness and make every effort to confine the GOP to permanent bed rest. This is a party that is out of step with the emerging America and the longer we allow it to spread its venom, the longer we will see the irrational hatred of the ignorant, the confused and intellectually dishonest educated who wade in the cesspool of racism and hatred that is filled by the lies and deceptions of the far-right on the Hill, on radio and the Internet, in print and cable television. Stupidity is a dangerous disease because it often lies dormant until triggered by demagoguery. This is a party that must be put out of business or at least pressured until its saner and moderate factions are driven to escape the asylum.

These people are dangerous and they pose a threat to the security of our nation. They have proven unworthy of the leadership of the ‘people’s house’ and need to be summarily dismissed in the 2014 midterm elections. That is no easy task given the manner in which the redistricting process has been jerry rigged to make certain that these drones will be re-elected, unless of course they are disposed of by the Tea Party and replaced by a more stupid and accommodating model. This is hate-politics at its worse and must be confronted before the insanity spills over into our states, as it already has in some places like North Carolina, Florida and New Jersey.

It is time to reacquire a sense of moral outrage in America over injustices and again employ civil disobedience as a tool to challenge institutional (government) power to change the social paradigm in our nation. In real terms it means we have to bring the fight to Republicans; show up at congressional offices in their districts and on Capitol Hill. We might have to occupy Washington before it’s all over, to stop business as usual if necessary and to crush the status quo. We have to use our consumer dollars and purchasing power as a weapon, and feel no remorse for targeting corporate interests that are aligned with the extreme voices in Congress. And we must look inward and make certain that those we deem our “leaders” are indeed leading and not engaging in hypocritical and self-interested behavior, while at the same time expanding our definition of leadership beyond the celebrity arc.

To heal America, we must first isolate the stupid who masquerade as our leaders and then use our collective power to defeat this disease once and for all.

Walter Fields is Executive Editor of

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