We liberals spend a lot of time blaming the world’s problems on stupid people. The more thoughtful among us might be so kind as to say the problem is people believing in stupid ideas. Q-Anon. The Big Lie. COVID denial.
Whatever it is, we tend to believe everything is simply a matter of education. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it be nice to solve a problem just by handing someone a book? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just play someone a podcast or text a link? Yeah. It would. But I think you probably know it’s not that easy. There are many reasons those aren’t solutions. One of them is that we already collectively believe in an idea far more outrageous, asinine and absurd than any of the current conspiracy theories within the zeitgeist.
That idea, of course, is racism. This country believes that the physical trait of skin color is a sign of character, intelligence and deservedness. You couldn’t come up with a more irrational idea if you tried for 400 years. Seriously, just for a moment imagine one’s existence in this country could be defined by another random physical trait.
Imagine that you were less likely to get hired due to the quantity of freckles on your arm. What if politicians actively tried to suppress the vote of anyone with an oval-shaped face? Just think of a world in which the police disproportionately killed anyone whose second toe was longer than their first. That’s how objectively mindless racism is, and yet it is alive and well and at the root of many—and quite likely most—of our societal problems.
When you really think about how distinctly ridiculous the actual premise is, and how deeply that premise has burrowed into every facet of this country, then you can see that Q-Anon, the Big Lie and COVID denial don’t really compare. In fact, it becomes very clear that there probably has always been and will probably always be some number of people supporting the most monstrous nonsense.
But that’s not really the problem.
It can be totally fine for people to believe whatever they want. Most of the time, I honestly don’t care. I don’t care what kind of blithering gibberish you’ve got in your heart…unless you’ve got power.
For example, I don’t care how many flat-earth conferences you attend…unless you’re also an air traffic controller or in charge of funding NASA.
Unfortunately, there is one political party that is home to all the hate groups, Q-Anoners and COVID deniers and that party currently has a disproportionate amount of power. By now we should all understand that the answer is not education. For obvious reasons, you cannot educate your way out of minority rule.
The only answer is to redistribute power. So, yes, feel free to curse fools and their foolish ideas as much as you desire. It can be cathartic. But, if you want these problems to go away, invest your time and money with groups who are helping to give more people a voice. Fairfight.com is a great place to start.
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