We’ll start our April Fool’s Day coverage at Rob Rogers’ website, where he either had a technical glitch or an absolutely brilliant take on both the topic and the day.
If it’s a glitch, Rob, don’t fix it. It can’t be improved. (Too late: Here’s what he meant.)
But today’s headline says “Hateful Fools Day,” and the problem is that the hate these days is coming so hard and fast that I don’t have sufficient comics to illustrate it all. For instance, last night 193 Republicans voted to keep insulin unaffordable for a very large number of people who need it in order to stay alive.
This wouldn’t, I suppose, be so bad if they weren’t equally devoted to the “Right to Life,” which ends at birth and doesn’t even include prenatal care, much less post-natal nutrition and medical services.
I don’t think that they are the fools. Somebody put them in Congress and is keeping them there.
Man Overboard points out that the “Gospel of Prosperity” folks have sure put the white in whited sepulchre, worshipping mammon instead of the Man.
Again, if you’re surprised that “Christians” would vote to let pharmaceutical companies continue to exploit people, here’s the joke:
They’re not the fools.
As Tom the Dancing Bug illustrates, the normalization of toxic foolishness spreads well beyond the churchyard door and is rooted in a twisted version of “My country, right or wrong.”
It’s not just that people refuse to question. It’s that they refuse to see, or even look.
Juxtaposition of the Day
The easy riposte to Ramirez is to say that conservatives are so accustomed to lying that, when someone tells the truth, they assume it was a mistake, and Anderson adds to that analysis by pointing out the flagrant, asinine presidential statements rightwingers have, at best, ignored and, at worst, embraced.
Biden has clarified that his statement that Putin must not remain in power was a personal opinion, not US foreign policy, but the haters have found a wedge.
There was a time when partisan politics ended at the water’s edge, and it was long accepted that presidents get a certain immunity to criticism in times of war, but that blew by, along with the notion that electoral results should be respected.
I can remember when we all had to respect W as he needlessly destroyed the stability of the Middle East with bogus claims of WMDs and even screwier claims of a link between Hussein and al Qaeda.
Now we question whether we should criticize Putin for shelling hospitals and bombing shelters, and there’s not a peep when Dear Ex-Leader asks him for help and Russian media refers to “our partner Trump.”
Juxtaposition of Cruelty
It’s ironic that the Disney company has become the protector of LGBTQ+ people, given that Disneyland was once notorious for banning long-haired men from the park, that there were no Black Mouseketeers and that they fired Tommy Kirk when they found out he was gay.
But here we are, with any Disney effort at decency trumpeted by Varvel as turning the place completely gay, and Kelley suggesting that Disney has no interest in serving the vast majority of people who happen to be straight.
Their open hatefulness and bigotry is not an unprecedented attitude: When the Civil Rights Act required integrating public places, a fried chicken seller named Lester Maddox grabbed a pickaxe handle and belligerently declared his restaurant white-only.
The response to his overt, hostile racism? The good folks in Georgia — at least the ones who were allowed to vote back in 1967 — made him governor, then saddled poor Gov. Jimmy Carter with the sumbitch as lieutenant governor in 1971.
Again, if you think decency is a universal default, you’re the fool.
Hate sells and you can’t create a better world unless you go into the fight knowing you’ll run into plenty of well-financed bigotry.
Juxtaposition of Cruelty #2
Is there space for a conversation about the place of transgender people in sports? Well, there’s place for a sincere, decent discussion, sure.
But — as with phony moves to stop using the N-word but keep Jim Crow — the efforts I’ve seen are polite distractions mired in ignorance, hostility and fear.
As Unell points out, they’re part of a package of hatemongering that targets children on all sorts of levels: The bans on books and curriculum don’t just target sexuality but include race.
How old were you when you chose to be Black? Was it because you read “A Snowy Day” when you were six?
I’m being sarcastic, but Ted Cruz asked similarly hateful, ignorant questions of a judge nominated for the Supreme Court, wondering aloud if he could change his ethnicity at will, while Marsha Blackburn is quite sure that sexual identity is entirely a matter of genitalia.
Are they merely slinging this false, bigoted trash around for votes, or are they truly that stupid and that reluctant to look into the matters about which they make law?
And does it matter?
If you think white supremacy is a bunch of uneducated, toothless, shoeless rednecks burning a cross in a field at night, you’re the fool.
And if you stay home on Election Day, you’re no different than the “good Germans,” and no less responsible for the results.
(BTW, I was thrown in Facebook Jail for posting this. Criticizing genocide and sharing uncomfortable history goes against their community standards.)
A Small Ray of Hope in an Ugly World
Bruce MacKinnon maintains healthy skepticism, but there is a faint ray of hope as Pope Francis has held several meetings this week with First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations to discuss the grotesque history of Canada’s residential schools, in which the Catholic Church played a major role.
The ray of hope is that he issued an apology:
The reason it’s only a ray of hope is that it reminds me of when I’d screw up and apologize, and my angry father would ask, “Are you sorry you did it, or sorry you got caught?”
The answer, of course, is revealed not in words but in actions.
Only fools stop demanding real answers.