Elliot: The color of stupidity


Let’s start by saying what we don’t know. White people have no idea what it means to grow up black in this country.

To say otherwise is to stand on a promontory that projects into the great sea of human ignorance. It’s a big ocean, and it doesn’t know any particular color, but the waves that crash on the rocks of the promontory are white.

So many waves are white.

Of course, stupidity knows no color, as a friend of mine from Harlem says from time to time. And he’s right.

He’s not always right; I mean, he’s a Yankee fan. Case closed. But he’s right often enough.

Especially about stupidity. Take Steve King, R-Iowa. Please, Nebraska, take him.

Right now, according to Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (that renowned liberal newspaper that editorially supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — stupidity? color?), King, who happens to be white by no fault of his own, is trying to repeal the part of the 14th Amendment that gives American citizenship to people born in this country. As Milbank reports, King told a House subcommittee, “I’d suggest it’s our job here in this Congress to decide who will be citizens, not someone in a foreign country that can sneak into the United States and have a baby and then go home with the birth certificate.”

It’s what anti-immigrant politicians like to call “anchor babies” and “birth tourism.” The problem is you can’t rewrite the Constitution with a simple act of Congress. You need an amendment, which is a bit more difficult, if not complicated.

King probably knows this. But he’s made a political career by saying stupid things that play well to his base. Which is not necessarily the same thing as bass. Or even the fish.

And then there’s Ben Carson, who happens to be black by no fault of his own, who also happens to be running for president.

In 2014 (yeah, I know, an eternity ago), Carson told an interviewer that anarchy in the United States could lead to the cancellation of the 2016 elections.

No, really. He referred to the national debt, ISIS, and what was then the Democratic-controlled Senate as leading to anarchy and President Obama declaring martial law and canceling the elections.

He has also said Congress should be able to remove judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage and that being gay is a choice, because straight people go into prison and come out gay.

Yes, really.

He has also compared Obamacare to slavery — yes, that slavery. I mean, slavery, really? What’s next? The federal income tax is equivalent to the Holocaust?

No, apparently, Carson believes Obama is purposefully depressing the economy to keep people on welfare, and Obama made his immigration proposal in order to bring more Democratic voters into the country.

Except that the economy is growing the best it has since 1999, and you have to be a citizen to vote. Immigrants don’t necessarily become citizens.

But oh, well.

One of these days, we’ll all become adults, and we won’t have these discussions. Maybe.

I’m almost an adult. I keep gaining on it.

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