FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ebola Response: American Stupidity at Its Finest

The story goes something like this (that is, if you read what’s on the Internet):

President Obama (born in Kenya, as all conservatives know) contracted Ebola, congenitally, at birth. He’s disguised his hatred of white Americans for many years (as all Republicans know). And now—finally—he’s spread Ebola in the United States, with a goal of reducing the white population so that it is less than the black population. That’s the reason he won’t agree to a travel ban on flights from Africa—which is one country, as all Fox commentators know—because he, alone, knows that that won’t change anything. And the three people in America (including the one who has died) contracted Ebola from Obama and not from Africa. So the way to solve the Ebola problem is to quarantine the President (some people believe this has already happened).

I hesitate in writing this piece because once it’s published too many people will believe that it’s the truth. A month and a half after Obama was elected, I published a satirical piece on CounterPunch that was titled “Impeach Obama.” In that brief essay I wrote that he’d been wasting his time searching for a dog for his children, filling in basketball brackets, and ignoring his presidential duties. He hadn’t fixed everything. Too many readers thought I was serious. Two years later, a state senator in a Southern state sent me an email. He was running for re-election and asked if I could bring him up-to-date with the Impeach Obama movement.

Obama has, sadly, confronted increasing racism since the first day of his presumably post-racial presidency. Republican strategists have done everything possible to make certain that racism in our country is growing and not being eliminated. The Internet is filled with the most disgusting “information” about the man and his wife. From day one, he didn’t have a chance.

Ebola is the ideal focal point for anger against the president, because few Americans know anything about the history of the disease and most know even less about the African continent, with its varied and enormously different 54 countries. They’re not interested. They’re more interested in computer games, TV, and other forms of entertainment, because that is all they really want: to be entertained. Well, ignoring Africa has brought Ebola to our shores, though I doubt that this will be the wake-up call epidemiologists hope for. Once it is contained months from now, Americans will forget all about the pandemic until the next one ravages the world.

In the meantime, what we’re observing is American stupidity at its finest. In Mississippi, a group of parents withdrew their children from a school when they learned that the principal had recently traveled to Zambia, a country in central Africa that is far from the areas where Ebola is raging. Such ignorance ought to convince school officials that there is no more ideal moment than now to educate children (and, sadly, their parents) about Africa. Teach Americans that they ought to have some compassion for people who are different than they are. I doubt if this will be undertaken by many school systems. People are comfortable with the one-country concept for Africa and their many stereotypes about African people. Don’t rock the boat with complexities.

One person in America has died from the disease and he acquired in Africa. If Americans want something to worry about, let them forget Ebola and think seriously about guns. How many Americans died from gunshots last week or even the day Thomas Duncan died? That is the kind of question that needs to be asked. Children are dying weekly from bullets. Americans are much more likely to die from gunshots than from Ebola. Even if there are additional cases and deaths from Ebola in the United States, they will pale in the face of the next gun rampage at an American school or mall. Or any number of other potential disasters that we ought to take seriously.

So let’s go back to what really bothers us. President Obama brought Ebola to the United States. He’s obviously immune to the disease, but the rest of us (particularly if we’re white) had better watch out. Vote Republican!

Charles R. Larson is Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C.  Email: clarson@american.edu.

More articles by:

Charles R. Larson is Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C. Email = clarson@american.edu. Twitter @LarsonChuck.

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador   Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail