Fools Are Multiplying Too Rapidly; We Can't Stay Quiet

I recently saw an extremely bizarre thing. It was a  short clip of a podcast (we have to abolish these things once and for all. Podcasts are killing us, folks) where a man, let's call him Man A, asks another man, let's call him Man B, to say which animal he is least afraid of. Man B says fish. Man A attempts to correct him by saying "fish is not an animal". The rest of the almost two minute clip, is Man B being absolutely gobsmacked while Man A continues to scream that fish is NOT an ANIMAL, but a SEA CREATURE. They launched into a screaming match arguing the most basic fact. My God.

How long do you think humanity is going to last before we destroy ourselves?

As bizarre, idiotic, nonsensical as this conversation was, that's how it sometimes feels being in conversation with so many people nowadays.

"Fools multiply when wise men are silent." - Nelson Mandela.

I hate election years. Which is ridiculous considering that I’m a political scientist; but in more recent times every presidential election has felt like this-election-could-make-or-break-us, and it has exactly been that.  What is even more precarious is that the last sentence could have been about any nation of the world. The stakes are always too high, and with people not paying enough attention, it's even worse. Elections have consequences, and if you're like me, you're so tired of people underestimating those consequences. You are so tired of the foolishness that our public discourse has now devolved into.

It’s so easy to retreat in silence because how can you possibly deal with all that foolishness? But the foolishness then starts to crowd out the sensible and that’s even more terrifying.

I feel like I've been too quiet. I was during the last Nigerian elections when I had so much to say. I am now as America's elections draw nearer. Look at Nigeria now. If you know the truth, say it even if it doesn't move the needle. Still say it. I'm not so egotistical as to think my saying anything would have altered the last elections in Nigeria. I can't even honestly say Nigerians didn't understand the enormity of that election because too many did and with all the irregularities that happened, it would probably not have mattered whether people understood the gravity or not. And yet, fools multiply when wise men are silent. 

A Nigerian in America recently said they would vote for Donald Trump even though there has never been a more nonsensical, ignorant, and anti-immigrant candidate in recent times than Trump. Fools are multiplying too rapidly. A woman said on national television that she "wouldn't vote for a woman, and especially Nikki Haley...she's probably menopausal".  Fools are multiplying too rapidly.  And I didn't even have to think that hard to come up with these examples. 

I look at this world we now live in and the sheer ignorance, the deep-seated hatred, the blatant lies, the apathy, and that deep-seated hatred again are ravaging our world faster than we can even breathe. So what do we do? How can the sane, sensible ones among us cope with the madness? I remember Toni Morrison's famous words,

This is precisely the time when artists go to work

There is no time for despair

No place for self-pity

No need for silence

No room for fear

We speak

We write

We do language

That is how civilizations heal

Let's get to work, people.



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