Ignorance and stupidity are killing America

I read a compelling article this morning in Psychology Today by David Niose, the legal director and former president of the American Humanist Association. The title is Anti-Intellectualism Is Killing America and I believe he is right. He says,

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof’s actions on America’s culture of racism and gun violence, but it’s time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance.

In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell,” where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president, it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall.

Meanwhile, most Republican candidates for president flashed their ignorance and stupidity last week by refusing to admit that Dylann Roof’s slaughter of nine black people at a prayer meeting in the basement of the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, SC was a racially motivated hate crime and he is a terrorist.

They also deny that humans are causing climate change and global warming that are driving the sixth major life extinction event in world history.

The worst offenders are the racist haters like Roof, who believe blacks are inferior to whites, and the religious fundies who believe they have the right to exploit everyone and everything on the planet because they are saved and God gave humans dominion and control over all living things in the biosphere. Apparently, they missed the part about the responsibility to care for them.

Perhaps, Pope Francis’s encyclical will change their minds, but I would not hold my breath since they hate Catholics along with everyone else who does not belong to their white cults of willful ignorance and stupidity.

15 Responses to Ignorance and stupidity are killing America

  1. Ignorance and stupidity are killing America. That’s it in a nutshell.

  2. Malisha says:

    And it’s not just ignorance and stupidity but also lying.


    This guy was NOT in the church when StormDrain killed 9 people. How does HE know that they “waited their turn to be shot”? So now, instead of condemning African Americans for trying to defend themselves (“they’re violent and dangerous”), they get condemned for being passive and non-dangerous (“they waited in turn”).

    I’m sick of these liars. He needs to be drummed out of office, publicly shamed, and socioeconomically destroyed.

    • gblock says:

      Malisha, are you sure that you included the correct link? The link that you listed is for the Onion, which is satire, so you can’t expect that anything in it is supposed to be the literal truth. And I didn’t see anything in the article that refers to what you were talking about.

  3. Malisha says:

    OK, we need a non-name for the former, soon-to-be-forgotten Dylann Storm Roof. Any entries for this contest? My entry is: “StormDrain.”

  4. Malisha says:

    Gold’s Gym should make a statement that they do not support racism and that they reject everything the “poster boy” stands for. He wore their T-shirt in all his “1488” flicks. They need to speak up to reject his “product placement.” Gold’s Gym was founded by Joe Gold, a Jew and a retired military man.

  5. Malisha says:

    The Repugnicans will be happy if the public schools continue to teach whites from Roof’s background to be ignorant white trash (thus easily manipulated) and to be a school-to-prison pipeline for Blacks. Occasionally there may be some unforeseen consequences (such as having to pull down the confederate flag in response to overwhelming public outrage) but so long as they continue to count their dollars they don’t care too much about that.

    Roof’s manifesto was so pathetically stupid and ignorant that I would have laughed myself silly but for the fact that he got himself armed. The “high point” was his description of his ENLIGHTENMENT. He thinks he’s way ahead of most dumb white people who have not yet been “turned on” to all he knows about “race relations.”

    He might be able to get even more enlightened in prison!

  6. nancybenefiel says:

    As the Republican party systematically abolish the public school system, the ability to comprehend the truth will continue to wane.This next election could be the last chance.

  7. Disappointed says:

    What I do not understand is: Roof admitted to the killings because of race. Yet ppl ignore his confession and call it attack on Christianity. Imo these ppl are willfully ignorant. He confessed. He admitted to why he did it. Why are others changing his confession? Oh and why are ppl asking for donations for mental health causes? What mental illness does he have? Racism is not mental health issue. It’s social issue, it’s taught. Children are not born racist. Sorry for rant just so tired of mass shootings and instant defense of the white guy who is murder.

    • Malisha says:


      By definition, a mental illness is some form of inability of the person to adjust to the environment, mentally and/or emotionally. In a racist culture, there is nothing crazy about being racist. In a strict Sharia-law culture, there is nothing crazy about belief in the letter and the substance of Sharia law. I think it is possible that anti-Black racism in a Black person may be linked to some kind of emotional disturbance but I’m not sure what that would be; actual evaluation, using the criteria of the DSM-V, would be necessary to figure it out, of course. But the blanket statement that a guy has a mental illness because he happened to go into a Black church and kill 9 innocent people BECAUSE HE COULD and BECAUSE he WANTED TO — is wrong. He had a clear intent; his intent was based upon his self-aggrandizing and wrongful attitudes about what he was worth (a LOT because he was WHITE) versus how much his victims were worth (NOTHING because HE could choose to kill them); he carried out his clear intent without losing touch with reality; he knew it was wrong (he actually said “I have no choice”); he knew it was illegal (he fled so as not to be arrested); and he knew it was cowardly (he said he could not go into the ghetto to kill Blacks, realizing they might be armed and might kill him).

      He’s not crazy. He’s a sane bigot.

    • girlp says:

      In his eyes and maybe even in his family’s eyes he is a failure he blames others for what he see has his failures….it’s their fault.

    • girlp says:

      He should be charged with a hate crime but our state doesn’t have one. He should be jailed for life, not only was this planned over a six month period but how evil can you be to have people accept you into their church and then kill them.

  8. Malisha says:

    SO GLAD to see this as the topic of your article, Professor! To add a bit of humor, I want to let you know that Andy Borowitz, a comic who writes the “Borowitz Report,” has published, today, a hilarious article about a poll that establishes the fact most Americans are tired of explaining obvious things to idiots.



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