The science of stupid

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2019-02-05T11:43:46+00:00Tue, 5th Feb '19, 10:01|0 Comments

She had just heard her father had died, shot by terrorists in Somalia. Never mind the shock and anguish and sorrow at the great loss. Just think of the logistical nightmare that a mourning daughter has to face to get things done properly in a situation like this.

And yet the daughter of Paul Anthony Formosa, murdered by terrorists in Somalia, yesterday called One TV to ask that her father’s death is not used by racists for their own ends. In the midst of all the pain she was particularly hurt by the ugly stupidity of those who thought they were being sympathetic and understanding by calling for a collective punishment of all Somalis living in Malta for the murder “of one of us”.

These geniuses thought the murder of a Maltese man in Somalia was the right day to argue that all Somalis living in Malta should be exiled.

“The migrants who are fleeing Somalia are fleeing from the same people who attacked and killed my father,” the daughter told One News.

You would think that’s common sense.

As should be common sense that collective punishment is entirely nonsensical. If a man from Mqabba is convicted for a serious crime we don’t seek to punish everyone in Mqabba. We don’t seek to punish his neighbours or relatives.

Racism is but a dangerous form of stupidity. It is borne out of ignorance where people speak of a Maltese person working in Mogadishu as someone who goes on holiday in a coal mine.

I get that a lot as well even by people who are supposed to be enlightened. When people google my name they find, if they look hard enough, that I worked in Zimbabwe for a while. Incidentally I also worked in Nigeria and visited Sierra Leone, Mozambique and South Africa for work.

Somehow people think there must be something wrong with that. I cannot do justice to their arguments because they have none. They’re just stupid and they feel entitled to vent their stupidity with outrage.

They profess opinions about subjects they know nothing about and scream them from the rooftops because we’re too idiotic, apparently, to come to their conclusions without their help.

Consider the reactions on Facebook to the Prime Minister’s remarks last Sunday that Malta needs migration in order to sustain its welfare state. To be fair to them Joseph Muscat simplified his argument to its bare bones presumably in the hope of having it understood.

But instead we had marching mobs of rabid racists refusing to look at the simple reality of numbers. Joseph Muscat’s immigration policy is not above criticism. Town planning is haphazard, random and suspiciously superficial to the point where one doubts there’s any plan at all. We acknowledge the need for immigrant labour but our housing planning is focused on billionaires who only have a kitchen in their multi-level apartment to complete the picture set on the fashion magazine. 

There seems to be no effort at integration and whatever lip service is paid to the notion, it’s addressed to the immigrants as if you can have integration with only one side noticing it’s happening. Our infrastructure is on the edge of collapse and what passes for improvement here is adding another jam-packed lane to the main roads without regard to the real needs of the changing community.

But my point here is not just about what’s wrong with the government’s migration policy. It’s also about the complete desert of thought with respect to our community’s need for imported human resources. The facts — demographics, economic forecasts, increased expectations of monetary wealth — none of these are considerations in the public discourse. 

Knowledge is boring. A quick Facebook post decrying outrageous indignation that black people “are taking our jobs and our women” spreads more quickly.

This is not harmless. This mob rule is what dictates policy. It is the new science: the science of stupid on which is built a new reign of terror.