On a non-descript Saturday afternoon, a car driven by rage plowed into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. Moments later an unarmed victim was pronounced dead.
She had been part of a gathering to counter-protest against efforts to halt the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue that is a Confederate symbol of hate buried in Virginia’s racist past. Clergy dressed in robes and religious regalia joined students and conscientious citizens dressed in jeans and T-shirts who marched to make their point. Their counterparts who objected to the statue’s removal arrived in helmets carrying an assortment of clubs and firearms supposedly to engage in a peaceful protest.
Unlike Baltimore and Ferguson, the police ironically saw no need to make a show of force. Sadly by the end of the day, America had witnessed another endless tragedy brought by bigotry and violence. Racism would be the agreed upon culprit as per uninformed pundits who dominate the news media. In consideration of such tragedies past, present and future the unsuspecting public is subject to being once again misled by those who celebrate the race concept. Being misled by these assumed acts of racism casts the Charlottesville and other such incidents in a moral context when in fact they are a matter of a new modern-day disease: the White Virus (WV).
Unknown to most in America what was once legitimate immoral acts of racism have mutated into the WV, a disease the same as alcoholism or excessive gambling. After careful consideration, we can no longer assume racism to be a simple matter of moral issues. But for political and social reasons we as a nation continue to show preference to address violent, racist and bigoted behavior in a moral context which conceals the real issue being primarily a feeling of threat by non-pigmented peoples from pigmented peoples.
In that way, we could have our proverbial cake and eat it too. We had a similar problem with alcoholism in the dark (no pun intended) ages of health. People who drank were considered lazy, immoral or just plain no good. In this way, we could spare American families and our national self-concept from being embarrassed some of such families whom were quite wealthy. And at the same time, we could save tax dollars for the treatment of alcoholics.
After all in treating “drunks”, we rationalized that everybody knows is a waste of time and money because they are just plain “no good.” Fortunately, Social Workers and Psychologists won out. Alcoholism today is no longer treated as a moral issue but treated as the disease it is which has reduced in number those infected.
The WV disease that mutated from racism is without a doubt immoral but in consideration of years past arguably much more tenacious and devastating. In the past racism was indeed an issue of morality where whites were exclusive perpetrators and non-whites were victims.
Today non-whites as people of color display symptoms of being infected by the WV disease despite being victims. They too directly or indirectly have engaged in overt discrimination by advocating for white supremacy and celebrating the lynching of black men. They were not known to be present among the Charlottesville white supremacy mob but took part no less in spirit.
They are descended from the little-known blacks who fought under the Confederate flag and owned slaves during the Civil War. When support for such acts by whites took place morally most of us tended to see them as simply evil, violent or just plain no good like alcoholics and excessive gamblers once were. In this way, we can spare respectable families from being embarrassed by their own bigotry. Many were red-blooded, law abiding, God-fearing citizens who would never in public celebrate the lynching of black men or advocate white supremacy. But theirs was a choice as in moral context.
Today the WV differs from simple racism in that those infected have no choice to speak of as a consequence of the disease. But they are in fact bigots nonetheless. Their racism has dominated the American conscience to the extent that previous victims, as well as perpetrators, have succumbed without being held accountable. And comparable to alcoholics and excessive gamblers they need treatment.
Among Americans, uninfected white, as well as non-white, is then a need of a cure for the disease. Their infected counterparts are the bigots of a new era where the WV disease has mutated from overt hostilities acted out solely by white Americans into the WV acted out as racism by all Americans. Pigmented people of color in the past who have been victimized by racism have difficulty accepting this.
However, when candidate Trump stoked the fires of racism calling Mexicans “criminals and rapists” pigmented Mexican people of color supported him. When candidate Trump characterized the black community as a haven for “inner-city thugs” black people of color, unfortunately, supported him too.
The WV in a new era is simply a mutated version of racism more tenacious and stealth than in years past. Those infected are confronted with many of the same challenges as in years past. Parallel to our original treatment of alcoholics and excessive gamblers we must acknowledge our new era racism as the WV disease before we can entertain the prospects of a cure.
It worked with alcoholics in treatments such as Alcoholics Anonymous and excessive gamblers in treatments such as Gamblers Anonymous. Why then not the WV?
Therefore in bringing cure to a disease mutated from a moral context, it is the voices of those who manage to escape infection that must speak and be heard loudest. They are the intellectuals, the clergy, and conscientious among American citizens. They are white, black, brown, red and yellow. By their efforts, the America that voted in 2016 to hate again will truly make America great again!