The insanity of racism in America

So, are we really not going to talk about the insanity that is racism in this country? Are we not going to discuss how mentally warped the idea is, that you can hate someone and consider them so subhuman to the point that you can kill them without any remorse whatsoever solely on the basis of pigmentation and melanin? We had a fugitive in hiding for killing a lion, yet black men and women have their lives taken by racist hate groups and police alike, black churches are being shot up or set fire to and yet there is barely an outcry. We live in a country where an individual such as Donald Trump who has gone on record to describe Mexican immigrants as mostly thieves, murderers and rapists, is leading in every poll as a serious contender for the highest office in the land. Is this not insanity? Am I going too far?

While racism it is not a psychosis defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; especially consciously, deliberately, hatefully racist, because Lord knows we’re not trying to give these people an out, it’s not sanity either. Any behavior or belief that is destructive to the social fabric cannot possibly be rooted in sanity. Sanity by definition protects the social fabric. We are, after all, social beings. Racism is a toxic and perverse mimic of the natural xenophobia humans used to feel in the early days of humanity that drove them to defend their tribes from potentially dangerous strangers. However, the former primal mindset at least left room for strangers to introduce themselves peacefully and perhaps even one day join the tribe; racism provides no such outs, gives no such relief.

If you think about the fact that while Europe had given up on the institution of human chattel, the United States engaged in a civil war over the right to keep slavery alive, its difficult not to see the insanity. Nearly as many men died in captivity alone, during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War. Hundreds of thousands died of disease. An estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the Civil War; this does not include women and children. This country came within a hair’s breadth of going out like a flame; all because there were individuals in this country who did not want to give up their abominable domination over other human beings. That’s crazy, folks! That’s dangerously crazy.

The racist is dangerously crazy because as history has shown, they are at once homicidal, suicidal and genocidal. A person seeing people are subhuman because of the amount of melanin in their skin? Yes, that’s dangerously crazy and we need to somehow deal with that and them, and not think that, like the reasonably normal human being, we can just appeal to their humanity or educate them out of it. God knows we’ve been trying this since the days of slavery to Jim Crow until now and it hasn’t worked yet. One generation of racists die and another springs forth. Those who do manage to wake up from their racist delusions had to do the long and arduous work on their own and come to their own conclusions about reality. This is why we needed the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and #BlackLivesMatter in 2015. If we had just waited until racists woke up from racism on their own, black people would still be in shackles on cotton plantations, even now.

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