An observable portion of the American population has lately manifested the classic symptomology of reinfection, or relapse, of a dread disease, which was optimistically assumed to have been in gradual remission i.e., the grimly persistent and chronic disease of racial prejudice. Because we view bigotry as a psychological and social pathology, we have chosen to [metaphorically] express ourselves, in this note, with the use of clinical language. It does seem evident that the societally incapacitating presentment of bigotry, is not adequately described in mere terms of perverse inclination or inadequate ethnic experience; it is rather, a life crippling pathology for the hater, and as well, the innocent target of his neurotic hatred.
American history reminds us that, not so long ago, the enslavement of black people was seen as an acceptable and normal part of American society; the institution was approved by the express words of the Holy (and infallible) Bible, and, as well, the great majority of white society; the latter, most especially, in areas of America where cotton was farmed. The “revered” Supreme Court of the United States, the Constitutionally designated, final arbiter of justice, declared, in the mid 19th century , (Justice Taney) that blacks were (merely) agricultural equipment; it therefore ruled (Dred Scott case) that a runaway slave be restored to his (“its”) “owner.”
Following a tragic and extremely bloody Civil War, waged principally to end slavery, it took considerably more than a century, for Congress to enact (civil rights) legislation which, by its provisions, articulated the (for its time, radical) philosophy of our founders, that “all men are created equal.” It is a disgrace that it took a great many years and much heroic sacrifice, to establish the very “humanity” of black Americans, viz., the recognition that they enjoyed equitable inclusion in the category of, “all men.”
Subsequently, there was slow, but discernable healing in the universal recognition of the person of color as an equally worthy American citizen, and a general disapproval of public behavior or speech, which was seen to evince prejudice towards black Americans; illustrative examples are: widespread condemnation towards white people who use the “N” word, as well as, acts of discrimination in academia, the workplace and societally, generally. We appeared to be on the road to recovery and a lasting cure. Our nation has experienced a memorably great black president, black judiciary, black governors and legislators, black intellectuals, academics, authors, artists and scientists. The realization of the ideal of an interracial society was, at long last, appeared well on its way.
We recently felt compelled to express our feelings concerning the word, “tolerance,” which we feel, undeservedly purports to define an admirably healthy quality. Our review of definitional authorities, confirmed our unorthodox distain, for this popularly loved, but not adequately analyzed word. The definitional concept as advised, seems to stress the virtue of a permissive attitude toward “others.” Our post, titled, “TOLERANCE, THE BADGE OF BIGOTRY”, expressly deplores such false presumption of virtue; demanding to know, from what source does the “tolerant” person derive authority to make the virtuously withheld expression of judgment? True personal virtue, we submit, would be the enlightened understanding that there is no cookie cutter standard extant, and therefore, [no category of] “other.” We would prefer the aspiration to words expressing “acceptance” and hopefully, “friendship,” in the hopeful expectation that healing from the primative malady of discrimination was imminent.
We have, also, noted our shock and chagrin at the surprising elevation to America’s historic Oval Office, of an ignorant, egotistically adolescent, former game show host. His deplorable behavior and actions, since taking office, have been no less than embarrassing and confusing, nationally, as well as on the world scene. To our present point, he has proven himself to be a classic bigot, among other ways, by his public statements and acts, included in which, are subtle winks and shocking “dog whistle” messages to his base, thus giving tacit, Presidental approval to their hateful prejudicial behavior as well as fraternal thanks for their loyalty. This is yet another, of many illustrations, of the universally unhealthy partnership and empirical intimacy between ignorance and bigotry.
Trump’s flat earth, low information supporters are especially receptive to such needed symbiotic exchange of approving sentiment. It is to be realized that this sub-group of unsophisticated bigots, have no personal basis, whatsoever for self-esteem, except for their obligatory, belief in the alleged superiority of white over darker epidermis.
We are very concerned about the fraternal exchange of code words, constituting “dog whistle” messages, or “winking,” approval, tactically transmitted from the President of the United States, to his hate-mongering base. This pernicious practice is contagious and metastasizing. In the campaign for the Florida Governorship, the Republican candidate, referring to his black, well- educated and attractive candidate, employing similar dog whistle language, pointedly remarked that his opponent is “articulate,” suggesting to fellow speakers of the exotic language of “dog whistle, the rarity of a black, well- educated citizen. This was no ignorant unintended oversight; we are advised that this Trump-like (and Trump- loving) Republican is a graduate of the finest eastern ivy league schools. Our reserve of patience was then completely exhaust when that candidate then warned the southern audience of the danger of “monkey government.”
In the coming elections, local, state and federal, we would urge all responsible and concerned Americans, irrespective of past political affiliation, to value our unique, (but vulnerable) republican democracy, as necessary, over partisan precedent, and cast their vote to bring to a halt, this relapse of an entirely shameful and nationally debilitating disease.