Imagine a new nation claiming to be a land where all men were created equally. Where everyone was entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet a significant percentage of the population thought they were better than others by the quality of their blood, the color of their skin, the place of their birth and their connection to a racist, hate-filled and horrific in the extreme society based upon the debasement of others to the degree their culture depended largely on a human definition paradigm of separating flesh and blood into persons and property. A land born into purity of intention, but riddled with an all too human disease.    

Racism is that disease. It is a virus spreading fear, hatred and loathing. It poisons our minds. It hardens our heart. It blinds us to the obvious. When infected the host can no longer hear the righteous drumbeat of universal justice and equality. Racism has no actual purpose except to feed upon itself, eventually swallowing whole all who fall prey to its paranoid, delusional fever induced dreams. It is the envy of all contagious diseases. It is spread by reading, writing, and the mouth. Mostly, the mouth. Do not be deceived by those who conceal their illness under a layer of pseudo-intellectual social engineering or junk science. By those who hide behind a false-flag of nationalism, love of country or patriotism. America is a nation of immigrants. Our greatness is in our ability to understand, assimilate and appreciate the diversity of life and the many benefits it confers upon those willing to see beyond the superficial, shallow and cravenly convenient false narratives of inferiority based upon race, creed, color and national origin.

Racism is a placebo for everything that ails you. That denies you your “rightful” place at the top of the food chain. That justifies your lack of personal growth and progress. Your lack of compassion and your undeserved feelings of entitlement. Poverty, discontent and ignorance make for the perfect conditions for transmission to the next receptive soul. It is the Demagogue’s pitchfork. It allows hatemongers to spread fear and derision as part of their quest for power. It is the foundation of nationalism, xenophobia and authoritarian rule. Authoritarian rule is a corrosive that gains “market share” at the expense of life, liberty and democracy. It strikes where ignorance is most prevalent. The more you learn, the less you hate, and vice-versa. Diversity, in and of itself is an opportunity to discover something new, different, and possibly wonderful. It is the ultimate “Who knew?” moment. With racism, the messenger is the message. How sad.

Racism isn’t about knowledge, it’s about power. The power to take. Its blessings are a false positive. Domination and disgust for anyone different, for any reason, from yourself. It is directly linked to sexism and recently to abortion. Abortion isn’t about saving a life. It’s about controlling women and their rights to choose in matters related to childbearing, her health and well-being. The racist/sexist part? By someone who isn’t a woman (that would be a man). Are you seeing a disturbing similarity here? There are lots of ways to divide and conquer. When it comes to racism and its numerous offspring, one size does not fit all.

American exceptionalism relies in large part upon our willingness and ability to identify and remedy the root causes and harmful effects of “isms” wherever we may find them. The Constitution contemplated an America without slavery. The US Civil War was fought by people who were already free for those who were not. We added the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to end the “badges” of slavery. Women demanded and won the right to vote. Brown v. Board of Education ended “separate but equal”. The Civil Rights movement and concomitant legislation of the 1960’s changed our laws and our lives forever. The end of DOMA and equality in marriage are recent signs of changing attitudes and acceptance of the life choices of “non-traditional” relationships. Are we “there” yet? No, but Si se puede? Yes, we can.

For Thursday: A Conservative’s Conundrum. The Connection Between Gun Rights, Bullets and Abortion.