Disclaimer: none of this is meant to be in any way offensive. If it comes across as that, I apologize deeply and ask you to educate me on potential misinformation (no one’s perfect) and phrasing/terms.
Date: November 27th, 2016
Alternative Title: Why Racism Is An Illness
Racism sucks. It truly, tragically sucks. Well, “sucks” is actually a pretty downgrading word. It does a hell of a lot more than suck.
The sad truth is that racism is a foundation of nations and countries. It is an integral part of history, just as art, an assortment of plagues, and the concept of royalty are.
The even sadder truth is that even now, us Europeans and descendants of Europeans have not learned from our mistakes. Gosh darn it, we’ve screwed over so many people, and we continue to do so…
When will it end?
The screwing over? When will it end? When will all the crap catch up to us and give us a chance to better ourselves? Can God, or some psychic, give us an exact date to look forward to?
It is my personal opinion that racism is an illness (not a physical one, a metaphysical one). Here is a list of some observations that support my theory:
1. It has been passed down through generations and generations of humanity, so it is clearly something both hereditary (family passes it on) and contagious (able to infect other people in close capacity, especially infants).
2. Not everyone is racist. Like all illnesses (including the plagues I mentioned earlier), an immunity to it has formed. This immunity appears to be both hereditary and transmittable, in the same way that the illness itself is, except in all situations that the immunity faces the illness (such as a case of clashing communicability), the immunity conquers.
3. There are strains of it, not just one big gloppy mess. The three biggest strains are Insidious Racism (IR), Ignorant Racism (IGR), and Violent Racism (VR).
a) IR is the type that sneaks in when no one’s looking. It is the hardest strain to seek out and eliminate, because it is thought of as harmless when in actuality there are thousands, maybe millions of silent victims. It is not necessarily violent, which is one of the reasons that the victims are “silent” – in fact, it is arguable that nothing has actually been done to them. Symptoms include frequent stereotypes coming from the infected, finding humor in prejudiced jokes, and of course, the “silence” – this particular strain has found a way to weave itself into normalcy. Even the uninfected have a hard time raising their voice against injustice, because the infected wave off any evidence that they are infected.
b) IGR is unintentional and not necessarily violent. The symptoms are very similar to IR’s, so much so that there is only one difference – those infected with IGR are much more susceptible to treatment, because though the stereotyping, finding humor in prejudiced jokes, and “silence” are the same, those infected with IGR are literally unaware of what’s so offensive about what they just said. Nothing is wrong with them morally, it is simply that they “just don’t get it,” therefore they are more likely to recognize their mistake once you explain it to them.
c) VR is arguably the most dangerous of the strains, resembling a parasite. This strain causes aggression and fear within the brain of the infected, creating a large discrepancy between rational thought and the “natural” instincts, such as fight or flight. (Sadly, the infected almost always chooses “fight.”) Those infected feel alienated by those of a different race/color, and the parasite-like illness in their body causes them to act on their internal fear and aggression.
(End of list.) If racism is an illness, then it is clear how we must address it: like an illness. There are already treatments in abundance, but people choose to ignore them due to the equal abundance of weaponry – there are some who choose to fight this illness like a war. My opinion? Bad idea.
List of available treatments:
– Awareness: Awareness, as a treatment, is slightly different than education as a treatment. Awareness is being enlightened, that first step, that first correction, the broadening of horizons. After all, it is known that recognizing a problem is the first step to treating it. White jokes (see Figure 1) are part of Awareness in the simple way that they balance the playing field a little in terms of race jokes, and give way to further learning and acceptance. Another factor in the popularity of white jokes is the “laugh/cry” factor – you’d rather be laughing about something if the alternative was crying about it.
– Education: Education as a treatment relies on the mind’s given willingness to deepen their understanding of a situation. Even those that have been infected with VR can be shown, with subjects like biology (to show that race and color do not and should not create any negative difference in the body), philosophy (to show that race and color do not and should not create any negative difference in the “soul,” at least internally), and psychology (to show that race and color do not and should not create any create any negative difference in the mind, at least internally), that there is a better way to live.
– Kindness: Fighting an illness like a war is a bad idea because how it works in reality is a bit more like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and less like The Walking Dead. Killing a zombie vs potentially finding a cure for said zombie. My question for you is – you’re in a room with two people with the flu and ten people without the flu, and you have the cure in one hand and a gun in another, are you honestly going to shoot the people with the flu to kill the strain? No! Of course not! Killing with anything other than kindness activates a formerly dormant symptom called “Martyrdom” (it can be activated in all strains) among those remaining alive that makes it much, much harder for the illness to be dealt with. If you want to educate a person on what true kindness is, you be truly kind to them. Remember, it can be easier for you if you are kind. A person infected with racism may not realize that they exhibit negative behavior, if you “retaliate” in any way, they will feel as though they have been attacked without any justification and proceed to close themselves to treatment.
(End of list.) The strains have “substrains,” named by organization (eg. VRstrKKK, VRstrNYPD), location (eg. IGRstrLosAngeles, IRstrOhio), etc. Keep in mind that like every illness, some treatments may work for some strains but not for others. If we deal with them with a combination of “big picture” tactics and “small picture” tactics, we have a better chance of wiping out the illness for good.
I wish you all luck.
P.S Racism sucks. So does this (Figure 2):
This is an example of when they do try to fight the illness like a war.
We’re all human(oid), my friends. All of us. We’re all just trying to find our way in this world.