Racism in a Post-Racism World

by

In the enormous unwritten book “Prominent Jackasses of History”, Louisiana physician Samuel Cartwright merits at least a whole chapter. In his version of “what I know about the negro” circa 1851, he came up with “Drapetomania”. A mental illness he invented to explain the (to him) inexplicable desire to run away from slavery. He documented this condition in his sadly real book “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race”. The tome included helpful tips to diminish the full blown syndrome. In the event of prodromal symptoms such as sulking, depression and general non tap-dancey behavior, he recommended whipping (of course he did).

It’s high comedy how shocked the media in particular has been in response to the overt presence of Cartwright’s heirs this last week. What? The wealthy cowboy who doesn’t want to pay for grazing in the commons and happily transfers those cows for slaughter on tax-paid-for-roads has some other less than fair and inclusive ideas? No! I would have been shocked if he didn’t have some pet ideas about “the negro”. I can only imagine his notions about women, animal rights (!), and the ethical implications of “Jude the Obscure” (stupid fucker just needs to get to work, stop whining about going to school).

But that wasn’t enough. We had to get the Donald Sterling tapes. I guess he owns some sort of gladiator type group that participates in large competitive events. I’m not sure on the details. But he doesn’t want the gladiators in the seats; that is for certain. Again, quite the shock that the billionaire who is said to have driven past his slum properties to make sure that the minorities didn’t have some offense to kick them out over (like plants on their porches) would have unseemly notions. You mean the guy who has “people” to make sure if he gets a massage, it’s not one of those fucking lame ass just for relaxation things? He said a fucking massage and he meant it. That guy. And his super bold gladiators turning their shirts inside out to protest. Brave! A McDonalds worker with nobody else to take care of their kid takes part in a protest….that’s brave. Spoiled babies not even taking a significant stand when they are flush with cash against a piece of trash like Sterling? Sad. They don’t have Drapetomania.

But of course Donald Sterling would be like this. Scratch the surface of the kind of people who amass such assets. Great wealth, great crime and all….. Do you think this mangy old man would have it any other way? All is commodity, including his players. These malignant views all mesh. These are the people who are in charge and by virtue of their cash demand lickspittle from all. He can’t get a damn blow job without the commodified world. It ain’t happening. Won’t be a lovely young ethnic (one of the non-threatening ethnic ones, dammit or there will be hell to pay) and that’s what he is demanding. And here’s the other angle of it. This woman who evidently taped him saying these things. I’m guessing if she ran in his circles……well she probably wasn’t starving in a third world hell hole or any other mitigating factor. She was open to having that thing inside her for more stuff. And the people around just act smile with a glaze–it’s all so normal. They say Nero liked to do performances. People pretended like his thespianship was amazing, but the pregnant women would fake labor to leave during the performances and men would feign heart attacks. This still goes on. We just have so many Neros. And it would be obvious if we all faked labor and heart attacks, so the behavior persists with audience intact.

Our Supreme Court tells us racism is over. Why we have a sort of black president, it must be. And on a related topic, there is no sexism according to Rand Paul (since his niece is going to be a veterinarian—he probably thinks that is the medical professional who takes care of women). I think what they are really trying to say is that those of us who still see issues, well, maybe it’s just a modern form of Drapetomania.. We are hungering for a freedom from all of this demeaning bullshit from those who weren’t held in check by morality of any kind in their quest for wealth. They build theories that explain and codify the injustice and reeking reality already present. That reality that serves them. And it’s nothing new. Just consult “Diseases and Peculiarities of the ______” (and insert any of our labels they are opting to denigrate and mine for resources).

Draptomaniacs, the lot of us. Why can’t we just understand our place?

Kathleen Wallace lives in the Midwest.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest and can be reached at klwallace@riseup.net

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece