FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease

I say “disease” instead of “illness” because it’s a creepier word, conjuring up nauseating images: syphilis, tumors, necrotizing bone. Technicolor mutations in old medical textbooks.  Racism and fascism are of that ilk, gelatinous drops of poison that swirl around in a hellish test-tube with other noxious fluids until they bind together and bang: another spectacular chemical reaction. Spectacular and hideous but totally predictable.

Another school filled with twelve-year-old corpses, all dead at the hand of Nikolas Cruz, who said “I want to kill as many antifa as I can.” (His fellow neo-Nazis gave him extra points for picking a school with a large Jewish population.)  Or a church full of dead black grandmothers in Charleston, blown apart by Dylann Roof, who—remember this?–sat and listened to them pray for two hours and then slaughtered them.  Or an idyllic Norwegian island strewn with sixty-nine dead kids by Anders Breivik, yet another of these pale asexual snail-faced fascist monsters—their poster-boy, in fact.

It’s easy, all too easy, to dredge up more cases of this racist pathology in action, but I don’t have the heart for it right now.  I’m too gut-sick from watching Pig-Man Trump perform his Ed Wood-level “I care” act.  (Note to another racist scumbag, John Kelly: if your boy can’t fake it any better than that, don’t trot him out there.  Leave the brow-furrowed Compassion Routine to the pros, like George Bush.)

I’m too weary from watching well-meaning souls on TV who talk earnestly about gun control without admitting what we all know in some dank corner of our souls: the prime source of mass murder in this world, whether it’s in the tree-lined small towns of America or the hamlets of Viet Nam or the drone-blasted deserts of Yemen, is racism.  Racism armed with napalm, racism kitted out with bump-stocks and huge magazines, racism poisoning the waters of Flint—the pathogens float easily around the country and the globe, like windblown dandelion puffs.  It’s the only disease that is terminal for other people, not one’s-self.

In the course of a lifelong fascination with violent racists I have spent a fair amount of time among them.  Every single one of them was visibly diseased, and not only by the racism itself.  It’s obvious on first meeting that most racists were grievously abused by their parents: “hold you in his arms you can feel his disease,” as John Lennon said.  Nearly all are socially inept.  Many are cops—and I don’t say that to be cute or snarky; one of my closest friends is a New Orleans homicide cop—but it’s true.

When I was younger I spent a lot of time among hard-left activists, too, some of whom fantasized about acts of political violence, some of whom even acted cavalier about the possibility that innocent people would die.  But even the most case-hardened leftists never envisioned slaughtering innocent people on purpose, as an end in itself, much less slaughtering old women at prayer; and none of them would have chuckled merrily at the spectacle of dead eighth-graders.

This is a peculiarly fascist and racist disease, a suppurating tumor with the face of Ted Cruz (if that’s not redundant.)  Those floating pathogens are wriggling and teeming on websites all over America, and they are especially vivid and naked there, but they are also rotting the souls of DC politicians from within—even the well-spoken, well-dressed ones.  By all means, let us have gun control, so as to diminish the spread of the disease, or at least slow it down.  But unless the infected spirit of American racism is cauterized with a piece of burning iron it will be our terminal illness.

More articles by:

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He is a contributor to Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence. He can be reached at: johneskow@yahoo.com

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail