FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 23, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Why Boris Johnson is Even More Dangerous Than Trump
Christopher Ketcham
The American West as Judeo-Christian Artifact
Jack Heyman
Whitewashing American History: the WPA Mural Controversy in San Francisco
David Mattson
Through the Climate Looking Glass into Grizzly Wonderland
David Macaray
Paul Krassner and Me
Thomas Knapp
Peckerwood Populism is About Political Strategy, Not Personal Belief
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange and His Wiki Wicked leaks
Howard Lisnoff
What Has Happened to the U.S. Since the Kids Left Woodstock?
Victor Grossman
“How Could They?” Why Some Americans Were Drawn to the Communist Party in the 1940s
Gary Leupp
Minnesota, White People, Lutherans and Ilhan Omar
Binoy Kampmark
Lunar Narratives: Landing on the Moon, Politics and the Cold War
Richard Ward
Free La Donalda!
July 22, 2019
Michael Hudson
U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses
Evaggelos Vallianatos
If Japan Continues Slaughtering Whales, Boycott the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Mike Garrity
Emergency Alert For the Wild Rockies
Dean Baker
The U.S.-China Trade War: Will Workers Lose?
Jonah Raskin
Paul Krassner, 1932-2019: American Satirist 
David Swanson
U.S. Troops Back in Saudi Arabia: What Could Go Wrong?
Robert Fisk
American Visitors to the Gestapo Museum Draw Their Own Conclusions
John Feffer
Trump’s Send-Them-Back Doctrine
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
Landscape of Anguish and Palliatives: Predation, Addiction and LOL Emoticons in the Age of Late Stage Capitalism
Karl Grossman
A Farmworkers Bill of Rights
Gary Leupp
Omar and Trump
Robert Koehler
Fighting Climate Change Means Ending War
Susie Day
Mexicans Invade US, Trump Forced to Go Without Toothbrush
Elliot Sperber
Hey Diddle Diddle, Like Nero We Fiddle
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail