Sometimes, it’s difficult to understand where some individuals are at, mentally.
I sat down at a break table at a V.A. hospital once and had a nice chat with a veteran diagnosed with schizophrenia. He told me all about the “vampires” that followed him about and how they often disguised themselves to look “normal.” But he knew better. Just because they looked normal didn’t mean they weren’t vampires following him.
Kathy Miller, the Ohio Trump campaign chair who claimed racism didn’t exist until Obama took office, scares me much more than the vet who believed vampires were tailing him. He’d received a diagnosis and was given medications to control his paranoia and hallucinations, but individuals such as Ms. Miller seemingly walk our streets without receiving the mental health care they so desperately need.
Or is it “moral health care” they need, as some assert? Perhaps individuals like Ms. Miller need a good shot of morality and reality to make them cognizant of the fact that racism has always existed in our country and it doesn’t go away simply because one chooses to ignore it.
If Ms. Miller is in my age group, then she grew up during the time of the Civil Rights protests of the 1950s and 60s. You couldn’t have missed these events and the impact they had on the American psyche unless you were in a coma for the entire period. Rosa Parks wasn’t denied a seat in the front of the bus because there was no such thing as racism when she took public transport that day. The horrific 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four young African-American girls, didn’t happen without reason because there was no such thing as racism that year. African-American fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, and grandfathers weren’t lynched because there was no such thing as racism and no such organization as the Ku Klux Klan.
Even those born after the 1960s have been exposed to these tragedies, repeatedly, in books, films, and television programs. How can any halfway-intelligent person not see the connection between skin color or ethnicity and the discrimination and violence leveled against minorities by racist whites in power? Only a severe personality disorder could explain such moral blindness.
And yet these very same morally-blind people are walking our streets without restraint, like the vampires who followed my veteran acquaintance around town. Worse yet, some of these “blind” individuals become leaders and are seen as “normal.” Truly it is the blind leading the blind, as similar personalities are attracted to one another, like moths to a flame. Together these blind men and women deny reality about why our streets are blowing up whenever a white police officer isn’t sentenced for shooting an unarmed African-American individual. The morally-blind cannot accept the history–and the responsibility–of our nation’s long struggle, dealing with the consequences of its racism.
I fear the “Ms. Millers” of America will continue living in their bubble of unreality, supporting leaders who claim to be normal, until they drive us all into the ground, because of their moral blindness. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, the “vampires” will be there to scrape us off the pavement and we’ll get a chance to start over.
A fresh start to our nation would be welcomed. The best way to clean house is to start by telling the establishment party (or parties, as some insist) that we’re no longer satisfied with the morally-blind racists in charge. We desire true vision. We need positive action and moral leadership on issues such as improving race relations, taking action to deal with climate change, and providing adequate health care for all. We’re voting for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party, because now is not the time to live in unreality.
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues–The Bernie Blog: http://bernie2016.blogspot.com
Photo (c) 2016 Gage Skidmore