“Krazy gone Krazy!” – Part II of II
By Jorge D. H. Prósperi, 2019
Unlike Polio, Racism is a self-induced deadly social disease. It is born and morphs in the cesspool of ignorance, fear and hate with other socially constructed -isms and phobias. The poisonous brew is churned with vileness, along with delusions of power and control by victimizers, oppressors, tormentors, intimidators, bullies, despots and autocrats. These are the worst of despicable agents of the disease. All they do, all day long, is contaminate and infect leaving ashes behind. Think of them as social Grim Reapers, putting Jason Voorhees and Freddie Krueger to shame. They live within their own nightmares without acknowledging – nor caring that there is a vaccine – a cure for their self-induced toxic disease.
That said, I know, I know, it is difficult, unbelievable, if not painful, to realize – that a parent, teacher, minister, doctor, lawyer, president, politician, police officer, judge, employer, family member, friend and/or neighbor would be a RACIST. It does not compute with the human condition. How could anyone want to self-inject a radioactive poison into their bloodstream, or worse, inject their children? As one of my vocal percussionist grandchildren would say, “That’s Krazy gone Krazy!”
Unlike Dr. Salk, we are not microbiologists researching in a laboratory spending all of our lives focused on finding a cure for deadly diseases. Unlike Critical Theorists, we are not socio- cultural-political researchers spending our lives focused on sampling the cesspool poisons of fear and hate in order to find a cure for social -isms and phobias.
What we do have in common with Dr. Salk is that, like him, we are human begins and citizens with our own story to tell and with our own choices to make. Dr. Salk had to deal with finding the right school that would not deprive him of the opportunity to become a medical doctor because he was Jewish. He persisted for the greater good.
What would have happened if the anti-Semitic bigots of those Ivy League Schools would have resulted in Dr. Salk walking away from his passion…walking away from us? How many lives would have been universally lost? Dr. Salk did not create a quota for his vaccine. He did not discriminate against religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation/preference, or zip code. Even the children of the anti-Semitic racists were welcomed to get in line to be vaccinated. What mattered to Dr. Salk was their lives… each life.
In turn, let’s ask the racist brew master of the cesspool the same question: How many lives are saved by the master brewers of fear, hate, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and islamophobia? What cure and hope do they dispense? What enhancements in the quality of life do they provide? What attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, core values do they impart that can be shared with integrity and dignity with the children? Do they provide cures or infect the very air we breathe?
As Dr. Salk did, “test the question as to whether we could destroy the virus infectivity and still immunize”, how many of us see the opportunity to test the question of inclusivity, equity, justice – test the question whether we can destroy the virus of fear, hate, exclusivity and immunize future generations? As Dr. Falk reminds, “And so, by carefully designed experiments, we found it was possible to do so.” Dr. Salk not only had the prowess of intellect but he had the audacity to hope, not just outside constructed boxes, but if there were no boxes. Dr. Salk, went beyond just tolerating a condition, he decided to cure it.
Each of us has the audacity to hope. We have the antidote, the cure for social cess-pool- diseases. The antidote is our language, actions and advocacy to deny the contamination of – isms and phobias. We can provide the vaccine to family, friends, colleagues and even those at a distance. The cure is ever in our hands, better yet – in our vote.
It’s really a simple question: Should any federal, state or local government official running for office, (be it for president or dog catcher), ever be considered for office if s/he is a racist? No polls needed, no party affiliation needed, no critical thinking needed. A simple yes or no!
Should any candidate who demonstrates to be racist demonstrated by their campaign platform, racist attitudes, racist dog-whistles, racist code-language, racist voting records, racist campaign slogans, affiliating with racist groups, tolerance of white nationalists and domestic terrorists, supported by or supporting other racists, and/or has demonstrated overt, covert and/or aversive racist ideology ever be voted into any office? Simple yes or no!
Shouldn’t a deadly disease be prevented before it contaminates the body – the community?
Dr. Salk remained a humble man throughout his life. He was not a rock star, famous athlete or president, but he remains an excellent example for all children to admire. He did not seek recognition, validation nor fame. He was not bombastic, narcissistic nor an egotist. I suspect he never would have tweeted. He knew what was important – the ever present quest for the greater good. The audacity to hope beyond tolerance.
END OF PART II