Confronting the Deadly Virus of Patriarchal White Supremacy
Patriarchal white supremacy should be seen as a major cause of death, disability and despair based on multiple indicators — personal, practical and philosophical. The coronavirus crisis is triggering all kinds of mental health issues as well as increased risk of suicide (with symptoms even among people who are usually stable) due to the ongoing exposure to gaslighting, lies, greed, callousness, lack of necessary resources from many politicians to support solutions and inspire hope for improving basic conditions. Human beings do not live on bread alone, so it should come as no surprise that the tone of people in positions of power can impact individual and collective functioning. Citizens depend on timely decisions by representatives elected to (supposedly) serve them well, and should not be left to flounder indefinitely when matters of public health and social justice involve life or death.
Being governed by officials whose indecisiveness enforce rather than relieve oppressive conditions is a recipe for disaster. The suffering is especially pronounced when a combination of a lack of competence and absence of compassion are evident in policies proposed by those in authority. As some governors announce plans to reopen states, prematurely against recommendations, others have extended Stay-at-Home orders to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In the midst of these uncertainties, of course we can be thankful for the relatively few, true leaders in public and private sectors who consistently demonstrate empathy, reason and approaches grounded in common sense due to understanding facts that impact health, rooted in science and information from experts in the health/medical fields.
The failure of many officials to be effective can be attributed to various reasons, but white supremacy and patriarchy stand out most at the national level during Trump’s administration. It is deadly because it drains life energy by preventing clarity while demanding credibility. It requires major efforts to sort through mind-boggling levels of shallowness. It reinforces questionable realities based on the perceptions of people convinced of their inherent admirability and exceptionalism, as if they should be considered beyond reproach. These parameters demand compliance by overlooking the real motivations of those in…