The Social Sickness Of American Racism

(And The Need For Corrective Strategies)

by M. Quinn

It’s been categorically proven, that everything has an origin; hence a beginning. The highly volatile and philosophical teachings of racism are no different. Yes folks, the extremely illogical mind-set of racism is a philosophy.

A philosophy is defined as; 1. Doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school, 2. A personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation, i. e., "self-indulgence was his only philosophy"; "my father's philosophy, etc.

With all of its distortions and contaminated frame of references, racism nevertheless remains a philosophy. An extremely nefarious philosophy but one just the same.

The mechanics of racism are much different from most philosophical doctrines, because at the root of racism resides bigotry, ignorance and fear. That is why logic is not a chief ingredient of racist doctrine, and behavioral patterns. To the logical mind, there are no clear and concise explanations for these actions. Without the ability to use discernment in processing information, racism has continued to run amuck in American society.

We witnessed the divisive nature and the utterly devastating results of institutional racism during the events surrounding the beating of Rodney King, where many Caucasian Americans truly believed that the assault perpetrated by the L.A.P.D. upon Mr. King was justified. The trial was immediately moved from Los Angeles County to Simi Valley, California, which ensured that the jury selection would be prejudiced in favor of the accused, being that the neighborhood of Simi Valley is mostly Caucasian; and therefore the officers would be acquitted of any wrongdoing even though the brutality of this incident was recorded via videotape.

Furthermore, an example of judicial inequity for Black Americans in the United States was further exemplified in the case of the eighty-year-old Klu Klux Klan member Edgar Ray, who was merely found guilty of manslaughter, "not murder", for killing three innocent Black people during the Civil Rights era. He was subsequently released on bail after being convicted of this heinous crime.


However, one of the most repulsive displays on the mechanics of institutional racism was more recently seen in the delayed response by the U.S. Government to the residents of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where Black Americans were left for days at a time without electricity, food, or water in an extremely perilous situation.


The evils of racism, with all of its socially dysfunctional behaviors affect every aspect of life for Black people in America, from housing, education, healthcare, the judicial system, and the list goes on. We must refuse to remain in slumber, and ignore the social, judicial, economic and racial disparities that exist in today’s American society any longer.

It is likewise imperative that we are not duped by the political commentary thereof; into believing that the motivation behind the delayed response to the aftermath of Katrina could not have been fueled by a racially prejudiced mentality, even from the President of the United States of America. History categorically proves, that this would not be an anomaly.

In fact, while the Founding fathers of America – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were writing the words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – they owned, sold and traded Africans as slaves.

Now some may argue the point that the events of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade happened during a time in American history when Caucasians had the legal right to own Africans. However, I would argue that it is not a case of legality, but one of morality. Moral thoughts and actions are not the by-product of legislation, be it local, state, or federal; but one of a healthy mind and spirit.

Morality cannot be dictated, nor authorized by the legislative body on Capitol Hill or the laws of the land.

As we chronicle the history of the United States, we can undoubtedly see that the current culture has remained in power during the entire course of American history, and it therefore becomes quite apparent, that correcting the ills of institutional racism are not on their respective agendas - because we are no closer to a solution toward purging ourselves of this social sickness, than we were some fifty to sixty years ago.

We must ask ourselves; has the dominate culture in American society which possess the lion share of social, economic and political authority become so accustomed to living with the problem of racism that the mere thought of seeking an honest solution remains out of the question?


Within the grave tragedy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is a luminous opportunity to embark upon a national discourse, and chart out calculated strategies toward the abolition of racial (cultural) schism in America. Let's not allow this monumental opportunity to slip through our fingers, once again.


Words like democracy merely represent feel good rhetoric. For, if we truly lived in a democracy, a Black or woman president would not be seen as an aberration. America must rise above racial intolerance and aristocracy to truly produce a complete image of democracy. - M. Quinn, Writer Author '2004

Furthermore, one of the most significant reasons that America as a nation has not made any substantial progress in eradicating the practice of racism is partly due to the approach. Until we learn to put an end to dancing around and skirting the real issue of racism, while calling ourselves politically correct in America, the insidious head of this monster will continue to grow stronger and more powerful by the minute.

To truly effect change in the racial affairs within the confines of the United States, we must cease in asking and only addressing peripheral questions. We must likewise cease in being reactionary, and dealing only with the effects of racism rather than the causation itself.

It is imperative that we begin asking ourselves some fundamental questions, such as:

* Where did the philosophy of racial superiority begin?
* Who started the polluted philosophy, teachings and doctrine of racism?
* Why was this highly destructive and divisive mechanism created?

Many educators, intellectuals, politicians and spiritual gurus already have the answers to these questions.

However, instead of dealing with this social sickness directly, they would rather retreat to the artificial sanctuary of denial, while merely addressing the leaves on the perverted tree of racism rather than attacking the matter at its roots. It is vitally important, that if we are going to address racist doctrine with all its associated practices, that we begin to formulate strategies based on the truthful answers to the above questions.

Until we deal with these fundamental questions, racism will continue to vex, perplex and destroy the minds of people within the United States and the world community.


Organized marches, sit-ins, and protests will continue to be reactionary at best. These 1960's methodologies may have advanced some progress during the Civil Rights era; however, this approach is no longer a viable strategy in lancing the insidious head of racism in today's society. We must honestly address the who, where and why of racism. Any other approach merely remains peripheral at best and highly superficial at worst.

We must be clear, that racism is a philosophical doctrine that drives institutionalized practices and conduct, based on racial superiority.

Black people in America have never acquired the esteemed title of being racially superior according to the American system of aristocracy. So, when we quickly exclaim Black racism, let us ask ourselves - what institutional power do Blacks truly have in America? In addition, when have Blacks ever been assigned the title of racially superior according to the American way of thinking? In essence, Black Americans have merely been reacting to a system of oppression, degradation, brutality and prejudgment. "Cause and Effect"

True racism requires institutional power, which Blacks have not attained in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Let us begin to address the who, why, and where of this deceitful monster. We must cease using misleading words such as Black racism, which is merely meant to direct our minds and energy away from the real issue.

Last but not least, since Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the ills of racism more than any other culture - through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights era, and right down to the subjective racism that is still so prevalent in American society; it remains our collective responsibility to unite as a people to eradicate this social sickness.

It is critically important for Black people in America - more than anyone else; to begin to understand the who, where, and why of this deceitfully insidious monster, and immediately commence in formulating strategies for the betterment of our people and the world community.

If not us, who? If not now, when?


The Social Sickness Of American Racism by M. Quinn

© Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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