Racism makes people lose their minds

Racism makes people lose their minds
September 01
07:35 2016

Bill Turner

Guest Columnist

Now 70, I am either losing my mind – and my memory – or people like the governor of Maine and Donald Trump are having similar reactions to the wounds on the collective flesh and souls of Americans, damages brought on by racism and its effects – discrimination and prejudice.

Just when I had forgotten that back in January the Republican governor of Maine, Paul LePage, asserted that drug dealers named “D-Money,” “Smoothie,” and Shifty” were delivering cocaine, opioids, and other illegal drugs and then impregnating the Pine Tree State’s white women before absconding back down I-95, he ups last week and leaves a cuss word-filled message on the phone of one of his political critics who’d called him – the Governor – a racist for saying that he also has a binder full of photos of drug dealers and that “90 percent of them are black and Hispanic.”

Just as this batch of venom was reaching boiling hotness, Governor Lepage, seeking on last Saturday to clarify the remarks he made earlier in the week, which were criticized as racist, said “the enemy right now are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”  Using a gang colors metaphor – red vs. blue, as in Crips vs. Bloods – LePage, in blue, said “you shoot at red.”

Meanwhile, further up the political food chain, Democrat Hillary Clinton said last week Republican Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia and reliance on the emerging white nationalist supporters, now branded as the alt-right. Trump, in response, called Clinton a bigot.  Am I going crazy or is the kettle calling the pot black? This old figure of speech means a person (Trump) is guilty of the very thing of which he accuses another (Hillary Clinton). Trump (the “pot”) shares some quality (bigotry) with the target of his accusation (the “kettle,” Hillary Clinton).

How in the world of common sense can candidate Trump possibly mock Secretary Clinton, unless it’s for her “lesser amount of soot,” because many Hispanics, Muslims, women, and disabled people would say that he is thoroughly covered with it (bigotry)? How senseless and meaningless the narrative becomes when the words we used to agree on, are changed?  Either words matter or we won’t know what we’re talking about; and the next thing you know, all of us will be talking out of our heads!Where I come from, when a person is talking out of their head, we call them “crazy!”

At one point during his 72 hour tirade about people of color, Governor LePage stormed out of a press conference, shouting at the gathered press corps: “You make me so sick.”

Leading Maine Democrats have urged the governor to resign and seek treatment, that he, like a doped-up crack head, has lost touch with reality.  It is hard to know what – or what else – the honorable governor of Maine is sick of or from, or what he needs treatment for, but it’s high time the American Psychiatric Association included racism, prejudice, and bigotry on its diagnostic categories of mental disorders.  These sicknesses are obviously doing as much damage – if not more – to America as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and especially women impregnated in 97 percent white Maine by guys named “D-Money.”

Mr. Trump asked black voters last week, challenging them to vote for him, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Secretary Clinton answered, “Everything!”  I swear I could hear a chorus of Trump supporters singing an oldie by Sly and the Family Stone: “I want to thank you for letting me be myself again!”

Am I losing my freaking mind?

Dr. Bill Turner is a noted educator, writer and thinker who called Winston-Salem home for many years. Reach him at

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