A Disease of a Nation by Vivian Koester

Hate and fear of the different has diseased this country for centuries. It starts as a “phobia” or an “ism” in the cerebrum. It is a seed planted by your parents. Your peers. Our white privileged culture. It will move down your throat tightening around your windpipe and strangling you. This illness controls your speech and makes you slur out derogatory words. Throttling you into catcalling a fifteen-year-old and later turning her into an object via your instagram comments. Veins will pop out on your forehead and neck with unregulated anger. This evil can control your fingers and make you type out a forbidden word starting with an n on a video of an African American girl singing. It controls your fists and makes you punch the boy who likes boys after geometry class. All because you’re scared. Because you have learned to be scared. Maybe you’re repeating the same steps your father has taught you in order to “be a man”.

The lack of assuredness in your chest makes you want to vote for a certain islamophobic bigoted man as the leader of our country. The sickness at this point has taken you over entirely. You cannot and will not think for yourself.

There are many strains of the illness. One hides behind the term “good Christians” but then the infected believes the only way a lesbian is okay is if her breasts are massive and unclothed on his computer screen. If you say God loves all of his children, then why do you hate your brother or sister with who loves the same sex?

Another form makes you bystander. The edges of your brain jaded into keeping quiet and shutting your mouth. It is because you’re intimidated by the fact you could be judged by another being for speaking up for yourself or someone with less than you. Someone of greater minority or pariah.

It’s not your fault. You caught the disease. It is highly contagious. Watch out. If you are unaffected make sure to surround yourself with others who do not have this virus and wear a surgical mask at all times.

Instead of spreading this to the girl sitting next to you search for a cure. Educate yourself and change the “blue lives matter” in your Twitter bio to “black”. Talk to someone wearing a Hijab and realize they are a human and not extreme in the slightest. Yes, terrorism is a very real
threat but so is the burning of mosques and calling that five-year-old with down syndrome a retard and shooting a young black man for looking at you in
what you consider a “wrong” way. Stand up for someone please. Take control of your own mind and your own actions. You can be more than this hate and this fear, I promise. Do not remain silent, for you will only get sicker. Breath and find the love.

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