Americans have been “infected” with the virus of White Supremacy and don’t even realize it, because the disease is dormant in our subconscious, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) argued in a series of tweets Wednesday.
White Supremacy is “the disease” and White Supremacists are those who have been overcome by it, often subconsciously, Ocasio-Cortez began, calling for the nation to be “inoculated”:
“There is a difference between white supremacists & white supremacy.
“White supremacy is like a virus.
“Supremacists are those who have been completely overcome by the disease, but supremacy - the virus - exists on a larger scale beyond just the infected. It also lays dormant.”
“White supremacy is often subconscious. & Clearly, our nation has not been inoculated. WS is our nation’s original sin; the driving logic of slavery, of Native genocide, of Jim Crow, of segregation, of mass incarceration, of “Send Her Back.”
“It never went away. It was just dormant.”
We must constantly examine our psyches to ensure we are “Recognizing white supremacy in ourselves - our institutions, our subconscious,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez advised:
“Healing ourselves of white supremacy will be hard. It will be hard because it requires us to confront *ourselves.*
“We wish it was as simple as denouncing a white hood, a burnt cross, vile language. But we need to address where supremacy *begins,* not just where it ends.”
“Perhaps more than the obvious last steps of the supremacist, we must examine the nuance of their first steps.
That is a painful inquiry, bc for many, we may see familiarity in those first steps. And that familiarity is very difficult to see + admit. We’d rather not talk about it.”
“Recognizing white supremacy in ourselves - our institutions, our subconscious, our own past remarks or acts (no matter how consciously unintentional), is what makes the healing work ahead challenging.
“But it is not impossible, and confronting it is the only way to move forward.”
But, it’s not enough to recognize the virus, we must also “end an oppressive system designed to hurt us all,” Ocasio-Cortez concluded:
“What this moment is asking of us is to discuss *white supremacy and racism* as much - or possibly more than - *white supremacists and racists.*
“When we do that, I believe we will start to make progress.”
“But it is incredibly important that we recognize that perfectly normal, good people are capable of aiding racism & white supremacy.
“Recognizing that is not about pillorying people. It’s about learning to recognize *the virus* & end an oppressive system designed to hurt us *all.*”