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Message to a Racist

(originally published at OpEdNews)

OK, let’s get real. There are several reasons why it’s so easy to talk people into opposing something that could be for their own good. In the case of health care reform, the biggest reason is racism. And this time around it’s a twofer.

First, you oppose health care because it’s being proposed by an American racist’s worse nightmare, a Black president. That’s right, Barack Obama has saved you from having to blame the potential beneficiaries of health care reform.

When others like President Clinton have proposed reform, you had to be a bit more open. To paraphrase something I heard with my own ears, “I don’t want to pay for health care for Leroy or José.”

Take note, Sparky. How many dead bodies have you had to drive over or step over today? None, you say. If you’d like, I can explain that to you.

We’ve not yet gotten to the point of outright denying health care to people just because they can’t pay for it. Poor people with black skin, brown skin and, yes, even white skin ultimately receive medical treatment. Granted, they get it by going to hospital emergency rooms and they get it when their condition is so bad that the care they need winds up costing more than it would have cost if they had insurance or the wherewithal to go to a doctor earlier.

No we haven’t yet begun to just let people die out on the street. I’m thinking you actually know who pays for the care of those poor people who have no insurance and end up going to hospital emergency rooms. In case you don’t, I’ll tell you who pays. I do and so do you. So, want to or not, you’re paying for Leroy and José and even some White guy named, let’s say, Bubba.

If that’s not enough to get you to stop shooting yourself in the foot, consider this.

I’m assuming that you have health care insurance. I think this because, if nothing else, you’re selfish. You may have to hold your nose, but, if you didn’t have health care insurance and there was a way for you to get it, even if it’s on someone else’s dime, you’d be for it.

You pay premiums no doubt. Do you know all of the people in your health insurance network? Are you one of those manly men or manly women who never get sick? It’s just that you wouldn’t be crazy enough to be without health insurance because you know that you just might need medical care one day. Besides, your employer still kicks in a little something, for now.

I’m going out on a limb here, but I suppose that you’re not a big believer in mental health treatment. I’m going to assume that you don’t believe that mental illness is caused by anything biological or physiological. You probably think that people who claim to have or who have been diagnosed with depression, panic/anxiety disorder or obsessive/compulsive disorder are pussies and are just hiding behind those phony words.

Here’s a shocker for you. Not all Leroys, Josés or even Bubbas are lazy bums who don’t have jobs. Some work and some are even in your health insurance network. It gets better.

The fact that you don’t think that mental illness is a biologically based disease doesn’t prevent mental illness from actually being a biologically based disease. Your insurance company knows this and covers mental illness treatment. It covers it for a person whose name is John, Bubba, Leroy or José. That’s right, my racist fellow American, you may be paying for someone you disdain because of how he looks to receive treatment for an illness you don’t “believe in”. Furthermore, instead of paying for it with a small tax donation, you’re doing it with your outrageous insurance premium.

This is fun, you know? And I’m not even finished yet.

I haven’t checked, but I would be willing to bet that not one CEO of a major health insurance company is Black or Hispanic. However, I worked for a Fortune 500 global corporation and, even though I’m not proud of that fact, I was able to watch as that corporation was promoting people with dark skin to major positions. In spite of what you believe, once they get there, they are legitimately there, just as our president is legitimately our president.

So, Mr. White, you could be paying for dark skinned people to receive emergency room treatment with your taxes, dark skinned people to receive treatment that you don’t even believe is needed with your premiums and possibly a $1, $2 or $3 million dollar or more salary for a dark skinned executive who works for your private sector insurance company.

Hold on, I have one more.

If you are beating yourself up by turning your back on the chance to maintain health insurance whether you keep or lose your job, I’m going to posit that you supported your president when he invaded Iraq. You no doubt had a love/hate relationship with 9/11. Even you, like the rest of us, were angered and, dare I say, saddened by what happened on 9/11. However, you might have liked it just a little bit because it gave you the opportunity to use the pejorative “towel head”. 9/11 even helped you learn a new one, “haji”.

You don’t want your tax dollars paying for health care for Leroy or José, but you don’t mind paying for bombs, at least you didn’t mind and I’m betting, even if you turned on Iraq, your support was good to the last drop. After all, it enabled you to call people like me traitors and unpatriotic. You just love calling people names, don’t you? I used to do it, too, when I was in first grade. Well, I admit, referring to you as a racist is a bit cathartic for me, but I only do it because you are one.

What’s a bomb? What’s that precious tax dollar paying for?

The government gives a private contractor lots of money, some of it yours, to take some steal, mold it, possibly fill it with something volatile and then load it onto a plane. The plane then flies over some “target” in Iraq or now, maybe, Afghanistan, and drops that molded metal or propels it into a building. What happens to your tax dollar then? It breaks into billions of little pieces, never to be of any use ever again. Bye, bye tax dollar.

Of course, you’ll justify it if there are 100 members of The Taliban inside the building and they’re all burnt to a crisp. You won’t entertain the possibility that your tax dollar collaterally burnt 100 Afghan children to a crisp because that might even bother you.

Well, that’s it, I guess. Continue to shill for your HMO protectors, even though they won’t protect you if you should lose your job. And continue to pay for what you think you’re avoiding. I see no good reason for you to start thinking logically now.

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