P.O.T.S.: The Diagnosis, Part 1
These are perplexing times in the USA. Especially for people of color, thinking women, immigrants seeking legal asylum, and decent human beings.
A man who embodies practically everything we teach our children to be wrong, sinful, and stupid…actions and verbiage that would definitely lead my wife to impeach my child and sentence him to time out and extended cell phone denial…is the minority vote elected POTUS.
Previous notions of patriotism and decorum are routinely tossed aside. The “moral majority” has renounced morality. Evangelicals are unrecognizable to Jesus (and vice versa). Hate and blatant ignorance is vogue. Moralistic politicians who once railed and impeached against a previous president for lying about extramarital affairs push all their chips in on a president who lies about everything. National security has become an afterthought. 3000 American lives wiped out by Hurricane Maria, (in spite of 45’s noble attempt at federal disaster relief: shouldn’t they be thankful he sacrificed golf course time to toss them paper towels…because he understands hurricanes are big and wet.), are wiped from existence by presidential propaganda. Nazis and Klansmen are declared to be decent people. Black people are shot down by law enforcement officers (and all too often by each other).
Ok…that one is not new.
As an African American, sanity and reality compel me to keep these phenomena in perspective. We have been through worse. Much worse.
Nevertheless, I was in the back yard praying and reflecting over a beer and a cigar, being blessed by the starlit sky, and pondering the news of the day, when it hit me. A moment of clarity. White people who are terrifyingly religious in their support of 45 are not racist. They’re not stupid. Poor things are in an extended state of shock. As they often assert, they are the victims.
There is an epidemic in the land affecting roughly 35 to 45% of white eligible voters and the entire Republican party. It probably fell under the radar of mental health professionals because it took 8+ years to gestate. The clinical name for the malady impacting the lives and reason of our oppressed white brothers and sisters is P.O.T.S. (Post Obama Traumatic Stress). It is apparent that the sheer psychological shock of a two term winner of the vote (a.k.a. popular vote), highly credentialed, brilliant, competent, compassionate, anti-immigrant (yes he was!!!), articulate, effective, terrorist killing, economy saving, job creating, Nobel Peace Prize winning (who admittedly won it on sheer dazzle), scandal free POTUS, equally brilliant etc. etc. etc. First Lady, and loving First Family, all wrapped up in dark skin and uppity Negritude demeanor…was too much for their tender sensibilities. Provoked by such Black excellence, resilient in the face of centuries long assault, P.O.T.S. victims were compelled to support a bigoted buffoon, regardless of the global embarrassment such action heaps upon our country.
Typical observed POTS symptoms are: disassociation with reality; imaginary conspiracy terrors; bizarre behaviors (such as antisocial outbursts); wearing of make America great caps made in China; dictator envy; lack of anger management; irrational scapegoating; predilection toward bullying violence; gender fear; personal insecurity and self-loathing; rabid support of those working against self-interests.
The good news is that now that the core illness has been diagnosed, therapeutic treatments can be developed toward a cure. Due to P.O.T.S.’ 8+ centuries gestation, treatment must be built around generations long engagement, containment and ultimately liberation from this devastating epidemic that threatens the social fabric of our nation.
I am calling all mental health clinicians and workers, as well as religious leaders, educators, politicians, business and corporate leaders, and hueman beings to help our oppressed white hued brothers and sisters to heal. It will require long term commitment of time, engagement and resources to uplift them from self-imposed oppression.
We must immediately begin L.C.T. (Love and Compassion Therapy) to bring the P.O.T.S. epidemic to a fruitful end. Love and Compassion: wisdom ancient and futuristic, is ultimately what draws us together.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was right, in a way that should not be controversial, stating that America hasn’t always been great. Only chronic P.O.T.S. sufferers would consider genocide, slavery, woman subjugation, child labor, worker exploitation, and environment destruction to be great.
However, with several generations of intensive L.C.T., beginning November 8, a cure is on the horizon. On November 8th and beyond, we truly can be great as never before.
Ready for P.O.T.S. Therapy, Part II? Read it here.