OP-ED

Time to speak up and take action

By REV. HARRY RIX
Posted 7/23/20

Congressman John Lewis prompted all of us: "When you see something "that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up."e; Today, I see several events that are not right, fair or just. I must speak up. Covid-19 has killed more than 140,000

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OP-ED

Time to speak up and take action

Posted

Congressman John Lewis prompted all of us: “When you see something “that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up.” Today, I see several events that are not right, fair or just. I must speak up.

Covid-19 has killed more than 140,000 Americans. So our nation has experienced the equivalent of nearly fifty 9-11 attacks. Epidemiologists tell us 90% of these deaths would have been prevented if the White House ordered a lockdown on March 2 instead of waiting until March 16.

Our continuing national trauma was foreseeable. On February 28, I wrote to friends suggesting they order masks. I stated there may soon be an “exponential increase” in the transmission of this virus. Beginning in November, President Trump was repeatedly warned of this impending disaster, yet he ignored it until mid-March. He claimed it was a hoax.

Moreover, the President states the federal government has no responsibility for combatting this virus. So each state must compete to obtain the personal protective equipment our medical caregivers require. The resulting shortages have led to 80,000 health care workers testing positive and more than 500 who have died.

States must also scramble to obtain tests for the virus even as Trump declares we must “slow the testing down.” His only concern: Open all schools; open all businesses; get the economy on track so he can be reelected. He is more concerned about himself than the 328 million people he took an oath to protect.

The President’s notion that the virus will magically disappear is delusional.

Indeed, when asked my opinion of the President I have a stock answer: “My clinical assessment is that he is a narcissistic and sadistic sociopath.” Allow me to explain.

A sociopath is a person without a conscience. As many psychiatrists have stated and his niece, Mary Trump, has confirmed, President Trump is incapable of empathy.

In addition to the deaths, illnesses and widespread unemployment in the wake of Covid-19, Trump has also forcibly separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents. As a federal judge recently ruled, these children are being detained illegally in “widespread deplorable conditions” and must be released. Many mental health professionals state these imprisonments have inflicted life-long trauma on these children.

Some call it torture.

Trump doesn’t care. And as he takes pleasure in oppressing minorities, this is one of numerous examples of his sadism.

A person who kills four or more people is a ‘mass murderer’ or ‘serial killer.’

What term applies for a leader who, by disregarding his constitutional duty to protect the nation, is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths? ‘Criminal negligence’ appears woefully inadequate. Trump’s sociopathy and sadism are compounded by what psychiatrists refer to as ‘malignant narcissism.’ This is easily observed. When the President speaks on virtually any topic—especially those involving harm to others—his customary response is how the issue affects him.

The above assessment, however, is incomplete. As I recently wrote to a friend, President Trump is also a white supremacist and a sexual predator.

My friend replied, “You hate Trump.” This is mistaken.

Yes, I hate Trump’s actions and oppose them. But our love for others, including Trump, must be unconditional. Otherwise we perpetuate the hatred of those who inflict unconscionable suffering. Jesus was right when he said we must love our enemies while nonviolently resisting their evil actions.

Another action is shocking. The President has deployed secret police in Washington DC and Portland, using dictatorial powers to forcibly suppress opposition and criticism: This is the dictionary definition of fascism.

Trump’s unidentifiable agents are dragging off and interrogating—without probable cause—peaceful protestors whom Congressman Lewis praised.

John Lewis added these words to his quotation that we who witness injustice must say something: “You have to do something.” In this regard, he encouraged protesting. He also encouraged us to vote.

Will we listen to Congressman Lewis? Will we speak up? Will we do something?

Reverend Rix is a pastoral counselor. He received Advanced Clinical Pastoral Education as an intern at Georgia Mental Health Institute and, prior to retirement, counseled mentally ill clients for a decade.

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