The Root is an African American online magazine that breaks astonishing news. While the rest of the world is worried about the Covid pandemic, Damon Young, writing on the Root, has announced his breathtaking discovery that ‘whiteness is a pandemic’. Here’s Young’s diagnosis: ‘Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people.’ So, all the effort put into developing a vaccine against Covid was clearly working on the wrong problem. What the world really needs is a vaccine against ‘whiteness’.Young’s problem, of course, is that he is trying to cure the world of a colour—a colour that has been called ‘white’ in English for well over a thousand years. What happens if he walks outdoors on a snowy day? Does he run back inside screaming? Does he call 000 to say that ‘whiteness’ is invading his front yard? It seems to me that ‘whiteness’ is less of a problem than being completely ‘witless’.
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