President Trump is seen in silhouette holding an umbrella as he talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House on Dec. 10, 2019. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)
**FILE** President Trump is seen in silhouette holding an umbrella as he talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House on Dec. 10, 2019. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)

This COVID-19 pandemic has us all so anxious and frightened, most of us long for the time when life around the world “gets back to normal.” But I have to say — and I hope most will agree — back “to normal” is not OK with me.

These Trumpistas and gun fanatics are mistaken in their belief that victory over the internal enemy alone is sufficient in troubled times. They can pack the Supreme Court 9-0. They can stack the Senate 99-0. Their rulings will be meaningless against a noncompliant people.

The Trumpistas are mistaken when they presume that their internal enemies whom they ruthlessly crush at every opportunity, will rally round their flag when an existential external threat arrives.

When the slave master’s house caught on fire, Brother Malcolm X reminded us, the house slaves would help put the fire out, but the field slave would pray for a strong wind. Lots of folks are praying for a strong wind, after this novel coronavirus blows over.

The spring outside my window looks normal. But it’s not. Like millions of others around the globe, I’m trapped inside a prison of my own making. Dread that I might not get to see my dreams come true. We cannot, we will not return to the “normal” life of 2019, ever again.

Aside from the social distancing changes that will never be the same again, who wants to go back to “normal” if that means: If you’re Black, get back. If you’re white, you’re right. If you’re brown, stick around. If you’re yellow, you’re mellow? Who wants to go back to those days?

The idea that the quick and vigorous revival of the economy is, in fact, more important than protecting the lives of citizens, especially the elderly in this COVID-19 deal, is patriotic Republican talk. But let me say, right off the bat, that is absurd and ludicrous.

But a “Remember the Alamo” GOP diehard, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, suggested last month that American seniors should be willing to risk their lives to the virus to preserve the economy.

“No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for its children and grandchildren?” Patrick said March 23 on Fox News. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.” Good. While you’re at it, there ought to be a couple of senators who profited handsomely when they sold health industry stocks before the Wall Street crash, and they should be grateful enough to want to go to heaven with the Texas lt. gov.

These jingoists have had it so good, living high on the backs of the poor, that they may firmly believe in the good life over a longer life. These guys believe that the looming economic losses are far too severe to continue sheltering-in-place orders designed to limit the person-to-person spread of coronavirus.

Back during the Cold War, when Red Communism was the threat white Americans feared like the plague, the progenitors of today’s liberate-my-state extremists were fond of saying: “I’d rather be dead than red.” Today, in their state-liberation movements, they insist that they’re fighting for their freedom — their freedom to act like a fool, potentially endangering the lives of thousands of people who otherwise would not have to die. That’s madness.

That’s the kind of lunatic leadership that has gripped the United States, like Captain Bligh, the overthrown, and put out to sea, madman in the Mutiny on the Bounty.

On the other hand, things have gotten so bad that even George W. Bush — who was unfit to send troops to die in an immoral and illegal war in Iraq — looks good by comparison to Donald J. Trump.

How can tortured bottom-dwellers look forward to a return to “normal?” Nope. Not me. Count me out. I suspect that even with his name on the checks, folks are not going to hasten back to the dystopian normal of a white supremacist world.

Sorry, the time of the wicked rule of white people over all world affairs has expired. We’re headed for an all-new “normal.”

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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