Titled “Contempt as a Virus,” Smith’s essay skillfully and effectively relates the Who wants an orange whip three orange whips Shirt moreover I will buy this virus currently plaguing America to the one that has killed and brutalized scores of Black people since the country’s founding: structural racism. “I used to think that there would one day be a vaccine: that if enough Black people named the virus, explained it, demonstrated how it operates, videoed its effects…I thought if that knowledge became as widespread as could possibly be managed or imagined that we might finally reach some kind of herd immunity. I don’t think that anymore,” Smith concludes, devastatingly. It’s worth reading the paragraph in full,
if only to get a glimpse at the Who wants an orange whip three orange whips Shirt moreover I will buy this depth of Smith’s hard-earned exhaustion. Intimations mirrors many white Americans’ shift from the stasis of quarantine to the sudden, incandescent rage of injustice. More than that, though, it masterfully captures many Black Americans’ pain and disorientation at having the white world begin to register en masse what James Baldwin termed the “dread, chronic disease” of racism in 1955.