“In the 'Chronicle of the Amber Cloud,' a strange affliction attacks priviliged white adolescents and is quickly diagnosed as 'Ghetto Disease.' Their skin color darkened, 'youngsters who had been alert, personable, and confident became lethargic, suspicious, withdrawn and hopelessly insecure.'
A cure for the disease is discovered, but when it is suggested that the same cure be given to poor black youngsters, the public balks. The courts defend the exclusion of Blacks from treatment on the grounds that since the disease itself afflicted whites, the cure could be limited to caucasians on medical and not racial grounds. Such are the limits of the 'Equal Protection Clause.'
Bell invokes the metaphor of disease throughout And We Are Not Saved to describe negative aspects of Black behavior. Thus the crime rate among Blacks can be cured like an illness. Again and again, cures for Black pathologies are discovered, then destroyed. But Bell is doing more than laying bare the hypocrisy of whites who blame the victims. By harping on the analogy of disease as an absurd explanation for Black behavior, he makes the unstated point that it is whites who are stricken with a disease: racism. Ultimately, it is they who must be cured. And, Bell seems to be saying, only Blacks can do it.
As the Curia sisters say, 'We find courage in the knowledge that we are not the opressors and that we have commited our lives to fighting the oppression of oursleves as well as others.' One hopes that Bell does not abandon his search for a new way of talking about civil rights and that And We Are Not Saved marks the beginnings of a legal movement that forces Americans finally to realize their own ideals."