Why Racism is a Mental Illness
Posted in the African-American Forum
#1 Nov 21, 2013
According to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) the diagnostic tool that is used by all mental health professionals to diagnose psychological disorders the following mental disorders are listed as dysfunctions: If you are too dependent on others, have difficulty making decisions without the assurance of others, and have an exaggerated fear of being alone, this is a mental disorder called dependent personality disorder. If you exhibit inappropriate seductive behavior or appearance, attempt suicide to get attention, display exaggerated, dramatic displays of emotions and have a need to be the center of attention this is mental disorder called histrionic personality disorder. If you have a grandiose sense of self-importance, lack empathy for others, have a sense of entitlement and believe that you are unique or special this is a mental disorder called narcissistic personality disorder.
If you almost always choose solitary activities, have little interest in having a sexual relationship with another person, are indifferent to praise or criticism, preoccupied with fantasy and introspection and emotionally detached and cold towards others this is a mental disorder called schizoid personality disorder. If you are impulsive, engaged in frequent fights and assaults; have a tendency to violate the rights and boundaries of other and have a lack of remorse for hurting others this is a mental disorder called anti-personality disorder. If you have an intense fear about gaining weight and restrict your food intake with excessive exercise this is a psychiatric diagnosis called anorexia nervosa.
If you think that your race is superior and that other ethnic groups or people are inferior simply because of the color of their skin, the texture of their hair and the shape of their eyes, society will loosely refer to you as a racist. People with racist beliefs and attitudes are collectively responsible for past and present annihilating, torturing, lynching, oppressing, pillaging, enslaving, destroying, and exploiting hundreds of millions of people--- however racism in not defined and listed as a mental illness.
#2 Nov 21, 2013
Racist people have caused more emotional, psychological, and physical pain and destruction than all of the previously noted mental disorders combined, yet social scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, religious leaders, politicians and medical doctors have all failed to document and recognize racism as a mental disorder. Racism is the root cause of the most horrific conditions in human society. It is psychologically, spiritually and socially irresponsible to pretend that an irrational cognitive belief that another human being is inferior based on their physical characteristics is healthy and normal.
Social scientists have spent millions of dollars on research to discover the psychological plight of why African Americans and Native Americans are not as academically successful as white Americans. Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray wrote The Bell Curve a book that discuss racial differences in intelligence and proposes that whites are genetically intellectually superior as an explanation. Several studies have been conducted show that racism contributes to depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and higher rates of children born as homosexuals in oppressed minority groups.
An Article by Madeline Drexler in the Boston Globe notes,African-Americans today, despite a half century of economic and social progress since the civil rights movement, face a higher risk than any other racial group of dying from heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. In the United States, affluent blacks suffer, on average, more health problems than the poorest whites.
Why has society only studied racism from the perspective of the victim and not the victimizer? All of the money, time, and research spent discussing the detrimental effects of racism have failed to assess and analyze the cognitive dysfunctions and personality disorder of persons who would dominate, pillage, oppress, annihilate, colonize, lynch, kill and destroy the culture and lives of other human beings. Instead of analyzing the psyche of the personality type that would exploit and dominate others; social scientist chose to justify the aggressors behavior by labeling other human beings as savages and sub-human.
#3 Nov 21, 2013
Many oppressed people who have achieved mainstream success would much rather take on the characteristics and personality type of their oppressor than question the economic gain and success of using the same type of discriminatory techniques and strategies that allowed them to move ahead in mainstream society. Secondly, many blacks feel that because they have been economically disadvantaged because of slavery and Jim Crow laws; they believe that it is impossible for them to be prejudiced and racist because their anger and distrust of America is justified by the fact that society has never taken a serious stance against racist attitudes and beliefs as being socially and psychologically unacceptable behavior. The way American society has dealt with racism is basically through blaming the victim and using the legal system to label the behavior as a hate crime as opposed to psychologically analyzing why the individual is filled with hate.
How is it logically possible to eradicate racism by studying the people who are affected by it and not the people who are infected with it? Western society has created a scientific, religious and political ideology of survival of the fittest coined by Herbert Spencer. The belief that the gauge of a persons intelligence, character, success, worth and integrity is measured by how many people they have conquered, killed and colonized is the root cause of social diseases such as riots, wars, slavery, and holocausts.
A truly evolved, intelligent being would be psychologically, emotionally and spiritually lead by a sense of compassion, empathy and wisdom to help another human being to be his highest and best self-- not hurt, exploit, or take advantage of them. Declaring racism as a mental illness will remove the subtle socially excepted belief that other races of people are biologically inferior and that ones own race is superior. American society has adapted to the hypocritical, unspoken belief that it is okay to say demeaning things about other ethnic groups in private but not in public. When racism is looked upon as a mental disorder it will allow society to provide psychological treatment and educational therapeutic programs for its victims. Declaring racism as a mental illness would stop people from hiding behind God and religion as an excuse and to justify the demoralizing ill-treatment of millions of people throughout history.
#4 Nov 21, 2013
People who have a need to elevate their own self worth, by criticizing and demeaning others must suffer from low levels of self-esteem, self-hatred and depression. To make oneself look big, by making others look small is one of the most difficult psychological and social diseases to heal because its requires the person to take a painful, honest look at their own lives in terms of deferred dreams, failed marriages, greed, addictions, religious beliefs; and ask themselves am I being my highest and best self? Am I showing up for life, giving 100% of my capabilities? Am I a kind, compassionate person? Do I treat other people the way I would want to be treated? Once racism is declared a mental illness people can stop blaming Satan and demons for the atrocities that humans have inflicted on each other and be accountable for the fear, rage and evil that live in their own hearts, souls and minds. Racism is a disease that was created by human beings; therefore it is a human condition that must be healed by human beings who are conscientious, rational and compassionate.
Harvard graduate, Rush W. Dozier, Jr, author of the book,Why We Hate(2002 McGraw Hill p.111) stated,. Depression can lead to both self-hatred and aggression against the self in the form of suicide. But in some instances, hatred and violence can turn outward---depression can provoke hostility and aggression towards others. Many researchers have noted that anger, violence, and revenge seem to be primitive antidotes for depression.
When a person makes a racist statement, they are typically fired and silenced for acting in the manner of which they have been socially conditioned to believe and behave. This hypocrisy perpetuates the problem because it does not address the underlying institutional psychological conditions that are responsible for creating this type of irrational belief. Labeling racism as a mental disorder makes society accountable for how its educational system and curriculum excludes the accomplishments, achievements and theories of people of color such as authors, mathematicians, doctors, artists, scientists, and politicians beyond Black History Month.
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