Racism as a mental disorder and Ferguson protests

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What is the underlying reason for the Ferguson protests?

Here I would especially like to express concern for the freedom of citizens of the United States, contextualised in light of feigned interest of the American elites which seem to pay (too) much interest to human rights and the development of democracy elsewhere in the world and shows only feigned interest in the civil rights on its own turf. How can a nation be free when it is marred with institutionalised racism and racial oppression?

What can be said of country where for the past 100 years a life of one coloured person is not worth more than the cost of one bullet and which stems from an ideological premise that the race defines a person and his position within society at large? Public debates on marginalisation of blacks and about the current state of racism in the American society are not addressed in full nor are sincere or revolutionary enough but are rather keen on perpetuating a myth of an African-American as a “problematic” part of demographic fabric, prone to crime, “shady” behaviour and the general “lack of willingness to adapt”.

Underneath it all is another debate, which is never fully addressed, and which has to do with the American economic model; despite the promise of the so-called American Dream, chances are not equal for all.

The current unrest in Ferguson demonstrates all too well that the US’ response to an internal rebellion is the same, or even more brutal, than in the countries which it often likes to criticise for the lack of restraint. It is extremely ironic, considering how the US often, as witnessed in Ukraine, calls for “restraint” in conflicts between protesters and the police. Now, this same US responds to the Ferguson unrest by sending the National Guard seeking to forcibly suppress the uprising which broke out not so much due to a shooting of a black man but because of long festering racial and societal inequalities.

Racism as a mental disorder

Racism is an offspring of fascism because both notions/ideologies rest on the same mental understating of an individual’s or group’s worth within a society. American Psychiatric Association defines it as a social problem still refusing to classify it as a mental disorder.

However, APA does recognize megalomania as a disorder:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process.

Given that ideologies such as Nazism, Fascism, racism, etc., are based on the same principle of illusion of superiority, (not necessarily individually, but more so as a group, which makes it all the more dangerous) it begs the question as to why their proponents are not diagnosed with NPD?

Why is it that the individual form of misconceptions of one’s own superiority (as already mentioned in the definition of megalomania/NPD) is diagnosed as a disorder when it is almost infinitely less dangerous than the collective NPD? Think of Eugenics for example, a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetics through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics). This philosophy was supported at one time or another by such historical figures as Charles Darwin, H.G. Wells, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, John H. Kellog, and of course Adolf Hitler who incorporated eugenics into his Mein Kampf.

So this collective NPD, which can create immense damage and destruction and bring some nations near extinction, is a social problem and not a diagnosable mental illness?

Or think of it this way; when a person joins a religious cult the society sends them to detox/cure their mind as it is believed that they are not mentally stable. Yet, when a person joins a white supremacist group and is brainwashed to believe in his/her grandeur that person is mentally stable! Sorry, but I do not see the difference here.

What are the Ferguson protests about?

American Dream Mainstream media is spinning a well-known old scheme, after the police killed a young black man, riots ensued and the National Guard had to be sent in – simple old formula. President Barack Obama even sent his Secretary of Justice, Eric Holder, to calm down the riots which are slowly getting out of hand.

The muffled racist genie is gushing out its confinement with a brute force.

At the same time the media rarely shows a picture of Michael Brown. Rather, it is all too happy to blast the airways with burned cars, broken shop windows, angry protesters, and heavily armed police – a scene reminiscent of a war zone. And the victim is almost forgotten. It seems that his death is just a catalyst for a much more dangerous and seething anger to be released and aimed against the élite and the system itself. Americans are all too happy to protest against anything or anyone, but often without properly voicing that which is really bothering them – a faulty system in which there is neither justice nor a palpable ‘American Dram’. Not everyone is equal nor is treated equally despite what the media, the Government, of Hollywood like to portray. This reminds me of an anecdote that took place during the golden era of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century. A young Sicilian man is quoted as saying:

“They told me that the streets of New York were paved in gold. So I bought a ticket and came to New York.

The first thing I found out is that the streets are NOT paved in gold. The second thing I found out is that they are not paved at all. And the third thing I found out is that they expect ME to pave them!”

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This little anecdote summaries well the actual state of the society; a strong image of what America should be – portrayed not only by the powerful Hollywood machine or the media, but also imbedded into the school system – and what America really is. It is this dichotomy between the imaginary society which American self-image rests upon and the cruel reality of ordinary people’s life which underlie all types of unrest.

Racial issues are just a surreptitious excuse to voice this fundamental problem.

 

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