Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Traumatization of black Americans by racist police is major mental health issue.


What happens when black people are arrested and falsely accused by the police?

There is a very good article on NBC News on 05/11/21 well worth reading. You can access it by clicking here.

Editor's note:

Over my 51 years as a Psychiatric Social Worker and a white male of privilege, I have been made very aware of the racism my black clients and co-workers have experienced in their interactions with police. At times, it has brought me to tears to hear their stories.

All helping professionals should read the above article so that their consciousness is raised so that they can better understand the experience of their black clients and their families and community..

Friday, February 8, 2019

What about biased punishing of black girls in our society?

Dr. Monique W. Morris gave an interesting TED talk which was published on 02/05/19 about black girls being unfairly targeted for punishment in schools.

Dr. Morris' talk led to my thinking about Sandra Bland and Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele who started and organized Black Lives Matter and wrote the book, "When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir."

When people deny that racism exists they are ignorant of some basic facts and dynamics in our society. Dr. Morris in 14 minutes gives us a little peep into what its like to be a black girl in our society.

For the full TED talk video click here.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Books - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

There are plenty of slave narratives. Do we need any more?

Colson Whitehead's novel, The Underground Railroad, tells the story of a young slave woman, Cora, who escapes the Randall plantation in Georgia with a male companion Caesar and makes her way north and west on a literal underground railroad whose tunnels have been dug by abolitionists committed to undoing the bonds of slavery.

The scenes about slave torture and killings are terrible and offset to some extent by the kindness of strangers who help and conduct the slave escapees to freedom.

This is a story about the tenacity and perseverance of the human spirit against the evil of economic forces and power which exploit, subjugate, oppress, and terrorize to maintain power and dominion. It is a more extreme story of what is happening in America today with Trumpism and the championing of racism, mysogony, xenophobia, deceit and using fear and terror to undue civil liberties and the rule of law.

The Underground Railroad is an old narrative going back 300 years in the United States and continuing on in more subtle and insidious forms in our country today.

Cora and her companions seeking freedom and human development in the face of life threatening terror and domination is a souce of inspiritation and hope. The people who help her and her companions are the unnamed saints and martyrs for the cause of human dignity and respect. While a difficult book to read because of intentional pain and suffering deliberately inflicted to dominate and subjugate human beings, it is more importantly a book not only of resistance, but of endurance, hope, and triumph.

I give The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead a 4.5 on the Markham Behavioral Health 5 point scale.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Real Americans are white Americans

Real Americans are white Americans and other than white Americans are referred to in a way that their Americanism is qualified. What is the affect of this marginalization on people? How do marginalized people deal with racism and bigotry they experience daily?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Racism is bad for your health

From the Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley on September 8, 2016:

Researchers compared the racial biases of nearly 1.4 million people nationwide to death rates in more than 1,700 US counties. Their findings suggest that blacks and, to a lesser degree, whites who reside in overtly racist communities are more prone to dying from heart disease and other circulatory diseases.

For more click here.

Racism is not a psychiatric disorder in and of itself. Social groups often take pride in their group and feel and think they are superior to others. 

Individual racism can be distinguished from institutional and structural racism where  a culture and system are rigged by the group in power to oppress and dominate the minority group. Individuals tend to act out the beliefs and values of their reference groups. It may be more helpful to think about racism as a cultural phenomenon with individual behaviors and beliefs being a symptom of more deep seated dysfunctional norms, values, and beliefs.

Mental health professionals are not only concerned with the dysfunctional behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of their clients but also with the emotional systems in which these individuals participate such as their families, communities, states, nation, and religious and civic organizations.

Are some communities, organizations, institutions, and political and religious groups more racist than others? Could we then say that some communities, organizations, institutions, and political and religious groups more mentally healthy than others?

Mental health professionals are not interested in enhancing the mental health of individuals, but with families, communities, organizations, institutions, and cultures as well.

For more click here.