Is White Supremacy a Social Psychopathology?
In a previous blog article entitled 'You'll Be Shocked To Find Out Who Has Been Killing Cops Around America' I broke down white supremacy by analyzing it based on what are known as the 4 D's of abnormality - deviance, dysfunction, distress and danger. White supremacy, and most definitely conscious white supremacy (but not excluded to unconscious racism), I argued fits the view of it being considered an abnormality. Specifically, I called it a type of pathological insanity. Perhaps not so much on a microscale, but moreso on a macroscale. I gave several examples to back this up and believe there are many more, however I do think the understanding of this concept on a socio-cultural level is more important than on a medical level. I don't believe white supremacy can be ended by giving its adherents drugs.
An article was written on the website run by the African-American Intellectual History Society recently that I'd like to respond to. The article wasn't written as a response to my previous article, but touches on the same subject. I'd say much of what's in the article I agree with, but there is a tad bit of pushback I have that I'd like to share with my audience.
The pathology of white supremacy manifests itself through racialized laws, not through internal/external medical conditions that can be treated with prescription drugs. So in that sense I agree with the above statement that looking at it in that way is missing the point. In my previous blog article that I linked to above I was careful not to make that argument. I do believe however that racial inequity comes about as a result of individual bigotry. In the sense that the systematic lack of fairness and justice that is foundational to American life was propped up originally, and is maintained by, individual bigots - white supremacists.
When enough of these individual racists are joined together politically and economically, what was once an individual case-by-case issue, is transformed into a collectivist and group-centered phenomenon. This is what allows racially-problematic policies like the Drug War to come into existence.
So from my perspective racism isn't so much a medical disease (as I wrote above) as much as it is a mental abnormality - a dysfunction in logic that shows signs of a psycho-pathology. I do believe we should be careful not to displace criticisms of the systematic nature of white supremacy, and conversely the overly apologetic and at times dismissive discussion around white privilege, and place it on individuals who simply make bad decisions.
Structural racism is a byproduct of individual racism and bigotry - I don't believe one exists without the other when the individual bigots are members of the dominant society and in positions of power. Positions of power that can be used to turn ones individual, mental white supremacy into material reality. To postulate that you can have one without the other is to suggest that the system of white supremacy essentially created itself and exists outside of individual racial animus. No, racists conspired with each other hundreds of years ago to create structural racism - a caste system that would propel their whiteness above blackness (at least in their eyes and according to their system of hatred). Structural racism doesn't exist without individuals bigots contributing to its rise. The same has held true down to today. Individual white supremacists get into positions of power and maintain systematic white supremacy because it benefits them.
This is why white supremacy is dysfunctional in any democratic setting where individuals liberties and freedoms exist. As a system, white supremacy perverts the whole concept of freedom.
Here's the thing, racism/white supremacy has been normalized. There's been an attempt post-Civil Rights to undo this normalization, but the impact is debatable. Before the rise of Donald Trump it was believed that open racism was no longer socially-acceptable, but even that assumption must now be questioned. Other aspects of racism/white supremacy, outside of social relations, that manifest itself economically and politically have barely been addressed at all.
For instance Republicans ran a politically white supremacist 'Southern strategy' for decades post-Civil Rights before admitting it was racist all along. However the question is, is the normalcy of white supremacy in America normal to the human psyche? Are folks born racist or is racism taught by parents, guardians, friends, the internet or other social environs?
I make the argument that white supremacy has been normalized since the slavery era and at times codified in laws...but it is not a normal state of mind. I don't believe people are born racist with hatred in their hearts. I believe people are indoctrinated into a pathologically mental social construct based upon racial dominance at a very young age. A system designed by white supremacists and maintained by suspected white supremacists seeking to maintain a debunked, scientifically-ignorant system of racial manipulation and control.
I disagree with the American Psychiatric Association (A.P.A.). I don't believe racial injustice is naturally normal. As I wrote above, it is abnormal to the human condition. We can't confuse something being naturally normal to the human condition with an abnormal system that has been normalized. I would go so far as to say the A.P.A. is simply protecting the sizable minority of the white community from being labeled as potentially psychotic. Now perhaps the A.P.A. was using the word normal in the sense that American life has defined so heavily by racial caste back in the 1960's...and visibly so. Even if one were to give them the benefit of the doubt on that, that wouldn't still be the case today. Surely when, as I wrote already, open racism is now looked down upon by society. So the fact that they've essentially maintained the same argument until today has to be seen as problematic.
You can view white supremacy as a mental abnormality without denying the literal mechanics of systematic white supremacy if you understand a few keys concepts.
- White supremacy is not a normal state of mind a person is born with at birth. It is a caste system that people are indoctrinated into. A social construct.
- White supremacy fits the 4 D's associated with identifying a potential psychopath. Only the psychopathy here is ideological, NOT medical. The cure isn't medicine, it's reparations! The solution has to fit the problem.
- White supremacy isn't a medical disease, it's a social disease based on a social construct - a provably false social construct that is still believed denying logic and reality.
What is the definition of insanity again? If doing something over and over again and expecting a different result is insane, then what is clinging to a belief over and over again that has been debunked over and over again and expecting to somehow, someway be right?? Anti-scientific and anti-intellectual are terms that can be used sure, but they don't come close to calling this mentality out the way it needs to be.