Friday, 1 June 2007

Skin-Color, Urban Murder and Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder (ECA): "The Elephant that Won't Go Away"

"The longer we ignore the truth behind the urban murder crisis, the longer the good guys will continue to lose." - Simone, Philly Confidential

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

For quite some time, Field Negro has been focusing our attention of the fratricide among Black men (and women) in Philadelphia, urgently asking what can be done to keep us from killing each other. Can the AfroSpear Help Reduce Urban Violence?

I have urged that we look at Color-Aroused antagonism and violence (antagonism and violence that target people because of emotions, ideation and behavior associated with their color) and I have urged that we think of this, in extreme cases, as a symptom of a psychiatric condition, Extreme Color-Arousal (ECA).

Now, Field points us toward an article by Simone at PhillyConfidential, with alarming statistics. In "Race and Urban Murder--The Elephant That Wont Go Away," Simone reports:

"Do you think Philadelphia, as a whole, is in the midst of a homicide crisis?
We don't think so. If you live and work in either Center City; the Northeast; Chestnut Hill; or any safe comfortable area, and never venture into the 'hood nor pick up the Daily News, Philly is a beautiful happy place.

Out of the 406 murder victims in 2006, 72 percent were black men. Throw black women into mix and the number rose to 83 percent.

Since PC embarked onto the crime beat in October 2003, Philadelphia has lost over 1,000 black men to murder, according to police stats.

Insane, huh?

The longer we ignore the truth behind the urban murder crisis, the longer the good guys will continue to lose." PhillyConfidential

But others are afraid to look at this problem in this way, for fear that the Black community or members among us may be "stigmatized." They urge that other diagnoses besides Extreme Color-Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior Disorder (ECEIBD/ECA) may be sufficient to understand, diagnose and treat problems such as the Black-on-Black murder epidemic in Philadelphia. For example, Bronze Trinity says,

"I think that we have to be careful in advocating that a pretty common reaction or behaviour is a mental illness that needs to be recognized . . . Many people have unusual behaviours but unless they significantly interfere with their quality of life then there is no need to diagnose them with a disorder. Unless the diagnosis helps the people to receive treatment they really need in order to function then its just a label that doesn't really do anything other than stigmatize the individual. Maybe some of this can be explained by other existing disorders or problems like xenophobia, low self-esteem, envy, depression, defeatism, anxiety, etc."

Doesn't 1000 dead Black men since 2003 "significantly interfere with their quality of life"? Wasn't the mental condition - the emotions, ideation and behavior - that each of these men had ultimately (and rapidly) fatal? Don't the statistics and other facts prove without question that skin-color is a determining factor in these Black men's choice of murder victim, overwhelmingly murdering Black men rather than others? And isn't this concentrated auto-murder process also literally "suicidal?"

Can we address the negative "self-esteem" of these homicidal/suicidal Black men without addressing their position in society relative to other Blacks and relative to whites, and the inherently color-associated reasons for their "low self-esteem" "depression" and "defeatism" without focusing on the emotions, ideation and behavior? If we don't focus on these factors, where else WILL we focus?

When they are dead, does it matter any longer that they are stigmatized? Isn't it true that the very manner of their death - fratricide - is inherently stigmatic to them and to all Black people?

In fact, many Blacks are colluding with whites to ignore the "The Elephant That Wont Go Away." We are so afraid of being "stigmatized" that we prefer to ignore the stigma it causes when we are seen to be killing each other on the nightly news. Like family members of the alcoholic who refuse to admit that one of our own has a serious problem, our embarrassment and denial are enabling the disease and increasing the likelihood that more of our brothers will die.

"Everyone uses denial. It is a normal subconscious way to carry out day to day activities without annoying interference. To illustrate; Stop for a minute and listen to the sounds around you. More than likely you will hear sounds that you were not aware of previously. If you listened to these sounds constantly you would probably get an overload of noise and may not be able to carry out your normal duties. But denial does not just occur. It grows over time and may be so deeply ingrained in the subconscious that it is no longer a decision to deny anything.

In the noise example from above; denial begins as simple avoidance and minimizing of noises around you. You build up a resistance, a second nature of denial of interfering noises by blocking out more and more. After awhile you are not aware that you are blocking out anything. Alcoholics are no different. They just block out another form of annoyance, the amount they drink and the effect of their drinking. And, again it starts out in small ways and builds over time. Unfortunately for alcoholics their denial is contributing to the damage done by alcohol." AlcoholSelfhelpNews

Carl C. Bell, M.D. psychiatrist with the American Psychiatric Association, points out that color-associated stigma is part of the reason why Black people have low self-esteem. In an article addressing why Black people prefer white dolls over Black ones, he says that we have essentially been trained by our environment to devalue people of our own color, learning low self-esteem over time, and learning to hold other regard other Black people as less valuable than white people. Why Some Black Children Are Still Choosing White Dolls Over Black Dolls

Might that help to explain why 86% of the 406 Black men and women killed in Philadelphia in 2006 were Black men and women? Black Trinity and many others, Black and white, say that it is too dangerous for us to ask this question because the answer might be "stigmatizing." That is exactly like saying that it is too dangerous to ask whether Dad's drunken driving and crack use are indications of addiction, because calling Dad an addict would stigmatize him. Dying in a gutter will stigmatize Dad too, AND extinguish any chances he had of ever receiving help for his disorder.

Many people say that Blacks cannot be "racist" because we lack the power to harm whites as they harm us. But, can we harbor such color-associated antagonisms toward each other that it "significantly interfere with their quality of life"? Is Racism a Psychiatric Condition? Despite our ideological and political motives for remaining in denial about this, the statistics say that our skin color predicts whom we will preferentially target. We call each other the "N" word and then we kill each other. If it were white people doing that, it would be the definition of "hate crime" and the epitome of "racism."

Unfortunately, many people, Black and white have come to the same conclusion: It is better to ignore the role of color-aroused emotions, ideation and behavior in the deaths of almost 400 Black people in one city during one single year. Those 400 Black people needn't worry about stigma, because now they're dead. This year, another 400 will follow them into the grave, stigmatized by fratricide, but not by psychiatry.

The American Psychiatric Association's Position Statement and others who study "pathological bias" neglect what should be the most fundamental focus of their work to help color-aroused patients: the harm that this bias does to the patient him/herself. It is axiomatic in work with addictions that addicts are motivated to recover because they realize how the addiction harms THE ADDICT HIMSELF. When it comes to Color-Aroused Emotion, Ideation and Behavior, Blacks and whites have something in common: None of us - Black or white - will be willing to change until we identify the damage that our color-aroused emotions, ideation and behavior are doing TO US, in our own communities, in our families and in our homes. ECEIBD Analysis Can Help Corporations to Reduce Civil Liabilities and Increase Productivity

I have founded the American Journal of Color Arousal (AMJCA), an AfroSpear blog, because I am determined to study the role of extreme color-aroused emotion, ideation and behavior (ECA) in American dysfunctions, and I will not allow fear of stigma or anachronistic ideological definitions of the problem to compel me to ignore the fact that Blacks are preferentially killing Blacks and whites are targeting Blacks for color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior. Because of factors inherently related to our skin color and our position in America, we are furious at whites, furious at each other, and it is eating us alive while killing us dead.

Hat Tip to Field Negro

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