Thursday, 23 August 2007

"Racialism vs. Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder (ECA)

I like the word "racialist" (seen at Field Negro) because, to me, it ridicules the whole concept of "race." Color-aroused systemic and individual discrimination exists. Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder (ECA) exists. "Race" doesn't exist and so "racism" doesn't exist, but "racialism" does! It's all around us.

To me "racialism" is the belief that race exists and the use of the fantastically irrational notion of "race" in discrimination against others.

But, I don't see Field Negro as a "racialist," although some people accuse him of it. Field Negro is a realist who focuses his attention on "racialists" and on very real instances of systemic and individual skin-color-aroused antagonism.

It makes a BIG difference whether you believe in "racism" or in skin-color-aroused disorders. If you believe in "racism," you will probably believe that "racists" have an ideology that is inbred and not subject to being changed, regardless of whether they are ten years old or seventy years old.

If you believe in Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder (ECA), then you understand that "racism" is really a complex and interrelated cluster of extreme color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior that is the result of socialization and that can become more acute based on circumstances, like all other cognitive behavioral disorders.

If you have this understanding of ECA, then you realize that we need to create societal and social circumstances in which there is less reinforcement for ECA behaviors and less socialization toward ECA behaviors. We also need greater deterrents and more opportunities for treatment and recovery. You realize that a child who shows ECA behaviors under some circumstances can also learn NOT to show those behaviors.

If you believe in "racism," then you believe that the white mind is beyond the reach of scientific understanding, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. It is one thing to believe that cancer is incurable now. It is quite another thing to believe that cancer can NEVER be understood, and that even if it is understood it can NEVER be cured. That is really magical thinking that is not based on our experience with the cancers that already can be cured with early diagnosis and treatment. Likewise, the belief that racism cannot be treated successfully ignores our experience with alcoholism, drug addiction, anorexia and bulimia, which are sometimes treated successfully with competent diagnosis, treatment, and societal support and deterrence.

If you believe in ECA, then you believe that if individuals who are motivated to recover and are offered competent services can CAN make progress, particularly when society reinforces that progress.

If you doubt that individuals and society can make progress, then how do you explain the fact that Blacks and whites eat at the same lunch counters and ride the same buses in the American South today? Behavioral change IS possible, but we need a better understanding of what makes people sick and we need better tools for making them well again.

1 comment:

Marc Garvey said...

Francis, this is good analysis. Brilliant creation of a different and very helpful frame to begin (for some) analyzing this sickness with the understanding that it is not simply an intractable fight but a struggle with an achievable and very clear goal. Thank you for this, brother.