Saturday, 27 October 2007

Treatment, Punishment and Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder

What should happen when police officers engage in unlawful color-aroused behavior? Mental health treatment for these officers and jail time are really independent issues, although the risk of facing jail time often causes people to seek treatment before their illnesses get so bad that they commit crimes, if diagnosis and treatment are available.

Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder is a new conceptual way of describing a problem with which we are all familiar. Although the conceptual approach is novel, I think it's pretty obvious that when some police see the skin color of some members of the public, they react differently based on skin color. When they perceive the skin color of others, the perpetrators' color-aroused ideation and emotions commences, which then are often manifested in color-aroused behavior. That's obvious, isn't it?

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help people to become more aware of their ideation, to reality test their ideation, and to determine whether that ideation really is conducive to functional and happy relationships with others. When people's behavior is destructive to themselves and others, cognitive behavioral therapy is often a very effective way of changing that destructive behavior.

This is a new way of approaching the problem we are looking at here, but only because we have assumed that nothing at all can or should be done about the ideation that leads to abusive police behavior and abusive behavior by others with extreme color-aroused disorder.

It is discriminatory to insist, as you do, that no screening, diagnosis or treatment should be offered to address the ideation, emotion and behavior of those who commit color-aroused offenses. It would be equally discriminatory to insist that alcoholics should be punished for illegal alcoholic behavior but not diagnosed and treated for alcoholism.

Friday, 26 October 2007

How Does Extreme Color Arousal Relate to Criminal Offenses?

A lot of mental illnesses cause people to do "evil" things, for example alcoholism causes people to drive drunk and kill people, while drug addiction causes people to steal from their family members to buy drugs, even to the point of stealing and selling their parents wedding rings.

However, there is only hope for alcoholics and drug addicts when we recognize that they have an illness and start looking at ways to treat it.

Ironically, for so long as we insist that they are simply evil, we guarantee that their "evil" behavior will continue. Only by recognizing that they have a mental disorder can we have any hope that we can treat their condition so that their "evil" behavior will be reduced.

Anonymous said:

I'm sorry, but I cannot see this behaviour as an illness. It's volitional; while an illness is not. Just as people choose to drink and drive, these folks choose to shoot, maim, and kill black and brown people without provocation or necessity by a choice of their will. People choose to do evil; they don't choose to be sick. Whatever happened to personal responsibility. I feel that by labeling this behaviour as an illness, it almost absolves the doer of responsibility.

Francis L. Holland Blog said:

People are personally responsible for what they do, but we often are unable to help people to shoulder their personal responsibility unless we have a better understanding of WHY they engage in the behaviors.

In this case, there are clearly thoughts, emotions and behaviors that are irrational, and irrational thoughts, emotions and behaviors are often a sign of mental illness. However, our society doesn't absolve perpetrators legally for their behavior unless they are incapable of understanding that their behavior is wrong, which means that in less than 1% of cases are defendants able to convince a jury that they meet this standard.

In fact, white juries often refuse to punish whites for hate crimes, so we really have little to lose by trying to understand and treat the ideation, emotion and behavior that leads to hate crimes.

At what point in their lives do people become capable of committing a hate crime and why? Is there anything that can be done in the way of prevention so that they don't get to that point?

As long as you look at color-aroused disorder ONLY as a volitional "evil" to be punished rather than as a cognitive behavioral disorder that results partly from environmental learning and forces, it will be impossible to develop prevention, screening and treatment strategies that prevent color-aroused disorders from developing in the first place.

Anonymous said:

Just who will be doing the development, preventing, screening and treating of color-aroused disorders? What are the criteria for the diagnosis? Is treatment mandatory? Just as the white juries refuse to punish rogue cops, so will white doctors and physicians pronounce all suspected color aroused individuals well.

Francis L. Holland said:

Black psychiatrists are working to convince the American Psychiatric Association to take on this problem, to acknowledge that only someone who has emotional problems would e.g. hate Black co-workers so much that he would shoot them and then take his own life.

When people are "a danger to themselves and others," they can be compelled to receive psychiatric care, as when a person tells a psychiatrist, "I have a gun and today I am going to kill all of my Black co-workers and then I am going to kill myself."

The fact that the co-workers are Black should not prevent them psychiatrist from realizing that the white worker presents a danger to himself and others.

Likewise, if the same worker expresses those feelings to the company psychologist, it would be natural and legally required that the company require the worker to get psychiatric help as a condition of maintaining his employment.

No one has a right to create a hostile environment for fellow employees. Where workers do so because they suffer from a color-aroused disorder, a company could recommend treatment for that disorder as an alternative to firing the worker or letting the illegal behavior continue, making the corporation legally liable for the color-aroused employee's behavior.

Likewise, when college students show that color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior is making them a danger to self and others, it could be recommended that they seek psychiatric services. If their behavior is sufficiently serious and rule breaking behavior pronounced, they might be required to seek these services as a condition of continued enrollment.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

James D. Watson Retires, Showed Symptoms of Exteme Color-Aroused Disorder (ECA)

The New York Times reports today that:
James D. Watson, the eminent biologist who ignited an uproar last week with remarks about the intelligence of people of African descent, retired today as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island and from its board. New York Times
I submit to you that James D. Watson showed symptoms of extreme color-aroused disorder. He showed extremely color-aroused ideation, ie. that simply having a different skin color could make a whole continent of people, Africans, less intelligent than people with white skin. That is extreme ideation.

James D. Watson also manifested extreme behavior. In spite of the societal mores and rules against insulting people based on their skin-color, Mr. Watson EXPRESSED in public his opinion that Blacks were inherently less intelligent than whites. The willingness and, indeed, compulsion to express negative opinions about others based on their skin-color in public is a symptom of extreme color-aroused disorder.

As with alcoholism and drug addiction, CONSEQUENCES incurred as a result of symptomatic behavior are also one key to measuring the severity of the disease. In this case, Dr. Watson created an international firestorm, had his book tour canceled, discredited himself, and then was forced to retire in shame as a result of his behavior. Although American society has not always responded to extreme color-aroused behavior in this manner, it often does now, because many people have a clearer understanding of the harm that is done to the fabric of society by color-aroused hatred behaviors. Society wants to deter and discourage those behaviors by punishing them wherever the occur.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Color-Aroused Behavior Need Not be "System-Wide" to be Harmful

A night club owner in Detroit, MI offered a promotion in which light-skinned Black women would be admitted for free to the club while darker skinned women would be charged admission on certain nights. Some of us ask ourselves whether this behavior is "racist," and then, having concluded that it is not "racist," we then proceed to conclude that since the behavior is not "racist" it is therefore benign (not harmful).

Color-Aroused Behavior Need Not be "System-wide" to be Harmful

The term "racist" is not helpful in this discussion because the term means "systemic (system-wide) denigration, subjugation and exploitation on the basis of skin-color and/or ethnicity." Is everything that's not system-wide benign and permissible?

For example, shooting one's self in the head and having sex with children are not systemic problems. It's something individuals do when they want to commit suicide or when they are pedophiles, respectively, but these are not "systemic" behaviors.

Does that mean that suicide and pedophilia are behaviors in which individuals can engage without damage to themselves and their families?

It's much more useful to ask whether an individual's behavior is aroused by color than to ask whether it is "racist" because behavior can be very damaging without being systemic behavior. We must ask, "What is the ideation and emotion that is manifested in a particular behavior? How does the behavior affect the individual, his family and the community?"

In this case, the club owner believed that separating people by color and then giving them privileges and disadvantages on that basis was a good idea. So, he implemented that idea (behavior). That behavior, and the ideation that it showed, infuriated a lot of people, and I think rightfully so. Black people are sick and tired of being divided on the basis of the hue of our skin and being discriminated against and separated from one another on that basis.

Unfortunately, since the beginning of slavery white people have done this to us and, just as unfortunately, we have internalized the oppressor and done it to each other.

When you look at the club owner's behavior in that context, I believe it shows that separating people on the basis of skin color and giving them added privileges and disadvantages IS a behavior that in consistent with and furthers systemic denigration, subjugation and exploitation on the basis of skin color. On the "light nights," dark-skinned women would be asked to pay to enter the club while light-skinned women would be waved in to enter for free.

But, let's lower the bar when it comes to color-aroused behavior that we will tolerate. Aren't we are always insisting, whether we are Black or white, that if behavior is not systemic ("racist") then it is alright? Ask yourself, "If eating arsenic is not pursuant to a system-wide political problem, does that mean it won't hurt you?" If shooting yourself in the head or having sex with children are not system-wide problems, does that mean these behaviors don't harm individuals, families and the community?

Likewise, color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior need not be systemic ("system-wide) to harm the individual, his family and her community.

I would argue that this club owner's behavior was symptomatic of Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder, and here is the analysis that I would engage in to arrive at that conclusion:

1) Is there an evidence of an overt of covert behavior aroused by color or associated with color? Clearly there is in this case. The Club owner was providing privileges and immunities based on color, i.e. who would pay to enter the club and who would not have to pay.

2) Did the color-aroused behavior impair the individual in one or more important areas of life? Clearly this individual's color-aroused behavior has angered many of his clients, many in his community and world-wide. By dividing clients by color and offering benefits to some that were not available to others on that basis, he has infuriated and perhaps even emotionally harmed clients who would have appeared at his club to have a good time, only to be confronted with yet one more instance of color-aroused discrimination. So, the club owner's behavior may well have harmed his reputation, his business and social relationships while causing intense embarrassment to his family, just as public drunkenness or pedophilic behavior would.

This impairment of one's ability to relate successfully with others is one of the symptoms of color-aroused disorder. When it becomes a marked impairment that significantly impairs relational ability then it is a "severe" impairment.

But, notice that I have not and will not attempt to render a diagnosis of the club owner based on news accounts about him. Only a competent psychiatrist could do so, after looking at the patient's history, other relationships, ideation and behaviors.

For example, if this behavior was engaged in only once and is not of long duration (six months or more), then it might be evidence of a mistake rather than of a mental illness. A competent psychiatrist who interviewed the club owner would be able to make that determination and then recommend treatment strategies, if necessary.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Interrelated but Different Problems of Systemic Color-Based Subjugation and Individual Color-Arousal Disorder

Dear Jose Vilson:

I'm sorry I'm not addressing the AfroLatino immigration issue that you raised in your essay, but your essay raised for me another issue that is close to my heart:

I think that we should stop using the words "race" and "racism" and "racist," and instead describe with specificity what we mean, but using other words, to avoid the ambiguity that results from the historic and disproven belief that people are biologically different in a meaningful way based on their "race."

For example, I find that I can express myself just as well by saying "systemic color-associated denigration, subjugation, and exploitation" as by "racism." That description covers for me what happens at the macro level, but I also see a "color-associated emotion, ideation and behavior disorder" in individuals. I think we need to study and look for solutions to both of these interrelated but different problems.

This isn't about "color-blindness." It's about disambiguation. Although you know what you mean when you say " 'race' still exists," white supremacists say the same thing while meaning something entirely different. When every story in the newspaper about Black people uses the word "race," are they doing that to help us in the struggle to free ourselves, or are they doing it in a continuing effort to perpetuate the white supremacy that gave birth to the word "race" in the first place?

If we describe the same concepts using unambiguous words that don't risk conceding that "race" exists biologically, then we'll find out what white people really mean when they use the word "race" and why they enjoy using the word "race" so much. I think we'll find that this ambiguousness was serving them much more than it was serving us.