Friday, October 7, 2011

"The Fallacy of 'Race' and the Menace of Extreme Color Aroused Disorder (ECAD)"

Today, I'd like to introduce a guest blogger, Frances Holland who has a theory about color.  If anyone is interesting  in learning more his theory after reading this topic you can read more at Journal of Color Arousal .  In addition, Frances has the floor on this topic, so address your comments or questions to him. Thank you!

When we understand that biological “race” simply does not exist, then we begin to look for language and terms that communicate the discrimination we face in our everyday lives.   I wanted terms that were not linguistic derivatives of the root word “race,” because “race” doesn’t exist as a matter of science and it is hopelessly confused with science when we use the term in sociology. 

The fact is that when we see our own skin color and perceive the skin color of others, we have been carefully trained to call upon color-aroused ideation, which leads to color-aroused emotion, and all too frequently leads to color-aroused behavior.  People whose minds work this way to an extent that they are severely impaired in one or more key areas of their lives suffer from Extreme Color Aroused Disorder.

As I began my book on this topic, I discussed it with a friend who has white skin here in Brazil.  She told me the story of another friend whose father disowned her because he discovered that she had a Black boyfriend.  Rather than be intimidated by her father’s color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior, the white woman moved in with her brown-skinned boyfriend as soon as they arrived at the same college.

The white father was livid.  When the young white woman and her Black spouse married and had a child, the white father did not go to the wedding and did not speak to his daughter for ten years. . . until he was diagnosed with cancer, his wife had died, and he had no one to take care of him.

At that point, the white father was compelled to accept the financial and personal help of his brown son-in-law.  They never discussed the issue that had kept them separated for a decade.  Instead , they discussed their common interests in soccer.  When the white-skinned father saw his grandchild for the first time, he was overcome with emotion and cried as he held her.   In those moments, he clearly saw how his Extreme Color Aroused Disorder had cheated him out of his daughter and his granddaughter for a decade, which was time that could never be recovered in the time the white father had left.

You will never hear the public discuss benign, moderate and severe racism, because racism is not a scientific field of inquiry, like stage four cancer.  Racism, we believe, is so awful that it is always at its worst, and so we refuse even to admit the idea that some cases, like the one above, are worse than others.

When we discuss color-aroused disorder, we do make reference to its severity, be it benign, moderate or severe.  Color Aroused Disorder is severe when it causes an individual to, for example:

·        Confront strangers on the street on the basis of their skin color, risking bodily harm to themselves or criminal charges against themselves;
·        Engage in any color-aroused criminal activity that risks loss of social status, liberty, family contacts, income and professional maintenance and advancement;
·        Causes a family member to reject other family members based on their interactions with people of a different skin color;
·        lose a job because of color-aroused antagonism toward co-workers, supervisors and/or those one supervises;
·        Loose opportunities to find a suitable marital partner because of color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior, often reinforced by pressure from family,  social group and others.
·        causes an employer to be subject to civil fines as a result of a worker participation in“ noose-play,” color-associated epithets, and causes a hostile work environment
·        under cutting other employees in a manner that leads to decreased productivity;
·        Shoot co-workers because they interact without regard to skin color differences;
·        Be referred to “sensitivity training” because of on-the-job color-aroused antagonism toward others.

The list of ways to express Extreme Color Aroused Disorder is very long, especially compared to the paucity of psychiatric services designed to treat the disorder.  Doug Williams was a white-skinned Lockheed employee with a years-long history of antagonizing both white and brown-skinned employees, because he didn’t believe the “races” should mix.  Here it is clear that part of the ideation that led to his illness was the belief that distinct races existed in the first place.

After years of treating Doug Williams’ on-the-job color-aroused harassment of others as a mild form of color arousal, Lockheed ordered Doug Williams to participate in a sensitivity training in which he would be in close quarters with Blacks and whites from his workplace.

A psychiatrist should have been brought in to screen Doug for color-aroused disorder.  Had a competent psychiatrist been involved, the doctor would quickly have realized that Doug Williams was already far too sensitive to his and others’ skin colors in his environment.  Additional “sensitivity” would be reckless and dangerous, because it could push Doug over the edge, unless it was carried out in a facility where Mr., Williams would not pose a safety risk to himself and others.

Instead, Lockheed assumed that ‘all racism is the same.’ They apparently did not consult a competent color-aroused disorder specialist psychiatrist about Doug’s color-aroused ideation (e.g. pro-segregation),and emotion (fury), and behavior (physically confronting co-workers about heterochromatic friendships).

Doug Williams entered the training session, returned to his car for his gun, and shot several co-workers, including some with white skin and some with brown skin.  Then Doug turned the weapon upon himself and committed suicide.

Extreme Color Aroused Disorder is the most dangerous both to the sufferer and to those around him.  The two cases recounted above should make it clear that color-aroused disorder is not a disorder in which there is a culprit and a victim.  An individual with Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder sometimes does as much harm to himself—professionally and personally—as he does to those whom he targets.

People with Extreme Color Aroused Disorder share many of the symptoms of people with other psychiatric illnesses, such as:

·        constant alertness to color-arousing stimuli in the environment
·        constant stress over the “risk” that Blacks will advance, combined sometimes with the ideation that Blacks advancement is degrades white people;
·        Uncontrolled anger and fury that leads to crimes, including hate crimes, that jeopardize the victim’s liberty;
·        Inability to advance in a profession, e.g. politics, because past expressions of color-aroused hatred and disrespect make the individual clearly unfit for public office;
·        sociopathic lack of empathy for others based on skin color;
·        Inability to see their own behavior as the source of their thinking, feeling and behavioral problems associated with skin color.

Sixty years after we began talking about “racism,” we are still debating whether a Black person can be “racist.”  Instead, we should be asking whether a Black person’s Extreme Color Aroused Disorder can render Black person’s life ineffective and unmanageable.   When I told my niece I was writing a book on this subject, she introduced me to a Black woman whose situation provided the answer quite clearly.   The woman explained that she was extremely sensitive to observing interactions between Black men and white women.

She said that:
·        Black men should go out with Black women;
·        It was a personal put –down to her when she saw a Black man who had chosen a white woman instead;
·        When she went to clubs, she was hyper-sensitive and hyper-vigilant to heterochromatic couples involving a Black man and a white woman;
·        When she saw such couples, even though they were strangers, she felt compelled to confront the white woman and the Black man, which often lead to fights that could get her arrested, and thereby make it impossible for her to go to work;
·        The issue came to dominate her life to the extent that she fought in the family home with her brown-skinned brother about his white girlfriend, and this caused a dramatic inability for her to continue her otherwise close relationship with her own brother;
·        She felt low self-esteem because she was not chosen by Black men;
·        Her life was in a downward spiral in which she could not control her behavior toward heterochromatic couples in public, she could not form or maintain a relationship with a Black man, and she felt lousy about her own weight and her personhood.

In this case, issues of skin color had come to dominate her life to a degree that she was imminently at risk of being arrested for her confrontations with strangers in bars and clubs.  Yes, she and people like her sometimes cause pervasive hardship for couples who do not share a skin color.  But, the obsession with this issue—the ideation, emotion and behavior—were robbing this Black woman of the quality of her own life.  She needed urgent psychiatric help from a competent, knowledgeable and experienced Color Arousal Disorder professional in order to:

·        make herself safe from potentially dangerous confrontations, and
·        learn to value herself regardless of what choices some Black men make, and
·        Forgive her brother for having a white girlfriend, if only to continue to have a relationship with her brother, whom she valued and with whom she lived in harmony, until he dated a white woman.

Debate this endlessly as a political issue, if you must, but also acknowledge that it can become a fundamental psychiatric issue, based on our awareness of our own skin color and our perception of the skin colors of others.    There are far too many examples of Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder leading to ruthless and notorious murders for us to continue endlessly talking about “racism” without acknowledging the daily toll that Extreme Color Aroused Disorder takes on Blacks, whites and the American “family.”


Desertflower said...

I agree wholeheartedly!
Mr. Holland,I would also love to hear your opinion on the matter of using the words black or white to describe a person. We do not say yellows when talking about Asians, or reds when referring to Indians,of for that matter browns for Latins or Middle Easterners.

Why not use the country of origin for example African, or Anglo Saxon? Why do we use the names of a color so lightly when referring to African or Anglo?? Thank you very much for your answer.

Ted McLaughlin said...

Wow! What a great post. Thank you Mr. Holland for writing it, and thank you Granny for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Granny, this is a great post. It gets to the heart of the matter with human beings, esp those born in America. Mr. Francis L. Holland is on to something very important in disentangling the ECAD minds of so many.

This kind of diagnosis in the mental health field needs to be treated ASAP in American society, whether mild or severe.

It would be interesting to list the psychologists and psychiatrists who can treat this disorder. I maintain that there are very few, if any. Even today, there are none listed in this area, let alone mentioned by MSM. Until that happens, ECAD will go undetected by all.

Francis L. Holland said...

DesertFlower, I belong to the "Black Skin Color Group," or the "Black People," if you wish, if only because skin color politics in America have created and perpetuated this group, regardless of actual variations in skin color, unless that skin color is clearly "white" or indicative of e.g. Asian heritage.

Notice that I write "Black" with a capital "B," because "black" is not an actual skin color often found among our population. "Black" is a cohesive political and social affiliation created by slavery and Jim Crow era laws and then perpetuated by pervasive color-aroused ideation among wn
whites, Blacks and others.

Americans, Black and white, even engage in the absurdity of insisting that "black" is a distinct subspecies of humanity, i.e. a "race."

You won't see me writing "Black" with a lower-case "b" because a moment's reference to an Internet Color Chart and a comparison of that chart to most Blacks' actual skin colors shows that most Black are not black. Black is NOT a skin color. It's a group of people with very common political leanings and political concerns in America, based on the ideation, emotion and behavior targeted toward us here. That's why we mostly vote cohesively, whether the political candidates are Black or have white skin.

My skin is "Sienna #A0522D" or "Saddle Brown #8B4513". However, for the purposes of discriminating against all people not clearly white, my skin color has been lumped into the "black" group, and then "black" has been spelled with a lower-case "b", as if the term were a reference to a literal skin color and not to a political group whose remarkable voting cohesion is based on our awareness of our various colors, color-based political interests, and society's treatment of us based on our skin colors.

Like "Latino," "Black" is a cultural, social and political heritage--not a color--and so "Black" should be spelled with a capital "B." It is insulting and a demonstration of color-aroused ideation about the difference between brown and beige to do otherwise.

DNA evidence will soon show all of us that we do not come from one continent, but rather from various ones. This will frustrate any attempt to characterize us by our continents of origin, unless we acknowledge the DNA evidence that, regardless of skin color and facial morphology, we all originated in Africa.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Francis L. Holland said...

Ted, thanks for reading and I second your thanks to Granny for posting!

Francis L. Holland said...

Anonymous, I was ruefully amused to read the opinion of a past president of the American Psychiatric Association's explanation of why "racism" or Extreme Color Aroused Disorder (ECAD) should not be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.

He said that "racism" was so pervasive that it should not be medicalized or considered abnormal. He said we all had some "racism" that he believed was partially in-born. Therefore it would be inappropriate to characterize "racism" as abnormal and then diagnose and treat "racism."

His opinion is partly our fault. Because we have been unwilling to look at Color-Aroused Disorder scientifically, as an illness with varying degrees of severity, the APA president was unable to see a way to treat the color-aroused soon-to-be murderers without also treating the color-aroused selection of marital partners with equal urgency.

We need to screen for EXTREME Color Aroused Disorder, but we also need to recognize that those who silently hate people of their own or another skin color today, based on skin color, may well be among those who shoot others (or engage in "ethnic cleansing") based on skin color tomorrow.

The illness of Extreme Color Aroused Disorder does not burst upon the scene full blown, but grows over time, as an increasingly (but barely) color-neutral society pushes extremely color-aroused people over the edge. We integrate workplaces without any psychiatric support for those who are over=sensitized to skin color AND have loaded guns in their cars.

Psychiatrists are trained to evaluate people for dangerousness to themselves and others and ECAD is no less potentially dangerous than psychosis.

If only Doug Williams at Lockheed had gotten competent screening and treatment, several lives might have been saved, including Doug Williams' life.

Those lives will NOT be saved until psychiatry wakes up and realizes that killing co-workers based on their skin color and heterogeneous dating patterns do NOT, fall within the same range of normal color-aroused behavior.

Sending Doug Williams to a "sensitivity training" was like sending a dog to a hamburger sensitivity training, in the hopes of reducing his sensitivity to hamburger in his environment.

The problem is not lack of sensitivity to others' skin colors or to hamburger. The problem is EXTREME sensitivity to the stimuli, be it skin color as in the case of Doug Williams, or hamburger in the case of the average dog.

When the average dog darts into McDonald's and snarls at customers while eating off of their plates, that goes beyond normal awareness of stimuli and becomes dangerous oversensitivity and lack of impulse control with respect to the stimuli. That's what the American Psychiatric Association needs to be looking at, instead of looking the other way.

ALL employees who show signs of moderate color-aroused hostility or preference should be screened, diagnosed and treated (or fired), before they cause dramatic financial and other harm to their employers, themselves and their co-workers.

Black Diaspora said...

Desertflower said..."We do not say yellows when talking about Asians, or reds when referring to Indians,of for that matter browns for Latins or Middle Easterners."

Actually, we do, and have (but usually in conjunction with another term), it just depends on geography, and the historical reference point.

Some Asians, for example, have been called the "yellow peril," and the "yellow race," American Indians, the "red man" and, depending on geography, browns for Latinos, as in "blacks and browns" in a discussion of the two racial groups.

Color classifications for race have been around for centuries:

"One of the earlier uses of the concept of “black” as a metaphor for race was first used at the end of the 17th century when a French doctor named François Bernier (1625–1688), an early proponent of scientific racism, divided up humanity based on facial appearance and body type...."

"Scientific racism." What are the social implications when you can, supposedly, scientifically prove that one racial group is superior to another, while another is inferior.

"Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840), came up with the five color typology for humans: white people (the Caucasian or white race), more or less black people (the Ethiopian or black race), yellow people (the Mongolian or yellow race), cinnamon-brown or flame colored people (the American or red race) and brown people (the Malay or brown race). Blumenbach listed the 'races' in a hierarchic order of physical similarities: Caucasian, followed by American, followed by Mongolian, followed by Malayan, followed by Ethiopian. Rand McNally's 1944 map of races describes Amerindians as being the copper race or copper people.[5]"

Read more here.

Classifying people by color has had its nefarious uses, and still does.

Anonymous said...

Francis, what does the American Psychological Association say about ECAD? Does the Psychological Association agree with the Psychiatrists?

The former President of APA did not approach ECAD very scientifically, imo. Based on his air-thin reason, it sounded like he just was not willing to explore ECAD.

ECAD appears to me to have an obsessive component to it that takes control of the individual and directs harmful hateful consequences beyond the self-restraining will of the individual. Clearly, it is both a mental and emotional lethal disease that needs to be arrested in extreme cases. Otherwise, what follows are dead innocent victims.

It is unbelievable that the APA isn't on this.

Desertflower said...

Diaspora, yes I am aware that people are at times referred to as being 'yellow' 'red' 'copper' etc. But what I'm concerned about and am more and more inclined to think is not right, is the constant use of the name of a color when referring to a peoples. My thoughts are that this should change.

Desertflower said...

Thank you Mr. Holland for your answer. I do agree with all you say as far as the origin and reasons for the use of the name of a color to describe and continually refer to a peoples.

However I must be honest and tell you that the more I think about this labeling the more I don't like it! Lately it seems to have become important to me to refer to persons by their nationality, ethnicity, etc., and not by their 'color',which as you well said could be one of many,many color variations.

This is what I personally believe to be the correct way and what I intend to personally do.
Because otherwise I would have to, for example say: "I like the restaurants of the Yellows and/or the Yellows that immigrate here,or the Reds have many casinos, or the Browns have very spicy cuisine et al.

So I think that as I usually do, I I will follow my heart on this until proven otherwise. I will refer to people not by their color, but by their countries of origin.

Thank you again Mr. Holland, and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions or corrections on this thought of mine! Thanks!

Black Diaspora said...

@Desertflower: "[W]hat I'm concerned about and am more and more inclined to think is not right, is the constant use of the name of a color when referring to a peoples. My thoughts are that this should change."

I agree. Referencing "color," instead of more exact distinctions, can have insidious implications, and serve merely to point out our differences rather than our similarities.

Nevertheless, it's my hope that one day, all references to color, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, culture, tribe, what have you, will be used sparingly, if at all, and the simple use of just a person's name replace it all as a point of reference and distinction.

The more people are seen as different one from the other, the more that difference can be exploited, and abused, and the farther away we get from the great truth: We're All One.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

"...the simple use of just a person's name replace it all as a point of reference and distinction."

"The more people are seen as different one from the other, the more that difference can be exploited, and abused, and the farther away we get from the great truth: We're All One."

Now, these two comments are my main hope and desire. I've always felt that if we did away with all of the color designations in this world and refer to people by their name. However,it might not eliminate some people's color arousal, but it might help to others to see people with skin colors as individuals.

BTW, all of you are welcome and I'm glad that you like the topic. It is a great and interesting topic. I thank Mr. Holland for taking the time to present it as well.

Francis L. Holland said...


Thank you so much for offering me this forum to address the issue of Extreme Color Aroused Disorder (ECAD) and also to get into how the fallacy of "race" can contribute to the disorder.

When I first got into blogging in December 2006, and when white people and Black people talked about us Black people, it was all based on the fallacy of "race."

Now, I think Black bloggers and white bloggers, and our audiences are coming to realize that a new Ford Focus that is brown and a new Ford Focus that is white are fundamentally identical, but have a different colors of paint.

The way that they are driven and the environment in which they are driven can change their life expectancy and condition considerably, but that doesn't change the fact all of the parts are interchangeable because they started out identical.

They are the same except for the way they are treated, their environment, and the effects these have on them. And even these factors can't change the fact that, regardless of environment, all of the parts of these two Ford Focuses remain interchangeable.

Take the brown one from Florida and put it in Maine and it will slip on the ice, just as the white one from Maine has been doing. Take the one from Maine and put it in Florida and it will "magically" need less heating but more air conditioning. This is only complex when we make the absurd (from the manufacturer's point of view) assumption that the car painted brown and driven in Florida and the car painted white and driven in Maine are fundamentally different. The assumption that they are fundamentally the same explains much better the fact that all of their parts are interchangeable and that the parts from all Ford Focuses, regardless of color, are more interchangeable than the parts of all brown cars would be, if the make and model are disregarded.

You cannot assume that the parts of all brown cars will be interchangeable, regardless of Make and Model, just because they are painted brown.

The same is true for humans. The air conditioner from a new Ford Focus that is brown will work much better in any other Ford Focus, regardless of color, than it will work in a Cadillac Escalade.

Readers don't have to take my word for it. Just try giving a blood transfusion of a different blood type from a white person to another white person, based on skin color. That will work just as well as putting the air conditioner from a white Ford Focus into a white Cadillac Escalade: it won't work at all.

Science is slowly defeating fallacious concepts of biological race, beginning perhaps in the 1930's with the mixing of blood in blood banks regardless of the skin color of the donor and regardless of the skin color of the intended recipient. The result--success--contradicted the belief in fundamental biological differences. But, I'll bet there are still some people who would prefer a blood transfusion from someone with their skin color than from someone with their blood type. And their are still people who drive in the wrong direction in the highway.

Francis L. Holland said...

Black Diaspora,

It is one thing to make the observation that people have different skin colors and that, before intercontinental travel, these people tended to come from the same places associated with their skin colors.

It's quite another thing to say that skin color=race and race=fundamental difference. It is quite normal for two telephones two have different colors, e.g. beige and black, but to be otherwise identical and for all of their parts to be entirely interchangeable. Telephones do not come from different "races" just because the colors of their plastic exteriors are different.

In fact, experience will show that the internal and external parts from two Nokia phones of the same model but of different colors are interchangeable, but the parts from a Nokia phone that is white and a General Electric phone that is white are probably NOT interchangeable. The colors of the exteriors simply doesn't make any difference to the functioning of the phones or the characteristics of the parts of the phones. All Nokia phones of the same model number and specifications are alike regardless of their color.

The same is true of computers. You cannot assume that one computer is better than another or that the parts will be interchangeable or equal or unequal based on the color of the computer case. Of all of the characteristics of a computer, the color of the case is the most irrelevant.

The fact that some people of dubious insight have characterized computers based on the color of the case does not mean that computers with different case covers are fundamentally different. The focus on the case cover tells you more about the observer than about what is being observed.

I'm sure it seemed like a magical insight at one time that people from different continents had different skin colors. Subsequent scientific experience has shown that all of the parts of these people are interchangeable regardless of their skin colors. In fact, Latinos are more likely to have a blood type compatible with that of a white person than another white person does, according to the Red Cross. I didn't know anything about this a few years ago, but there is a blood type that is almost universally transfusable (I think it's type "O" of some sort) and Latinos are more likely to have this blood type than white people are. This is explained in the book, "Circulating Life: Blood Transfusion from Ancient Superstition to Modern Medicine" which can be reviewed at Google.

SO, if you do transfusions for white people based on skin color, you're likely to kill a lot of them by being more color-aroused than science-aroused.

The take-away message is that, although people on different continents once almost reliably had different skin colors, the importance of this observation was dramatically exaggerated at the expense of science, and it still is.

Francis L. Holland said...


When I began researching what I have called "Color-Aroused Disorder," I got in touch with a Black psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Carl Bell, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health, University of Illinois.

At least at that time, he was on an APA committee to determine how and whether what was still being called "racism" should be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association in its new version, DSM-V.

It turns out that there has been over forty years of resistance by the overwhelmingly white members of the American Psychiatric Association to the proposed endeavor of psychiatrists to begin researching, diagnosing and treating color-aroused disorder.

"Racism and Psychiatry

Forty years ago, a group of black psychiatrists posed what they considered a rhetorical question to the APA when asking should extreme bigotry and racial prejudice be considered a mental disorder? The APA rejected their hypothesis on the basis that racism is a “cultural and social problem and cannot be contributed to any disorder.”

The general consensus was that simply labeling racism as a mental illness would do little if anything to rid society of the problem and would exacerbate political tensions between social groups. Still Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University suggests, “To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness.”"

I am against efforts to get the word "racism" into the DSM, because the word "racism" is so profoundly ambiguous or even amTRIguous, and because no one agrees what "racism" consists of. In my studies of color-aroused disorder, it has become apparent to me that many people experience learned color-aroused ideation that is sometimes extremely delusional (e.g. Blacks are getting ALL the jobs). It is hard to understand how 12.8% of America could be getting 100% of America's jobs, but this generalization can and does become completely delusional ideation in some people, leading to various levels of emotions that are based on delusions and other ideation. The delusional and other ideation often leads to behavior which can be "benign" (doesn't hurt them or others), or

-- mild (hurts them and others but not enough to cause major or obvious problems) or

--"moderate" (hurts them and others, but not enough to cause severe impairment in the sufferer), to

--"severe" (extremely impairs the sufferer in one or more significant areas of life, such as extremely harming family interactions, work performance, social status, self-care, etc.)

When the an individual experiences such extreme color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior that they are severely impaired in one or more areas of life, then they need and deserve psychiatric help and psychiatric help should be available to them, based on a DSM-V list of symptoms and levels of severity that enables psychiatrists to diagnose and treat color-aroused disorder.

Francis L. Holland said...

Further, Anonymous, itt should be obvious that some potential patients and their employers will want to have color-aroused disorder diagnosed and treated BEFORE it severely impairs the patient in one or more crucial areas of life, like their ability to comply with laws regarding discrimination in the workplace and their ability to comply with laws that forbid murdering co-workers or fellow students based on color-aroused ideation and emotion that becomes manifested in illegal color-aroused behavior.

I do not think it is useful to bring the word "racism" into this discussion for several reasons:

1). The word "racism" is based on the root word "race," and there is no scientific evidence that "race" exists, while there is substantial scientific evidence that "race" does NOT exist;

2). There is no general agreement within the medical field or society regarding what "race" or "racism" would consist of, although there IS general agreement that killing one's co-workers because of color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior is sufficiently dysfunctional and harmful to the individual that the individual deserves psychiatric help BEFORE he engages in such behavior. It is also clear that such psychiatric help cannot be provided unless the illness and its symptoms are described sufficiently for a psychiatrist to diagnose and treat the illness BEFORE it leads to a massacre in the workplace.

3). The term "race" has disputed biological definitions as well as universally disputed sociological definitions. The purpose of the DSM-V is to generate and manifest sufficient agreement about an illness that the illness can be diagnosed and treated. It ought to be evident, after more than forty years of dispute within the APA, that "race" is not the definitional term that will lead to agreement among scientists or society.

4). When people use the word "race," they assume that its meaning is self-evident, which kills the scientific inquiry into how color-aroused disorder leads to such murderous behavior as that of Doug Williams, cited above. While benign and mild color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior may be normal in American society, violent and self-destructive illegal behavior that leaves several people dead cannot be accepted by the APA or by anyone else as normal. Illegal behavior that ends in murder and suicide is, by definition, abnormal and "severe." But the words "race" and "racism" do nothing whatsoever to explain this to psychiatrists and the general public.

Francis L. Holland said...


Not all color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior requires psychological or psychiatric treatment. The belief that Blacks are better at football might not cause an emotional or behavioral impairment, unless one is a white football player. A white football player with this belief might fail to try to do his/her best in the mistaken and delusional belief that all Blacks will defeat all whites regardless of training, preparation, skill and strategy.

Such ideation could easily lead the white football player to extreme emotions (self hate and resentment of Black players) as well as extreme, illegal and self-destructive behavior (e.g. chronically challenging Black football players to fistfights in bars).

In any case, the white football player should not be labeled a "racist" and then shunned while receiving no treatment for his illness, on the misguided but blanket belief that no level of color-aroused ideation, emotion or behavior can constitute a psychiatric illness. To deny such a person diagnosis and treatment would show a level of callousness and professional neglect that no psychiatrist should tolerate in him/herself or in his or her fellows.

Meanwhile, the word "race" has done far more to misdirect scientists and particularly physicians and psychiatrists than it has done to inform them. The word is, at best, superfluous, when the English language has so many verbs and adjectives that can be used to specify, qualify and quantify specific behaviors that, when severe, can lead to the extreme impairment of psychiatric patients.

I agree with those psychiatrists who argue that not all color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior should be the subject of psychological or psychiatric treatment.

For example, if a person believes that sitting next to Black people on the train will cause them to grow a beard, that is delusional ideation which may well lead to color-aroused sitting emotions and behavior. But, if that is the full extent of the delusion and the delusion-based behavior, then it might not hurt them or anyone else. It might be benign.

Psychiatrists should be trained to ask patients with that delusional belief whether they have other color-aroused delusional beliefs which, when taken together, are causing mild, moderate or severe impairment in a patient.

Mild impairments should be diagnosed and treated before they become moderate, if the patient so chooses, and moderate impairments should be treated before they become severe impairments, if the patient wishes or if the employer directs treatment as an alternative to dismissal, or a court of law offers treatment as an alternative to imprisonment.

Extreme color aroused disorder manifests itself in broken families, lost jobs and prison terms and it should always be treated before the potential patient unnecessarily suffers one or more of those severely impairing outcomes.

A prison psychiatrist who does not explore, diagnose and treat the very color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior that actually landed a Black man or a white man behind bars is a psychiatrist who is not doing his job.

A corporate personnel manager who oversees the behavior of 10,000 employees but does not have a psychiatrist who determines an employees fitness and safety for "sensitivity training" is a personnel manager who is putting his company's employees at risk and risking legal action against the corporation when a foreseeably violent employee kills or maims his co-workers. Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and psychiatrist does virtually nothing systematic to stop it.

Black Diaspora said...

Francis L. Holland said..."The take-away message is that, although people on different continents once almost reliably had different skin colors, the importance of this observation was dramatically exaggerated at the expense of science, and it still is."

True, but science may yet put this whole issue of race to rest.

You may have seen the National Geographic special, "The Search for Adam" [Genetic Adam or Scientific Adam], a five part series on You Tube.

It turns out, based on their best science, Scientific Adam, one man from whom modern man descended, is indistinguishable from a Negroid, complete with facial features associated with this racial group.

It puts the lie to racial groupings, using whatever criteria one may choose, and supports your thesis of the interchangeability of various people, and the folly of dividing humankind into races.

Francis L. Holland said...

Anonymous, the American Psychological Association has at least some psychologists who are taking color-aroused phenomenon seriously.

"The National Conversation on Psychology and Racism was initiated in 1997 as part of APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs' (OEMA) Psychology and Racism Miniconvention and National Conversation initiative, which was developed " recognition of the nation's rapidily changing demographics, the growing friction among and within the nation's various racial/ethnic groups, and the related challenges confronting our nation's social and economic institutions including its scientific and human services sectors" (OEMA Communique, July, 1997, p. 1-insert.). This initiative seeks to distill, build and broadly disseminate information about the dynamics and costs of racism and anti-racism, their effects upon science and society and the mechanisms for their perpetuation. The Psychology and Racism Miniconvention was part of the 1997 APA Convention in Chicago and consisted of over 140 hours of programs and 250 speakers.

The National Conversation on Psychology and Racism continues to the present. The National Conversation involves a series of events linked by a common set of concerns related to the psychology of racism, racism in psychology, and the psychology of anti-racism. These events are typically organized by psychologists in their local communities. National Conversation events occur in a variety of forums throughout the nation (e.g., academic departments and research centers, meetings of state and regional psychological associations, collaboratively sponsored lecture series, community organization meetings, etc). These forums, while reflecting the purposes of the overall APA Psychology and Racism initiative, are independently planned by their sponsors to ensure that they are responsive to local and regional issues and audiences."

Francis L. Holland said...

Effectively, the American Psychological Association recognizes that "rapidly changing demographics" does and will present a psychological challenge for Americans (and others), and this is a proper field of inquiry and action for the organization and its professional members.

Americans have demographics-associated ideation, emotion and behavior (e.g. isolation from people of other color groups), and these behaviors will become less and less effective and more impairing as the country becomes more diverse.

There will be stress and professionals trained in stress will need to address the stress before, during and after the major challenges it presents to individuals.

In the past, Americans have responded to this stress by lynchings, segregation, Jim Crow, "white-flight" and other behaviors that severely impaired the abilities of individuals to respond rationally in their economic activities. Many whites sold their houses to block-busting realtors for far less than they were worth by convincing whites that the neighborhoods were going to be Black neighborhoods and so the whites had better move as quickly as possible, regardless of the reduced prices they were offered for their homes. Sometimes, color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior causes people to behave irrationally (be significantly impaired) in their economic decisions.

In other countries like South Africa, apartheid and civil war have resulted from whites endeavoring to preserve privileges for themselves in overwhelmingly non-white countries. I think we can all agree that individuals and society will be extremely impaired if we allow color-aroused ideation, emotion and political behavior to result in a 20-year civil war within the United States. And yet the American Psychiatric Association so far has not very publicly announced that it would be available to treat individuals who are buying guns at historic rates, in delusional belief that the election of President Obama will somehow limit their (white) freedom.

Francis L. Holland said...

If the Americna Psychiatric Association doesn't take the lead in addressing the emotions of people who are buying guns at record rates, then who will do it? And will the APsychiatricA become simply irrelevant to the nation's largest color-aroused ideation and emotion-based political behaviors and issues, even when the behaviors are as overtly potentially violent as buying guns and ammunition?

Who will offer cognitive-behavioral counseling to whites who believe that arming themselves is their only source of safety in a rapidly changing nation? The American Psychological Association is unlikely to do it systematically until Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, which describes the origins, diagnostic practices, symptoms and treatments for psychiatric disorders.

Would the Civil War have been fought if whites were ideationally invested in the concept of "race" and if whites were less emotionally color-aroused and afraid of losing the color-associated privileges associated with white skin? Hundreds of thousands or millions of people died in the Civil War, which was fought over Americans' ideation, emotion and behavior associated with the skin color and role of Blacks in America.

Would the nation's cities have been burned in the 1960's and early 70's if psychiatrists had discussed with Blacks some more constructive alternative behaviors that they could engage in to address their skin color-associated ideation, emotion and behavior regarding their "place" in America, or would other behavior have been suggested that didn't leave Black neighborhoods destroyed?

(Refusing to sell meals and services to Blacks during Jim Crow must have driven more than one white restaurant out of business when its business was only marginally profitable or marginally unprofitable.

Just imagine what would happen to McDonald's profit margin today, and to the careers and social standing of its managers, if McDonald's refused to sell to Black and Latino people.

One need only imagine that today to see how dysfunctional it must have been financially sixty years ago.

In this economy and in the future, wouldn't a white plumber have a severe impairment in his professional functioning if he refused to work around or for Black and Latino people?

And yet a look at the US Justice Department's civil rights complaint numbers shows that grievances and complaints around color-aroused behavior are growing. The American Psychological Association does and should have something to say about this phenomena associated with population changes and increasing grievances about skin-color.)

Francis L. Holland said...

Black Diaspora,

I strongly agree with you that "science may yet put this whole issue of 'race' to rest," and "The Search for Adam" is a good example of that, I'm told.

We Blacks have to do our part by noisily challenging the New York Times and the Piscataway Times when they use the word "race" to mean anything other than "a competition to run from one place to another."

Whenever they use the word "race" as a synonym for skin color, but with mega-connotations and insulting insinuations, we need to jump down their throats and challenge them to document their fallacious premise that "race" exists at all, when all that they can actually see and document is "skin color" and a "largely politically cohesive skin color group," in the case of Blacks.

In the case of Latinos, even the political cohesiveness that would make them a "political group" cannot be taken for granted.

Cubans do not vote like their Spanish and Latin American Indian descendant neighbors from a lot of the rest of Latin America.

Latinos are not a collectively a "race" (and neither is anyone else), and even the term "The Latin American People" would obscure far more politically than it would elucidate.

Anonymous said...

If biological “race” simply does not exist, how come I can always tell who is a white person? I hate white people.