Racism is not a mental illness.
Mental illnesses are organic brain disorders outside the influence of parenting and environment. They are neuro-developmental illnesses that cause serious impact to normal cognitive function and impair the synapses in the brain that send messages.
Racism is a learned hatred response to “other.”
Serious mental illness should not be compared to racism, assholianism, selfishness, or greed. People with serious mental illnesses are typically super nice people who are scared to death of what their brains are doing and telling them. I refuse to let racists be called “mentally ill.” They’re selfish, ugly assholes. Big difference!
If racism were a psychiatric illness, it would respond to medical interventions and it doesn’t. The “cure” for racism is understanding. The cure for mental illness is non existent: the symptoms are only abated by therapies and medicine.
Calling hateful goons mentally ill does a great disservice to the suffering mentally ill we step over every day on our sidewalks. Their lives are cut short by brain disease and they’re already disparaged enough in our culture.
Laura Pogliano is a mental illness advocate. Her son, Zac, died in 2015 at age 24. He suffered from serious mental illness. Read Laura’s post, “ZAC, MY DARLING SON,” in the August 2017 archives.