“People need proper and effective healthcare, not damaging drugs and electroshock that passes for mental health treatment today. Martin Luther King told us that ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ I will never remain silent about the psychiatric abuse that African Americans have been and are still subjected to. Funds should be redirected from psychiatry into safe, accountable non-psychiatric medical care and social programs.” —Rev. Fred Shaw
Rev. Frederick Shaw, Executive Director of NAACP’s Inglewood-South Bay branch, announced a campaign to educate African Americans about the long history of their betrayal and other minorities in the psychiatric system. He warns that mental health care today comes from an industry that is steeped in eugenics and once defined Blacks as suffering from a form of leprosy causing the color of their skin and requiring segregation. Shaw stated, “We must fight for protections against damaging psychiatric treatment offered for the very real pain that racism and injustice brings and abolish the stereotypical labeling of this as a mental ‘disease.’”
From using a “medical model” to justify whipping slaves as therapeutic, to delivering electroshock to Blacks without anesthetic and the psychotropic drugging of African Americans today, race-based mental health still exists, he adds.
Rev. Shaw is also a spokesperson for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR), a 51-year mental health watchdog, whose documentary on psychiatric racism is an important commentary. Shaw and CCHR’s international president, Jan Eastgate, attended South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission inquiry into apartheid crimes in 1997 to present evidence of psychiatry and psychology’s use of ‘scientific’ racism and eugenics to maintain apartheid. CCHR had discovered hidden psychiatric camps, where 10,000 Blacks were drugged, electroshocked, used for slave labor and often allowed to die from easily treatable medical illness.
The World Health Organization confirmed the abuse, condemning the camps in 1983, stating, “in no other medical field in South Africa is the contempt of the person, cultivated by racism, more concisely portrayed than in psychiatry.”
“This cultivation is not limited to South Africa but is systemic throughout America, even today,” Shaw stated. A 2017 article in The American Journal of Psychiatry admitted: “In America, the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements were met with mistrust and prejudice by mental health practitioners. African Americans, angry about their oppression, were labeled ‘schizophrenic,’ due to their supposed ‘pathological’ reaction of emotional disharmony, hostility, and aggression. The over-diagnosis of schizophrenia among African Americans persists today….”
Shaw advises: “We have had centuries of psychiatric racism. We don’t want equal access to psychiatrists’ ‘standard’ of care, because the treatments offered are often mind-altering and harmful, can cause sexual dysfunction, birth defects, suicide and violence. It’s selling us into modern-day eugenics and mental slavery,” Shaw says.
He cites several historical examples of racial-mental health “care”:
Says Shaw, “People need proper and effective healthcare, not damaging drugs and electroshock that passes for mental health treatment today. Martin Luther King told us that ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ I will never remain silent about the psychiatric abuse that African Americans have been and are still subjected to. Funds should be redirected from psychiatry into safe, accountable non-psychiatric medical care and social programs.”
“Apartheid and Health,” Part II, World Health Organization (Geneva), 1983, p. 230
Morgan Medlock, M.D., “Addressing the Legacy of Racism in Psychiatric Training,” The Amer. Journ of Psychiatry, 9 May 2017, https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2016.110206
Samuel A. Cartwright, M.D., “Report on the Diseases and Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” New Orleans & Surgical Journal, 1851; Thomas Szasz, Insanity, The Idea and Its Consequences, (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1990), p. 306, 307.
“Race and Gender in the Selection of Patients for Lobotomy,” Wonders and Marvels, 21 Dec. 2016, http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2016/12/race-gender-selection-patients-lobotomy.html
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Gerald Horne, “Race Backwards: Genes, Violence, Race, and Genocide,” Covert Action, Winter 1992-93, p. 29
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Michael L. Perlin, et al, “Tolling For the Aching Ones Whose Wounds Cannot Be Nursed’: The Marginalization of Racial Minorities and Women in Institutional Mental Disability Law,” New York Law School, Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice, Vol. 20, Issue 3 (Summer 2017), pp. 431-45, https://digitalcommons.nyls.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1947&context=fac_articles_chapters
“African American Minister Fights for Protections Against Mental Health Abuse.” Fox 40, 22 Jan. 2020, http://www.wicz.com/story/41599042/african-american-minister-fights-for-protections-against-mental-health-abuse
Lesley M. Arnold, et al., “Sex, ethnicity, and antipsychotic medication use in patients with psychosis,” Schizophrenia Research, Volume 66, Issue 3, 2004, Pages 169-175, http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0920996403001026