Interesting (and brief) article. Deals with racism and politics. - DG

Who Are You Calling Crazy?

Madness was a recurring theme in American politics last year. I received daily calls, emails, texts, and tweets from folks on the Left declaring "these Republicans are crazy," "the GOP has gone mad," or simply, "this county is nuts." "Wingnuts" became a common way to describe vehement, political opponents on the Right.

Americans have an interesting history of conflating our political disagreements with diagnosis of mental illness. In a terrific new book, psychiatrist and historian Jonathan Metzl tells one of these fascinating stories. Metzl's book, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease is exceptional and unexpected.

Read the rest here.

Tags: Democrats, GOP, conservative, liberal, mental illness, politics, racism, schizophrenia, slavery

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the message is a good one:
avoid dehumanizing people you don't agree with.
and
having mental instability or a mental illness doesn't make others less human or even less reasonable.
Yes, and unreasonable people are not always insane (though we are tempted to think so).
The human brain is a survival device that operates very often in simple binary decisions; eat/don't eat, shag/don't shag, kill/don't kill.

Linguistics has given us the ability to share the meaning of those decisions through semantic labels.

Summarily, it will never stop, it is at the root of the most basic functions of the brain.

On the other note; factions or "parties" as well like to call them, are inherently unConstitutional. Washington, Madison and Jefferson were keenly aware that this would be the eventual failure of America.

History forever repeats.
Very true about the brain FoA. But why do you say that politcal parties are unconstitutional? I've not heard that before.
James Madison, The Federalist Papers, George Washington most notably; parties, or "factions" as they were known in the Founder's day, were full well known to be the fall of all civilisations. The Founders, being studied men, read and understood history, (as well as my favorite, Machiavelli).

Factions means division, a divided house ... There were no intentions or desires to ever have parties; because then the agenda of the government goes against the well-being of the people. You then set up exactly what we have today; the aristocracy of prostiticians moved only by the oligarchy of lobbyists ~ sound like representative democracy to you?
Interesting. Do you have any good links on this?
Thanks. I will bookmark this comment for now, and make my way through this info when I can. Appreciate it.
You're welcome.

If you happen to find any pluses I've missed, feel free to fire back; I'm always on the lookout for more information.
It's an insult to those with a mental illness not to those who have earned public scorn. We should try to call it what it is which is usually a combination of lying and lazy responding (thinking would be giving a bit too much credit).
I was just talking with my husband yesterday about the futility of having an actual argument with anyone who is responding emotionally to a non-emotional issue or who do not bother to let facts get in the way of their pat answers and screaming criticisms that are, at the minimum, inaccurate.
As always, over-simplifying only helps the one who should be receiving public mockery for what they are doing, not based on who they appear to be. Or, retaliating to lazy labels with lazy labels makes both into puerile fools.
"Americans have an interesting history of conflating our political disagreements with diagnosis of mental illness."

Not just Americans. It's certainly common here too.


Erving Gofman wrote a book called "Asylum",in which he posits that the mentally ill have replaced lepers as 'the outsiders'.

I agree with LesYpersound to point viz that we dehumanise and a marginalise the different. I don't see it as a moral issue. I think it's part of xenophobia,which is probably a hardwired survival trait.

When we dehumanise others [into monsters or saints]we are distancing ourselves .We're saying "I'm not like THAT!" In the case of a monster,we deny the unpleasant reality that we're ALL potentially just like that. When it's a saint,we tell ourselves that person is 'special'; ."I could NEVER be like that" ,saving ourselves from the effort and inconvenience involved in being selfless.


I also think that when we accuse others of being irrational or unreasonable we are implying that we are not. Every human being I've ever met seems to have at least one area in which they are irrational.(EG I sincerely believe child molestors should be killed)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman
...think it's part of xenophobia,which is probably a hardwired survival trait.

Yes, very much instilled in our sense of tribalism. Bloom discusses this in The Lucifer Principle.

When we dehumanise others [into monsters or saints]we are distancing ourselves

I remember when Dahmer was caught and on trial, and everyone called him a monster. And I thought, no way man, he's totally human, and that's what makes him so damn scary.

Goffman's book looks interesting. I added it to my list.

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