The Inner Hurt


Russell Lee photo. Kilgore, TX oil worker. 1939. FSA/LOC.

Can one be inoculated against hate and stupidity? Franz Fanon was one of the few mental health experts who wrote about the psychological effects of dying ideologies locked in struggle against oppressed peoples, reporting depression, miasma, listlessness, rage, helplessness, and physical pain often accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, elevated heart rates, and impulses of anger and rage–a politically induced version of PTSD that is widely felt and ignored.

Media folk seem inured to its effects. The occasional rant or statement gets through, for which they are quickly, roundly criticized for not being “objective.” Its painful presence in social media is visible on both sides! The worst of those in the mainstream include former SC Chair of the Republican Party Todd Kincannon and current Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who is spending money on an engineering study of Flint’s lead pipes when everybody knows what the problem is–on which the study will have no impact except to delay the day the state provides clean, safe water to Flint and its children.

During this campaign season, the remarks of Trump, Bush, and Rubio have literally send me into quivering rage; watching Nancy Grace (or Dr. Drew) doesn’t help. The after-effects are hard to purge. The attacks of Republicans, their use of make-believe constructs, their elaborate scenarios of blame, their penny conspiracies break faith with the healthy constructs of a society with compassion and promise.

Republicans See How Long They Can Hold Their Breath – The New York Times


(Selected Replies, for all, click the link above. /wr)

~~Walter, Thank you, I wish I could write like you!!

You can! (Thank you!) Just look into your heart and say what you think! We will read your heart-felt thoughts and find common ground.

~~Loved your comment about “dying ideologies locked in struggle against oppressed peoples”–it explains a lot about the mindset of conservative, racist and misogynistic Republicans.

~~Seeing what republicans, under the guidance of the koch bothers and alec, have done to the poor people of Flint may finally light the fire that gets the folks on the lower economic rungs of society out to vote.
If tens of millions of US get out the vote, Bernie’s revolution, we can run the congress around and save America from its dark side.

~~Mr. Rhett, Is there one book of Fanon’s that speaks most directly “about the psychological effects of dying ideologies”? I have wondered, on more than one occasion, if Republicans are reacting just the way you described to the changes in the human landscape of the USA.

NM Prof: “Black Skins, White Masks” speaks to the personality divide that occurs as the metropolitan country exerts pressure to change while controlling opportunity (cultural expression/economy/education/social & political structures).
“A Dying Colonialism” is Fanon’s most reflective work. The best presentation of his observation and insights are found in “The Wretched of the Earth” (in the original French, “The Damned of the World”). It examines several case studies in depth of the deleterious effect of oppression (as opposed to conflict) on identify, family dynamics, and society at large.

Many papers available on all his works; he was a brilliant psychiatrist who worked with displaced Algerians after the world and expanded his ideas. I draw from Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Rev. Gardner Taylor, James Baldwin, June Jordan (her essay on Philis Wheatley, “The Difficult Miracle of Black Poetry in America,” Susie King Taylor’s book (the only by a black woman) on her service is SC with the Union during the Civil War).

~~When I see how far left Justice William O. Douglas was, in all things, all the time, no matter the issue, it is clear that the failure to consider all sides of an argument is not a left or right thing. Just as the left went too far in the 60’s, so now does the right. One side is not necessarily objectively better than another. As you are so angry about Palin, so are right wingers about, say, Ginsburg or Pelosi.

Step back and keep an open mind.

~~The blame game in Flint is all on Democrats. They have controlled Southern Michigan for the last hundred years. I can say for certain the people in northern Michigan could care less about the blacks in the southern part of the state. They mostly hate them because they waste most of the tax payers money of those who work for a living. Instead of blacks that steal for a living.

UUUGGGHHHMMM! The REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR TOOK OVER FLINT! He put an emergency manager in charge of the city. Under the Democrats, the water was fine. Drinkable, safe, affordable.

When the Republican governor, based on a bill he pushed through the legislature twice, removed the entire group of elected officials (mayor and council), giving them no voice or say or approval in municipal decisions, his emergency manager approved the water switch, although the previous supplier offered to lower the rates by 50%. Then the governor’s manager and the state department did not add the necessary non-corrective additive to the water. Try as you might–by the governor’s own admission–there’s not a Democrat to be found at fault!

But dude: you are part of the problem! Instead of reading, being informed, thinking independently and having a moral sense, your views are informed by a compass of blame that automatically spins left–despite the facts. We really don’t have tell to babysit the ignorant; everybody should be responsible for knowing the facts (not assuming them!). Then we can debate how to move ahead with the fix!

By the way, the biased folk in Northern Michigan benefited for years on all that tax money GM put into the coffers from its assembly plants at Flint. They didn’t complain then.


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