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Thoughts on 'Psychosis and Institutional Racism' by Sewell (2018)

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Edited by Betshy P Sanchez Marrugo, Sunday, 23 May 2021, 13:00

This was an excellent talk!

Implicit information processing biases lead to the disproportionate interpretation of signs of trauma as conduct disorders. The most concerning aspect about this 'design' issue when it comes to inherent institutional injustices is that the criteria for automatic decision-making processes concerning categorisation or entry into settings is often determined by stereotyping. There seems to be little interest from the popular majority in understanding this basic statistical discrepancy of over-representation. The capitalist, race supremacist, and patriarchal systems do indeed reinforce inequalities in opportunity. I've been wondering for years whether these injustices happen as a result of unconscious processes. So far, I have reached the conclusion that whilst indeed many of these everyday injustices happen as a result of unconscious conditions; there is certain consciousness in institutional settings, where awareness does exist about these injustices, but little care is given about the determination of destinies or lives which are perceived as a non-human out-group. The worst part is having to face a reality where free speech about these issues is met with the imperialist attitude of: 'Don't like the abuse? How about you leave, then?' It reminds me of the victimisation of those previously diagnosed with dysaesthesia aethiopica. It just seems that sometimes dissent against oppression leads to the dominant group perceiving the expression of distress or nonconformity as an insult, and to call such an expression delusional or paranoid would be like saying that we imagined colonialism, that it never happened, and that the existence of prejudice is a hallucination. Interestingly, this often still happens to BAME people; and I can certainly say that the cultural psychopathy of the dominant group means that whilst they are aware of this, they simply do not care because of individualistic politics of superiority. These attitudinal obstacles- of course- are enough to cause anyone ill-health.


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