I am an African American who converted to Judaism and became a citizen of Israel. I served in both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and United States Army. I am deeply interested in the psychosocial health of African American communities, and I hope to promote empowerment and healing in black communities worldwide. The primary goal of this essay is to empower people of color.
Recently, I created the term ‘SchizoRacism’ to describe a new mental disorder characterizing the African American community’s reactions to pathological racism, brutality, oppression, and discrimination. I hope ‘SchizoRacism’ will be added to the next Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-6).
Mental health treatments for African American communities have been negatively influenced by scientific racism. This form of racism refers to the use of ostensibly scientific or pseudo-scientific methodology to validate racist attitudes and racist systems. Scientific racism posits the existence of a racial hierarchy and justifies systems of racial supremacy.
I was inspired to create the ‘SchizoRacism’ disorder as a new mechanism to empower and support African American communities after watching the violent death of George Floyd.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after being brutally restrained by a police officer for over eight minutes. Floyd’s death was captured on video and widely shared on social media, sparking outrage and protests across the United States and around the world. George Floyd’s tragic death highlighted the issue of police brutality and systemic racism within law enforcement agencies.
When I watched Floyd’s death, I experienced a ‘dark night of the soul’ wherein my psyche was flooded by pain, anguish, and despair coupled with an overwhelming inrush of dark racist energy from my unconscious mind.
This rush of negative psychological forces are a manifestation of the ‘SchizoRacism’ disorder which affects millions of people of color who are victimized by white racist hegemony. The death of George Floyd was like a psychological nuclear bomb dropping on the collective unconscious of people of color, reverberating around the world in aftershocks of reactive pain and suffering.
The worldwide protests that followed George Floyd’s death were a call to action for change and progress. People from all walks of life took to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and systemic racism. These protests were peaceful at times, but there were also instances of violence and looting. These powerful protests were desperate attempts to heal the ‘SchizoRacism’ affecting some people of color who are being crushed by racism and oppression.
Mental health is an essential aspect of African Americans’ overall well-being. It involves emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and plays a crucial role in how black Americans think, feel, and behave.
Unfortunately, mental health issues are not given the necessary attention and care they deserve in African American communities. African Americans have been historically subjected to racism, discrimination, oppression, and social injustices, which have resulted in a negative impact on our mental health.
To empower black Americans, I have analyzed some of the challenges faced by African Americans in regard to our mental health, and I propose ‘SchizoRacism” as a new disorder that may affect some African Americans and other people of color.
We must employ imaginative and innovative approaches to improve the mental health of the 42 million African Americans who represent 13.2 percent of America’s population.
In order to heal black communities we must first heal the inner world of each black person. To heal the mind is to save a life. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
This essay is part of a mental health series titled “Deeper than Sigmund Freud” that I am publishing in “The Blogs” of “The Times of Israel”.