Dr Frances Cress Welsing (1935-2016), a Black American psychiatrist, used her psychiatric training and experience to understand racism (White supremacy). She built on the ideas of Carl Jung and Neely Fuller. In 1970 she came out with “The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)”. That was later expanded into a book, “The Isis Papers” (1991). She passed away yesterday morning, January 2nd.
She grew up in Chicago. Her mother was a teacher, her father and grandfather were doctors. She went to Antioch College and Howard University College of Medicine. She worked most of her life as a psychiatrist in metropolitan Washington, DC, working especially with emotionally troubled schoolchildren.
Just as Frantz Fanon kept coming up against the effects of colonialism in his patients, so she kept coming up against White racism in hers:
“I knew I had to understand racism to help solve the mental health problems of black people.”
At a Black Power meeting she met Neely Fuller, Jr. He had no MD or PhD, he was a guard, but his ideas were profound. For example, he did not even see White people as a biological race, a fact of nature, but as an organization.
But he was mainly interested in the what and how. As a doctor, she needed to know the why, the cause, to be able to fight it.
One day washing dishes it came to her: deep down the thing that drives the behaviour of people who see themselves as White is the fear of genetic annihilation, whether through race war or race mixing.
Whites base their idea of who they are on something they lack. In this case it is melanin. It could just have easily been, say, foot size.
That means anyone who has that something they lack – melanin – is a threat. Those who have more of it are more of a threat. Public Enemy, with her ideas in mind, called it Fear of a Black Planet.
It is why Whites:
- Have such a strange hang-up about Black men’s penises. That is not normal.
- Have such an overblown fear of Black men and, to a lesser degree, of Jews and Muslims.
- Love guns – “the great equalizer”, they call it. Subconsciously what they mean, whether they know it or not, is that it is an equalizer against the Black penis. What do guns look like?
- Have to put so many roadblocks in the way of Blacks.
- Have to put down Blacks to feel good about themselves.
- Look down on darker-skinned people and yet lie in the sun to get darker!
Deep down Whites envy Blacks.
No appeal to morals or even reason is going to work, is going to affect their racism deep down, so long as they see themselves as White.
Greg Carr, head of Afro-American Studies at Howard:
“The fact that she was largely unknown and/or caricatured when discussed at all in white public discourse reflects the tremendous gap that continues between black and white public spheres.”
Rest in peace.
– Abagond, 2016.
- The Isis Papers
- Frantz Fanon
- Black Power
- Black Brute stereotype
- cultural appropriation
- Hitler: Race and People
- Black people according to Thomas Jefferson