Can you liken “madness”, “mental illness”, “mental problems”, “depression”, “manic depression”, “clinical depression”, “schizophenia”, “delusional disorders”, “paranoia”, “obsessive neurosis”, “anxiety”, “phobias”, “psychosis” to a contagious disease? In my opinion the answer is a clattering “Yes”. In my opinion, the incidence of mental illness within the “communities” of people with black skin who live among host populations of the West, people with white skin, is now of epidemic proportions.
I want to tell you about a friend of mine. He does not know that I am telling you this. But he knows, because he knows that’s what I’m like and that’s what I do: I tell.
Telling tales out of an asylum for black men. If the psychiatrist-philosopher, Frantz Fanon, were alive today, walking through the mental wards in the Diasporean-inhabited countries of the West, seeing those wards lined up with black men, living dead black men, what would Fanon think? What would Fanon do? He would have a heart attack. I’m glad Fanon is dead. Glad that he is not alive today so that he cannot die from the shock and stupidity and waste of it all. Imagine the founder of black psychiatry living today to see what only the fools and the ignorant – in other words, the vast majority – deliberately choose not to see.
Can you liken “madness”, “mental illness”, “mental problems”, “depression”, “manic depression”, “clinical depression”, “schizoprehenia”, “delusional disorders”, “paranoia”, “obsessive neurosis”, “anxiety”, “phobias”, “psychosis”, to a contagious disease? In my opinion the answer is a clattering “Yes”. In my opinion, the incidence of mental illness within the “communities” of people with black skin who live among the host populations of the West, people with white skin, is now of epidemic proportions.
I have recently learned how to play card games. And I have taken to poker like a sitting duck with nothing to do but quack. I don’t know why poker, which I have never met before, except, of course, in films. I smoke at ease, I drink alcohol with religious fervour, and now I have found a new playmate with whom I am going to play poker using torn strips of paper to represent money. Come to think of it, a cheque is nothing but a strip of paper that you tear out of its book (of paper). I’ve learned from my friend with whom I play poker to call a spade a spade.
He blames “the System” for his schizophrenia. “The System” robbed him of his life and of his money, he insists.
That is so, I say to him, and that was then, I tell him. But now you, my friend, are too scared, too much of a coward, too mean, too reluctant, too lazy to get up and be what you could have been.
So, in the end – if it is the end, and it could be – you my friend, have allowed “the System” to carry out its job of destroying your life. You didn’t fight back then, back in the days when you were young, in your 20s and 30s – you only used violence to attack other men who looked like you. Why did you not fight “the System”? Why did you take the easiest way out by becoming violent? The violent black man. Such a cliché! Such a truth! Such an expectation! Always delivered. Easier to be violent or to become violent than to fight “the System” using its own tools: its own “rationalities”, its own internal “logic”, its own “common sense”, its own “theories”.
Black man’s violence: leads to him being locked up, injected with drugs, and then they have really got a hold on you. You have played your part in “the System’s” life games.
And you know how they love playing games with black people’s lives. We are played with as if we are a stack of cards: shuffled and dealt, dealing with us until we are dead. Until the game is over. Who has won then? Them or us?
Call a spade a spade. The spread of mental illness among black men in “the Diaspora” is an epidemic. Every mentally ill black man whom I’ve met in the small inner city “community”, the local borough ward in which I live, has told me of at least two or three friends who are in exactly the same situation as they are: suffering from, living with severe mental health problems.
They are the living dead. They are the ones whose DNA has been sucked out of them by medication and injections. But they are, at the same time, citizens of the state. And they sit as their state – the government employees who are supposed to help them get their backs, get their lives back together – buzz around them either incompetently or destructively.
Do not forget – but how can they remember with their trash can of memories and nightmares – that the state is supposed to provide them with services. That hospital care is a service. That doctors are there to serve them. That their national health service is there to provide them with services that they are entitled to. They call the day – usually once a fortnight – that they get their “benefits money” the day they “get paid”. But that money, that day, IS their money, because they cannot “work” as they have been rendered unable TO “work”. What’s more, if the state did not “give” them “benefits” money, where, exactly, would they get real money from?
Each of us knows how “mad” it sends us when we don’t know where our next payments, wages, salaries, earnings, are going to come from – are you a freelancer or are you on a contract that’s just coming to an end or is your job insecure, and do you have any “dependants”, or rental payments or a mortgage, or even just a mobile phone and utility bills? So you are just “mad” in the American sense of being wildly angry and upset. But what about those who are really mad? What about their real situation? What are their options? They could, would, be on the streets being violent to the general “public”, injuring persons known or unknown, and then ending up either in hospitals or prison psychiatric wards where their long term “hospitality”, “care”, “keep”, will cost the state far, far more. Billions in fact.
They do the state, in which they live as citizens, a service by taking the benefit money and staying off the streets that make them violent. But, of course, these men live in the West where the host populations perpetually want to have their cake and eat it. Therefore, these black men are routinely called and treated like “scroungers”, “thieves”, a “drain on the state”.
I said to one of them who was having tremendous difficulties getting benefit money that was owed to him, that perhaps if you went out and attacked somebody, perhaps then they would be able to deal with bog-standard paperwork in less than three months, while you exist on five UK pounds sterling a day.
Yes, that’s right, these stealing, scrounging, drain on the public purse black men have to exist on a pittance. What they live on – what they are “given” – per day works out to what a white man would spend on a few pints of beer on himself only. The “mad” black men’s daily state allowance – that infamous “state burden” – would not give a white man enough money to extend to buying a round for him and his mates.
Black men are traded in a market for black lives. A life market. A life market in which their futures are traded up and down like corn or pork bellies, except that corn and pork bellies are worth much, much more than their lives.
God created the “mad” black man in His image, just like He created the allegedly “sane”. If we are in God’s image, then so are the “mentally ill”. Perhaps God, too, is a manic depressive. Feeling up when He created the earth; feeling down when He created mankind.
Their futures stare at these men in horror and loathing. What can a man do when he thinks daily that God is going to force him to exist? Exist, not live, for another 20, 30, 40 years. Does he, will he, really have to do his penance of three score years and ten? What has he done to deserve that? There is no point asking their mothers. Their mothers are not interested. Their mothers lost interest in them after birth.
Look Fanon! Look there, and there, and over here. Look, there’s another one there, behind you, in front of you, by that wall, next to that mirror, in that seat! Who’s that going into the shop, buying a lager, having a sandwich? Look they’re in the take-away, I wonder what they’ll eat? Look Fanon, they’re a little group of mad people now! But wait, one of them is coming over here, quick, let’s leave, let’s go before they realise what we’ve been doing behind their back!
Black men, bodies filled with the drugs injected into their buttocks every month – injections to curb their enthusiasm for living life, slow poisons sucking out life forces – are a source of non-violent hah-hahing, always good for a laugh, a joke, and sniggers behind their backs.
I look at the sniggerers and I laugh at them inside: Watch out, I think, you will become like them, too. And the people laughing with you will be laughing at you.
How do you put back the laughed-at black men? How do you fix such men and put them back into being men, returning them to manhood? How do you wipe out the crazy logic installed over years, nay, decades, that “their money” is dependent on their being injected with monthly brain power suppressing drugs, chemicals, medications? Imagine that! Imagine black men believing that their fragile mental states are still not enough for them to get the help and the essential financial support that they need. But that what they must do is to allow themselves to be injected with anti-psychotic drugs every month, and to take anti-psychotic tablets every day, in order to get “their money”.
Body and mind. Separate and distinct but inseparable. Cure somebody’s mind of illness and the physical damage will be cured, too. But the mind and the soul: are they one and the same, or are they two different things? You can cure somebody’s mind, but can you cure the damage done to their soul?
Who will inject these black men with a wholly rational – but totally incomprehensible to those outside their own race and colour – belief system? A belief system based on pure logic, reason, common sense, and rational thought. Who will give them a new philosophy of their mind for their everyday lives? A philosophy that is system-built for their individual need. Fanon will not. He cannot. Thankfully, he is dead.