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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The politics of illness

   It was while on a short stop over in Lubbock Texas recently , that I was reminded once more of the dreaded impact of mental  illness, and the role that the criminal justice system system , medical profession, and regular actions of good old bureaucratic civil servants , with an eye on the  economy, came to fore. I was informed by my female Taxi driver , of a recently released  Afrikan American prisoner , who took matters into his own hands and murdered his aging mom , by virtue of him burning down the building in which they both lived at the time. As later confirmed by the daily local newspapers, this was a troubled individual , that authorities were warned about that he needed help , but cries of the families were ignored. 
        Outside of perhaps the dreaded disease AIDS, and maybe cancer , no other form of illness, has the profound stigmatizing impact than that of mental illness, be it in any advanced Industrial society , or lower echelon developing and emerging country.  The mentally ill, are often seen as lacking reason , and irrational in thinking , and so are not only in need of severe treatment, if they are not to be a threat to fellow members of society, but often due to this state , are no longer responsible for their actions, irrespective to how destructive this can be. Not surprising, is the fact that this has been used quite frequently by those who seeks to elude culpability for some major , ghastly crime , they might have inflicted on society. 
       Naturally Social Scientist , as opposed to members of the medical profession would somewhat  differ as to causes , and based on which of these power brokers holds the stronger sway on  mainstream society, the results   for punitive  actions by perpetrators of criminal activities, and or treatment for those considered ill, can  differ.  So whereas Psychiatrist, would look to physical causes , and support medicinal treatment , others such as Sociologist and similar social theorist, might focus more on the appreciation of social causes for the emerging mental illness amongst people.  In the case of the latter , socio economic causes leading to depressions, or neo feminist concerns of patriarchal oppression , and even gender related corporate , and domestic bullying might be thrown out as likely causes. Again , the degree to which one or the other would hold sway, would differ from society to society, where culture, class structure ,or even ethnic power , and race , would  help shape norms of acceptable behaviors and  so laws. 
     When it comes to the criminal Justice system , that we see the ugly face of injustices, especially as it is linked to mental Health.It is therefore my contention today, that there are numerous people that are sitting for too long in Prisons across the globe , that should be better served in a mental institution, while in many cases the opposite is also true. There are many who through , guile , privilege, maybe pity ,and other means, that should be rotting in jails, that are instead walking freely across societies, since they were able to beat the system.  
    A few unworthy news stories caught my eyes recently , and I was immediately propelled back into a reflective mood on similar events  ,and so I thought I’ll share them with you , and solicit an opinion, that would  give some insights as to the follies of the main stream , intellectually compromised , corporate media , especially as it relates to neo racial affiars,and the plight of the sane , or maybe mental ill, in sometimes not so extremely  tolerant   America. 
   It was the news that a judge  was set to rule on Jared Loughner's mental fitness for trial.’ You remember him , as the Arizonian gun loving bloke, who shot a Jewish Congresswoman in the head , at close range, after murdering and maiming a few others ,including a judge. Unfortunately , up to the time of this writing, this brave  woman , is still attempting to form words, even as the media , selective corporate mongrels ,and self serving politicians  has trotted her out , repeatedly ,for their own narrow  reasons , maybe to prove that she can audition for bionic woman , or that NRA gun loving , border state Arizonians, has poor marksmen as gun owners.,0,6263972.story 
    Ain't it interesting how mental disorder is trotted out as a defense ,as opposed to the typical cries of lack   of personal responsibility, or inability to display remorse , once a particular segment of our population is caught engaging in some socially despicable, criminal  behaviors , when compared to others in the land of the free? 
     As  indicated , this matter made me resort to flashback mood , and so here is the list , starting  firstly with Jeffery Dahmer,who only selectively murdered a whole platoon of minority kids , and eluded police with skills and guild for decades . 
Ted Kaczynski , aka the Unabomber, is the second on my list. He was an  illustrious Mathematic Professor , who maimed, and destroyed lives with impunity , until his morally complicit  brother, suddenly developed a conscience, and decided to rat him out.  
 How about Texan  Andrea Yates,who only drowned her five kids, then tried to pull a fast one, along with  waco , clueless, neo feminist apologist  by claiming abuses , by her pregnancy inducing , sex  hungry husband ,who maybe raped her into post natal trauma?,8599,218445,00.html
     Remember  that adoring Black male accuser Susan Smith,who started the trend of drowning   her kids ,so that she could finally live a life of freedom with her boyfriend, but had no compunction in pointing in the direction of some innocent, maybe  illiterate Afrikan in the Christian, god fearing  South ,all the way across America’s  hanging capital , aka  Born Again  puppet ,G. W. Bush Texas.   
    Just to make the discussion fair , we will finally throw in New York for great measure , but only because it is  the State some secretly call the Capital of America. They often  tend to get worked up, when left off any important list for discussion. 
      Speaking of list , New York  just made the list of the top 10 most dangerous states in America today, that any crazy person would dare live. Guess  however,what they pinpoint as the  mammoth problems  as far as Zoo York- I take that back New York? If you said  Arab fundamentalist , Islamic terrorism , and snow storms , then you are a very smart one indeed, and should help me pick the next winning New York Powerball Lottery numbers. New  York is dangerous yes , being right up there with any large , metropolis , immigrant melting pot , and haven for over ambitious folks ,seeking fame and fortune , in these United States. 
    Take  Long Island New York ,  which  according to some studies , might perhaps  be one of the richest suburban regions in all of America, but laden with problems , such as  serial killers name  Joel Rifkin. His claim to fame was that he murdered 17 prostitutes  all over the Tri State region , then  decapitated their heads, cut them into small pieces, and drove them around in his car , for his own sadistic reasons.  Like many, who would never experience racial profiling via ' Driving while Black,' in these United States, he therefore  eluded police  authorities, for quite some time, until he got bored , with being a white privileged  American, who can occasionally give the middle finger to a State trooper , while driving 90 miles over the speed limit , anywhere within the 50 States  in desired,with little if any social consequences for his efforts.
   Not surprising , we were bombarded with stories in the news on how he was adopted , and how psychologically traumatized he possibly was as a  result.  Such folly!    

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.