Friday, August 9, 2019

Racism is not a mental illness

I found this as a draft, of which I'd originally written for a Facebook group. The topic still resonates on its own so I revised this a bit.

Can we discuss racist actions without using words like crazy, insane, or anything else related to mental illness? I've seen this a few times and wanted to write a stand alone post. The point of being more intentional with our interactions on this topic.

Two main points with this, the first being that calling racist behavior crazy can look like an excuse for it. Like someone doesn't know better. Which removes accountability in a way.

The second point is abelism. Using a disability/ disorder to describe something else in a negative way is abelism. With mental illness there is enough stigma around it already that we don't need to use related terms in a negative way. And some of us with mental illnesses are working hard to address racism. Calling someone else's racist actions insane lumps us in with them.

Some other words to use: unbelievable, unacceptable, inappropriate, ect, as a start.

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