So what does this mean? We ‘non-whites’, with any history of mental health issues, find ourselves in the catch-22 of navigating racial injustices on a daily basis, in symbiosis with the psychological trauma and harm it necessarily inflicts. Then we are treated as cartoons and parodies, having our experience reduced and simplified to our ‘culture’ and race alone by the field of psychology. In other words, we are trapped within the colour of our skin, as well as within the confines of our mind. Now contrast this with a white person, whose humanity is first acknowledged as a person, not a culture, then responded to; whose every experience of offence is documented and voiced. I don’t have the answers on what to do about this. I am often frustrated and suffocated by my experience of depression, anxiety and racism. Let’s perhaps start by screaming what this hypocritical treatment of a racist serial killer is; unapologetic white privilege.
by Maira Butt
The killer in the recent Charleston shootings is already having his horrific racist actions deconstructed under the guise of mental health problems. Already, his case is being treated as nuanced and complex, his history, upbringing, personality and background are being dealt with gently, with a judge even sympathising with his family for what he has done. And as always, we think, why does this same level of sympathy and empathy not translate to any for brown and black people? For any non-white, person of colour?
At the same time we are flaccidly unsurprised. Yet the gall with which the double-standards are being applied is becoming increasingly explicit, if it wasn’t so already. Dylan Roof decked out in a bulletproof vest was…
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