“Since 9/11 the danger is that racism is on the rise with Muslims rather than Afro Caribbeans as the main target. That is why the timing of this book is relevant in the context that the mental health legislation is being revised. Already psychological research is being used as a basis in the Prevent programme to decide whether teachers or NHS staff, their pupils and their patients, should be reported to the authorities if they show signs of radicalism.
The next slippery step would be to decide that these people are insane – and should be sectioned rather than prosecuted. This is not as fanciful as it sounds.”
Suman Fernando. Pic credit: http://www.sumanfernando.com
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Suman Fernando is a gentle soft spoken consultant psychiatrist, lecturer and honorary professor at the London Metropolitan University. The 85 year old is not the sort of person at first sight to produce such a searing critique of racism in the UK and the US and the baleful role psychiatrists have had in treating ethnic minorities in both countries.
His book released at the end of last year and launched by ROTA – Race on the Agenda – looks at both the history of racism which he dates from 1492 when the Spanish finally removed the Moors from Europe and the role of psychiatry in treating ” mentally ill” black and brown patients over a very long period.
The book is particularly relevant as Theresa May has quietly decided to review the UK’s mental health laws which cover some of…
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