Skip to comments.The Medicalization of Rebellion - The long, shameful history of using science to stigmatize dissent
Posted on 04/23/2012 7:02:18 PM PDT by neverdem
In 1861 Samuel A. Cartwright, an American physician, described a mental illness he called drapetomania. As Wikipedia points out, the term derived from drapetes, Greek for runaway [slave], and mania for madness or frenzy.
Thus Cartwright defined drapetomania as the disease causing negroes to run away [from captivity].
[I]ts diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers, Cartwright wrote in a much-distributed paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana. Yet this disorder was unknown to our medical authorities.
Cartwright thought slave owners caused the illness by making themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals. Drapetomania could also be induced if [the master] abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life.
He had ideas about proper prevention and treatment:
[I]f his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the sane [sic] time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away. . . .
If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy in all after-time. . . . They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children, with care, kindness, attention and humanity, to prevent and cure them from running away. [Emphasis added.]
The identification of...
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
For more information, see Joy D.Leary, author of Post traumatic slave syndrome: America's legacy of enduring injury and healing (Milwaukie, Ore.: Uptone, 2005) or Post traumatic slavery disorder : definition, diagnosis and treatment by Omar G.Reid, Sekou Mims and Larry Higgenbottom (Charlotte, NC: Conquering Books, 2005).
Republiphobic Drapetomania: the disease that causes slaves of the GOP to flee RINO candidates.
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