Racism is an incredibly sensitive subject to discuss or write about. Almost every human being on the planet has some kind of opinion on it. It is a rather sad state of affairs that our species which is blessed with higher cognitive abilities and a consciousness is still trapped in the shackles of hate and ignorance.
However, what exactly is racism? Why does one become a hater of someone based on the colour of their skin? Is it learned behaviour or a state of mind, or perhaps even a mental disorder like schizoid or bipolar personality?
When one considers the state of mind theory the one constant is the environment a person grows in. The reason Southern United States is considered a hotbed of racist activities and occurrences is because the segregation laws of the states were at full swing even in as recent as the 1970s. The environmental a child grows in has an immediate impact on him or her, especially at a younger stage when the brain is still forming and whatever falls on them makes an impact. If a person is raised in a home where they hear constant negative opinion of other people they are bound to have similar resolutions- this is bare bones psychology.
Of course in this day and age it is an even worse ordeal what with the internet constantly relaying news to you 24/7 and social media feeds full of the spiciest most controversial news items- most of which involve racism. All this has an impact, perhaps even on a subconscious level.
The mental disorder theory
The American Psychaitric Association has gone on lengths to state that being a racist is not a mental disorder. It has never officially diagnosed racism although many people would like to believe otherwise. It is a well documented fact that when the civil rights era was in full swing many African American psychiatrists wanted to have a closer look into the whole mental disorder theory. They may have published their findings and opinion but nothing of note really came off of it. But there does seem to be some connection judging by the spate of recent racist incidents.
Buford Furrow Jr., who attacked a Jewish lobby in 1999, and was a known Jew hater was also known to suffer from mental health issues and had even tried to commit suicide. Likewise Dylan Woolf, who opened fire in a black church just a few years ago, claiming nine innocent lives was on medication for psychiatric issues. Of course, these are just isolated incidents but we must remember that not all racists act on their instincts like Woolf or Furrow did. So, we never really know whether most of these covert racists also suffer from mental issues.
As stated at the start of this article, racism is a highly touchy subject and no conclusive outcome can be derived. People are different; they grow in different circumstances and are even somewhat different biologically. Therefore, to conclude an opinion based on a few stray cases is foolhardy. However, having said this effort needs to be made to find the root cause. Many Alt. Right groups are rising in power lately not just in America but around the world. Many of the members are well represented in psychiatric ward and hospitals and their files should be opened to understand if there is a genetic link to mental disorders running in their families. There is absolutely no harm in trying, and it will only help us understand the bigger picture. Why does someone start hating someone based on something as irrelevant as their skin colour?