Obsessive-Compulsive Racism and the Black Guilt Complex

My relationship with Joe evokes the Jane Austen line, “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”  Joe is an 82-year-old black man, a very successful retired computer engineer.  He owns homes in the most affluent areas of this city, and until recently he tooled around the southeastern U.S. in his Cessna.  Joe is a forceful man who has assumed the role of a leader among our common acquaintance.

Joe is obsessed with white racism, and because he is black, people acquiesce to him in ways they would not for a white man.  Regardless of the setting, Joe will change the topic to excoriate white people for their racism.  I believe that Joe’s obsessional racism and compulsion to express it are fueled by guilt over the fact that he began avoiding people of his own race about 50 years ago.

Joe was born in Brooklyn in 1931.  Despite being raised in a middle-class family (his father was a dentist), when Joe talks to young people, he does not ask them about their goals; he oppresses them with tales of the horrors of racism suffered by his father and grandfather.

Joe’s first wife was black.  He divorced her in the 1960s and married a wealthy white woman.  Eventually she passed away, and he married another white woman.

Joe has a consulting business.  I know of no black employees in his firm.

Though I have repeatedly asked Joe to take me off his e-mail list, he will not do so.  A while ago, Joe sent out a group e-mail worshipful of President Obama, celebrating how great it was that “America is becoming like the rest of the world, not a white country anymore.”  I e-mailed back a few observations.  First, that the idea that a country is improved solely based on a change in the skin color of its majority is called racism.  I pointed out that even as he disparaged white people, two white patrolmen were sitting in a car at the end of his lush, mansion-lined street, risking their lives to protect him.  (Joe has a great relationship with the cops.)  And finally, I agreed that America is swiftly becoming like the rest of the world.  The president he adores is destroying the greatest constitutional republic in history, but whether that is great remains to be seen.

Joe was recently invited to address a group of about a hundred people, almost all white, on a topic unrelated to politics or racism.  As he rose to speak, a soft groan wafted up from the assembled.  He opened his remarks with, “We can all agree that things are bad for black people here in South Carolina.”  He then lambasted the assemblage: there were so few black people in the room because of our racism.  This group is primarily progressives who suck up to black people, but nothing assuages a guilty conscience.

The presumption of the pronoun “we” compelled me to stand up and challenge his obsessional projected blame.  As I spoke, Joe started to splutter and shake.  After the meeting, he barked at me for being rude.  Later, a lady from Mexico, a naturalized American citizen, threw her arms around me and said, “Thank you.  I am so tired of Joe’s crap.”

Guilt has been called the unnatural emotion.  Sadness, fear, frustration, and anger are hardwired from birth.  Guilt, conscious or unconscious, arises from a comparison between that which is and that which the conditioned mind says should be.  Just as the concept of character was replaced by the morally neutral concept of personality in mid-twentieth-century psychology, the concept of guilt was largely replaced by research in the morally neutral field of anxiety.

Guilt is associated with religion and morality.  Psychology functions as a religion replacement and is a source of anti-moral humanist doctrine.  Clinical psychological research is often implicitly antagonistic to morality and religion.  However, a recent article entitled “Pathological guilt: a persistent yet overlooked treatment factor in obsessive compulsive disorder” [1] sheds lights on the understructure of guilt of the left wing’s obsession with race and racism.

While PG (pathological guilt) is frequently conceptualized as a major component of scrupulosity (obsessions that involve religious and/or moral content), its impact extends beyond this context. From a clinical perspective guilt may mediate most other obsessions, including aggressive, contamination, sexual, religious, symmetry/exactness, and other obsessions. It may also mediate nearly all compulsive subtypes. (snip) Interestingly, Alexander, et al. [2] found guilt, but not shame, to be associated with levels of depression.

The author refines the relationship between guilt and OCD: “[The patients] fear that the obsessive thoughts indicate an unintended wish for them to happen.”  This finding may help explain the psychology behind black racism hoaxes.  These dynamics of guilt also explain why successful black people irrationally need to view themselves as victims of racism, though their race has actually been an advantage.

In conclusion, Ms. Shapiro suggests, “[d]evelopment of routine standardized measures and treatment protocols targeting the role of guilt in OCD … may lead to improved treatment outcomes and fewer relapses for this debilitating and frequently chronic illness.”

There are at least two other subtexts of the black guilt complex besides the ten-foot pole phenomenon evidenced by Joe.  There is guilt over black criminality and the collapse of the black family and the fact that some of the more prominent aspects of black popular culture are obscene, vulgar, and tedious.  And there is guilt over the African-American studies race grievance industry, which has abducted the minds of many gifted black people who would otherwise have done something useful with their lives.  Their minds were a terrible thing to waste.

The Melissa Harris-Perry MSNBC “news” show of 12/28/13 (aka “Mean Girls Table in the Middle School Cafeteria”) exemplifies these narrative of guilt.  Pia Glenn was the panelist-songstress snidely serenading the Romney family.  She founded her sleaze-ography by portraying Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a pole-dancer.  Glenn is notable as the first dancer to win a prestigious Fred and Adele Astaire Award for a performance largely composed of stripper moves.  Her most widely recognized achievement is fornicating with Salman Rushdie, then trashing him in intimate, sweaty terms when their “love” did not last.

Religious morality is anathema to progressives, which is why abortion is more important than education to them.  Their power depends on maintaining immorality, crime, and chaos among black people.  With parrots like Harris-Perry on their perches, progressives are succeeding.  Never having raised any “reproductions” (the progressive term for babies) of her own, she shills nonsense about “collective parenting” and performs a tampons-for-abortions stunt.

Perhaps the greatest cost of OCD is not that it compels unnecessary behaviors, but that it prevents people from seeing the world as it is.  The Shapiro article states that OCD treatment needs to include guilt management protocols with “reparation, restitution or confession, and forgiveness.”  That can begin only with honesty about the anachronistic obsession with white racism, and when black people face the truth about the harm they are doing to themselves.

Deborah C. Tyler tweets at @DeborahCTyler.

[1]  Leslie J. Shapiro, LICSW OCD Institute, McLean Hospital, Annals of Clinical Psychiatry; 2011; 23(1)63-70

[2] Alexander B, et al., “An investigation of shame and guilt in a depressed sample.” Br. J Med Psychol. 1999; 72: 323-338.