Pscyhonegrosis: The Mental Psychosis that Blocks Black Progression
When I first heard the term psychonegrosis, I thought it was simply a creative play on words to explain a general idea; however, after conducting a substantial amount of research, I realized that the term was actually older than I had initially postulated, and I also discovered that a considerable amount of effort and research had gone into the coining of the word. Pscyhonegrosis turns out to be a word that lucidly defines a psychological condition that is prevalent among Blacks in America.
You will not find this psychosis in the DSM or discussed within the confines Eurocentric Psychological theory. It was coined in the mid-1960s by Robert H. deCoy to explain a behavioral phenomenon within the Black collective. Later pioneers in the field like Dr. Na’im Akbar would completely master and then dismantle the eurocentric construct of psychology to erect a system that better considers and understands the uniqueness of the Black experience.
We have to stop measuring ourselves in juxtaposition to the Eurocentric idea of what “is.”
When examining this term from a psychological perspective, it expresses all of the elements of a genuine mental disorder. As I have engaged the complex dynamic that encompasses the Black existence in America, I have often said that the most dangerous person to Black progress is a Black person with a White agenda. The mindset that is associated with psychonegrosis encompasses the central idea of the Black person who has no true sense of self — lacking identity — and adhering to the sentiments of others outside of his or her specific race group — ultimately leading to the development of a white agenda.
As we move forward, we are going to take an in-depth look at psychonegrosis and how it manifests itself in the black collective in so many ways. The first thing that we will do is examine the detailed definition of psychonegrosis as rendered by the Urban Dictionary!
“PSY-CHO-NEG-RO-SIS (c 1960s): A mental disorder affecting the spirit, personality, motives and actions of Negroes who have failed to rid themselves of the psychological ills they’ve accrued from their collective experience with Foreigners. Marked by a distorted idea of Self and Others, Psychonegrosis results in unnatural patterns of perception, logic, thought, speech, behavior and emotional expression, and is accompanied by various other unnatural dispositive manifestations (such as, but not limited to, self-group deprecation, the championing of non-Black ideas, conversion to non-Black religions, Xenophilia….esp. Anglo-centric Xenophilia, cognitive dissonance, sexual deviation, escapism, dual or double-consciousness, conflicting loyalties, and unscrupulous Liberalism) –differing in degrees of severity from one individual to another.”
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Pscyhonegrosis: The Mental Psychosis that Blocks Black Progression
When making a superficial analysis of this definition, there is a general thrust that gives us an idea of how psychonegrosis negatively impacts the behavior of those who suffer from it. While psychonegrosis is not an official mental disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, we should not dismiss it as a reality, and here is why. First of all, the DSM is a publication that encompasses a Eurocentric paradigm when it comes to engaging the science of psychology. Psychologists who have a Eurocentric focus are not interested in engaging the enigmatic issues that blacks face as a collective. In fact, the Eurocentric version of psychology does not consider the unique mental characteristics of the African American, and therefore, it is incapable of wholly facilitating the study and evaluation of the black psychological experience.
Secondly, just because this particular form of psychosis does not exist in this one publication does not minimize or invalidate its existence. When you can observe the primary components of behavior and thought associated with psychonegrosis as it is lucidly defined here, and it is present in a significant number of Black people, then it exists, and how it is identified simply becomes a point of semantics. Actually, it does not matter what you call it, it is a real issue that has had, and is having, a massive impact on blacks developing the capacity to make any type of real progression.
Now, let’s examine the impact of psychonegrosis on the current plight of blacks in America, and to a certain degree, blacks abroad. Psychonegrosis should be viewed as any other form of psychosis, in that without some form of intervention therapy, it can be virtually impossible for the person suffering from this mental disorder to effectively take control of their own life. This truth centers on the power of human cognition to direct the responses and reactions to a person’s perceived reality. While many people view the behavior of blacks who suffer from psychonegrosis as a “choice,” I would suggest that it is much more of a complex dynamic than simply choosing to be pro-black or pro-Eurocentric in their thought processes.
While there is a focused effort to get Blacks to forget slavery, being that we are theoretically 150 years removed from it, the truth is that the psychological elements that underwrote the subjugation associated with American chattel slavery has powerfully impacted the thought processes of how blacks view themselves, not only singularly, but also as perceived when they placed their self-perception juxtaposed to their perception of whites.
Not only did this erroneous perception create an inferiority complex — which is yet to be addressed in a comprehensive manner — but it also created a strong desire for recently freed slaves, and their descendants, to assimilate into the very system that enslaved them and oppressed them in the first place.
While the work of Frantz Fanon has gone widely unrecognized in the mainstream world of sociology and psychology, his work, “Black Skin, White Mask,” is one of the most powerful revelations of the impact of colonialism on the psyche of Blacks throughout the world. It was Fanon that gave the term “cognitive dissonance” such gravity in understanding the mental processes that cause blacks to resist certain truths that are diametrically opposed to the conditioned mindset that guides their thought processes and behavior, even when the truth illuminates something positive about themselves.
It is the core belief that black people have passed down for generations that underwrites the perception that the White man’s ice is colder, or that Whites are intellectually superior, or any other idea that supports the fallible theory that Whites are somehow superior to blacks.
The psychological system used to subjugate Blacks during chattel slavery in America first worked to create a natural divisive process that ensured that Blacks did not develop a collective relationship in which they identified with one another. This divisiveness ensured that a holistic revolution was highly unlikely because self-preservation would always be at the core of the thought processes of the black slave, ensuring that the majority of the slaves would choose life over freedom. It is this same mindset that is present today, and it is the source of indifference that is so prevalent when Black blood is being shed and injustice levied against Blacks is at an all-time high. The Black psyche has been conditioned to see the dilemmas of blacks at a distance that is incapable of stimulating action or fostering connectivity.
The person that is suffering from psychonegrosis is so dangerous because they have no desire to be awakened. They see the system as their savior. They have experienced or created a certain pseudo-reality that convinces them of their comfort, which is actually non-existent. They see blacks who refuse to assimilate or bow down as the enemy of their peace or perceived progress.
While the person suffering from psychonegrosis displays behavior that is often contradictory and unreasonable, and they live a life that is highly dependent upon an external culture that is innately hostile toward them, their cognitive distortions, which are guarded by cognitive dissonance, convince them that they are right in their behavior and they will defend that behavior at all cost. Because they see Blacks who look to free themselves from the oppression of the system as enemies, and they have no true sense of affinity with other blacks on any relevant level, they have no problem taking action to thwart any efforts to achieve Black autonomy. In their mind, Black autonomy is dangerous because it dismisses the postulation that we need white people in order to thrive. Autonomy for the person struggling with psychonegrosis is a dangerous concept that would cause them to have to completely readjust their thinking and abandon their goal of social assimilation into the White culture.
At the very depths of this dilemma, the person suffering from psychonegrosis harbors a self-hatred that is anchored in the frustration that is associated with the fact that they will never obtain the status of being White, and so, they are left with the only other option — to be accepted and validated by Whites.
While it could be easy to dismiss this behavior as being a part of a mental disorder, I would suggest that you conduct your own research and evaluate the perpetual behavior of the vast majority of Blacks. While we are most definitely 150 years removed from slavery, we are only 50 years removed from traditional Jim Crow, and based on Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, currently in the middle of a contemporary version of Jim Crow.
Not only has the trauma associated with the Black experience continued in America, but Blacks never properly engaged the traumatic scars associated with slavery and Jim Crow. Ask yourself this question: If a U.S. Marine or U.S. soldier is required to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder after only six to nine months in hostile, war conditions, how much treatment would a group of people who have experienced centuries of trauma and hostility need to effectively engage the real issues created by that trauma? Inferiority complexes and self-hatred birthed during these eras don’t simply disappear because you call a young Black male a prince or a young Black female a princess, especially when they are constantly surrounded by images of inferiority.
Like any mental disorder, we must engage it with a comprehensive and strategic treatment program that addresses all of the complex dynamics involved. There is no quick fix for this dilemma, it will take the reconditioning of the Black psyche in a manner that creates a paradigmatic shift that allows Blacks to see the greatness within themselves at a level that creates self-love. We have a long road ahead of us, but we are more than capable of overcoming our current struggle. We have already endured the most pernicious attacks launched by the enemy and we are still standing.
We must create an environment in which it is acceptable for Blacks to celebrate our unique genius, our inner beauty, as well as our remarkable pulchritude. We must give our youth permission to write their own story, their own way. We must develop education systems, programs, and mechanisms that have the capacity to control the type of information that is inculcated into the minds of Blacks in this country, especially our youth.
We must also develop the capacity to identify and recognize those pernicious machinations that are inherently dangerous to the cause of empowerment and elevation — developing and implementing strategies.
While psychonegrosis is extremely dangerous, it is not incurable. Anything that can be done, can be undone. There is a need for healing, and it all starts here. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
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