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View Diary: Should Racism be Listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders? (47 comments)

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  •  more, ancient, from NYTimes letters... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, livebyChocolate

    ...I'm not familiar with the professional use of the term "bad people" either...

    Racism Is Not A Treatable Illness
    Published: August 30, 1999

    To the Editor:

    Re ''They Hate. They Kill. Are They Insane?'' (Op-Ed, Aug. 26): Alvin F. Poussaint confounds evil with mental illness.

    False, hate-filled beliefs are not psychotic delusions, and the willingness to act on them is anything but ''readily classifiable as a mental disorder.'' Moreover, there is no evidence that violent racists are interested in psychiatric treatment or would respond to it. Calling bad people mad only provides an excuse for their criminal activities and stigmatizes those with genuine mental illness, who deserve our compassion and care.

    DAVID SPIEGEL, M.D.

    Stanford, Calif., Aug. 26, 1999

    The writer is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University.

    Cheers.

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