Net site draws 'sick' messages

Marta Russell ap888 at lafn.org
Wed Sep 19 16:16:35 MDT 2001



Mark Lause wrote:
>
> Marta,
>
> We'll have to agree to disagree on this.  I find it strange that you reject the
> bourgeois media's characterization on the grounds of bourgeois psychology.

I can agree to disagree.
Mine, however, is a critique of that psychology, one which defines the
normal on an average and then calculates who doesn't fit based on some
pseudo science of what is 'normal or abnormal'.  Such societial
division can be traced back to eugenic thinking which groups disabled
persons with the 'unfit' and those who carry out unwanted acts.  One
example -- Karl Pearson a leader in the eugenicist movement defined
"unfit" as "the habitual criminal, the professional tramp, the
tuberculocous, the insane, the mentally defective, the alcoholic, the
diseased from birth or from excess" (cited in kelves, 1985, p. 33)

There is a harmful association between disability and criminal
activity, mental incompetence etc.  The conflation of disability with
depravity expressed itself in the formulation of a "defective class."
(see L. Davis, Constructing Normalcy)

Charles Davenport, an American eugenicist, thought the influx of
European immigrants would make the American population "darker in
pigmentation, smaller in stature...more given to crimes of larceny,
assault, murder, reape, and sex-immorality." (cited in Kelves, p. 48)

The culture continues to produce these ideas --

 You say the
> label is just convenient and lazy.  Maybe so for those who apply the label because these
> people don't like the US.  And I fully concede that while some societies
> institutionalize people who hear from God regularly, others build policies around the
> voices.
>
> Personally, though, I'm just a poor ol' country boy who thinks the characterization is
> NOT out of line for a group of people who embrace suicidal action in order to get the
> honor of killing thousands of innocent people.

Couldn't Tim McVeigh's act also be thought suicidal?  When he killed
those persons in Oklahoma just as ruthlessly, he knew the death
penalty awaited him.

best,
Marta
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