Commentary by Eddie Griffin
[Pseudo-science created scientific racism]
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
There have always been mad scientists in the world. Think tanks are full of them. They are called mad scientists because they try to reshape the world to the liking of the elite establishment. Whenever kings and lords of Europe were overthrown, the people also beheaded the “great thinkers” of that day whose ideals and philosophies had justified and rationalized the oppression of the masses by the monarchial government.
Mad scientists came up with some of the most ingenious pseudo-sciences of their day, such as the Science of Eugenics, which prognosticated a person’s social status and human potential by the shape of their heads, the width of the nose, and the thickness of their lips.
Eugenics is a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of intervention. The goals of various groups advocating eugenics have included the creation of healthier, more intelligent people, to save society's resources, and lessen human suffering, as well as racially based goals or desires to breed for other specific qualities, such as fighting abilities.
Earlier proposed means of achieving these goals focused on selective breeding, while modern ones focus on prenatal testing and screening, genetic counseling, birth control, in vitro fertilization, and genetic engineering. Opponents argue that eugenics is immoral and is based on, or is itself, pseudoscience. Historically, eugenics has been used as a justification for coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, such as forced sterilization of persons who appear to have - or are claimed to have - genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, in some cases, outright genocide of races perceived as inferior or undesirable.
Eugenics was an academic discipline at many colleges and universities. Funding was provided by prestigious sources such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institute of Washington, and the Harriman family.
Because of its normative goals and historical association with scientific racism, as well as the development of the science of genetics, the western scientific community has mostly disassociated itself from the term "eugenics", although one can find advocates of what is now known as liberal eugenics.
Scientific racism refers to scientific theories of the 19th century, which drew on physical anthropology, anthropometry, craniometry, phrenology, physiognomy and other now-discredited disciplines, in order to provide a typology of different human races, based on a biological conception of the race. Such theories, which have been now discredited as pseudo-sciences or proto-sciences, have provided ideological justifications to racism, slavery and colonialism during the New Imperialism period in the second half of the 19th century. Unsurprisingly, their popularity coincide with this period of European expansion in the world. These scholarly theories sometimes worked in conjunction with racism, for example in the case of the "human zoos", during which various human beings were presented in cages during colonial exhibitions. They were strongly denounced after World War II and the Holocaust, in particular by the UNESCO 1950 statement, signed by internationally renowned scholars, and titled The Race Question.
Eugenics was invented by Francis Galton and popularized at the turn of the 20th century, such theories, which often postulated a "master race", usually "Nordic" and "Aryan".
QUESTION: Is ADHD a return to pseudo-science since it largely affects on black children?
The National Institute of Mental Health symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. In 1902 that Sir George F. Still published a series of lectures to the Royal College of Physicians in England in which he described a group of impulsive children with significant behavioral problems, caused by a genetic dysfunction and not by poor child rearing—children who today would be easily recognized as having ADHD.
The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms appear early in a child's life… Different symptoms may appear in different settings, depending on the demands the situation may pose for the child's self-control. A child who "can't sit still" or is otherwise disruptive will be noticeable in school, but the inattentive daydreamer may be overlooked. The impulsive child who acts before thinking may be considered just a "discipline problem," while the child who is passive or sluggish may be viewed as merely unmotivated. Yet both may have different types of ADHD. All children are sometimes restless, sometimes act without thinking, sometimes daydream the time away. When the child's hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect performance in school, social relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected.
Hyperactive children always seem to be "on the go" or constantly in motion. They dash around touching or playing with whatever is in sight, or talk incessantly. Sitting still at dinner or during a school lesson or story can be a difficult task. They squirm and fidget in their seats or roam around the room…
Impulsive children seem unable to curb their immediate reactions or think before they act. They will often blurt out inappropriate comments, display their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for the later consequences of their conduct.
Some signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity are:
Feeling restless, often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated.
Running, climbing, or leaving a seat in situations where sitting or quiet behavior is expected.
Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question.
Having difficulty waiting in line or taking turns.
Children who are inattentive have a hard time keeping their minds on any one thing and may get bored with a task after only a few minutes. If they are doing something they really enjoy, they have no trouble paying attention. But focusing deliberate, conscious attention to organizing and completing a task or learning something new is difficult.
The DSM-IV-TR gives these signs of inattention:
Often becoming easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds.
Often failing to pay attention to details and making careless mistakes.
Rarely following instructions carefully and completely losing or forgetting things like toys, or pencils, books, and tools needed for a task.
Often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another.
Children diagnosed with the Predominantly Inattentive Type of ADHD are seldom impulsive or hyperactive, yet they have significant problems paying attention. They appear to be daydreaming, "spacey," easily confused, slow moving, and lethargic. They may have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as other children. When the teacher gives oral or even written instructions, this child has a hard time understanding what he or she is supposed to do and makes frequent mistakes. Yet the child may sit quietly, unobtrusively, and even appear to be working but not fully attending to or understanding the task and the instructions.
These children don't show significant problems with impulsivity and overactivity in the classroom, on the school ground, or at home. They may get along better with other children than the more impulsive and hyperactive types of ADHD, and they may not have the same sorts of social problems so common with the combined type of ADHD. So often their problems with inattention are overlooked. But they need help just as much as children with other types of ADHD, who cause more obvious problems in the classroom.
These symptoms are appear so arbitrary that the diagnosis can be made to apply to any normal child. So, why are a disproporate number of black (particulary male) children are diagnosis ADHD and prescribed to a life-long regimen of Ritalin?