Culture, Politics

APA: “Whiteness a Malignant, Parasitic Condition”

A psychoanalytic journal has published a research paper that calls whiteness “a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which ‘white’ people have a particular susceptibility.”

Published on May 27, Dr. Donald Moss’ paper “On Having Whiteness” appears in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Interestingly enough, Moss himself is white. He is also an academic, author, and has his own private practice.

The abstract of his paper begins as follows:

“Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which “white” people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse. These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples. Once established, these appetites are nearly impossible to eliminate.”

Moss then proposes a principle of “effective treatment,” though he admits that “whiteness” does not yet have a “permanent cure”:

“Effective treatment consists of a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions. Such interventions can reasonably aim only to reshape Whiteness’s infiltrated appetites—to reduce their intensity, redistribute their aims, and occasionally turn those aims toward the work of reparation. When remembered and represented, the ravages wreaked by the chronic condition can function either as warning (“never again”) or as temptation (“great again”). Memorialization alone, therefore, is no guarantee against regression. There is not yet a permanent cure.” Read more…

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