Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the by Daryl Michael Scott

By Daryl Michael Scott

For over a century, the concept African americans are psychologically broken has performed an incredible function in discussions of race. during this provocative paintings, Daryl Michael Scott argues that harm imagery has been the made from liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. whereas racial conservatives, frequently enjoying on white contempt for blacks, have sought to exploit findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary regulations, racial liberals have used harm imagery essentially to advertise rules of inclusion and rehabilitation. In advancing his argument, Scott demanding situations a few long-held ideals in regards to the background of wear and tear imagery. He rediscovers the liberal impulses at the back of Stanley Elkins's Sambo speculation and Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Negro kinfolk and exposes the wear and tear imagery within the paintings of Ralph Ellison, the top anti-pathologist. He additionally corrects the view that the Chicago university depicted blacks as pathological items of matriarchy. New Negro specialists akin to Charles Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, he says, disdained sympathy-seeking and kept away from exploring person pathology. Scott's reassessment of social technology sheds new mild on Brown v. Board of schooling, revealing how specialists reversed 4 many years of thought on the way to characterize segregation as inherently harmful to blacks. during this arguable paintings, Scott warns the Left of the hazards of their contemporary rediscovery of wear imagery in an age of conservative reform.

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Extra resources for Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996

Sample text

46 The psychological concerns of the middle class notwithstanding, the state did little to protect and promote the psychological well-being of its citizens. Mental health remained primarily a private affair, the responsibility of the citizen, not the state. The major effort to protect the mental health of the citizen came from a voluntary organization, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, which was established in 1909. 48 The lack of public support for protecting mental health did not imply a lack of standards.

The sequence of experiences, as well as ideological and social biases, affects how experts create their own images of the world. 19 When social science images are understood as subjective knowledge structures, the image makers become as important as the images themselves. The social science image is the product of an expert who in turn is influenced by historical, social, personal, and ideologcal factors. This approach to intellectual history, particularly to the study of social science, is certainly not new.

Whereas Du Bois spoke of the Negro as having a soul, most whites, including many experts, treated blacks as if they lacked an inner world. The Image of Black Personality in Social Science Thought, 1880-1920 Between 1880 and 1920, the image of African American personality was dominated by racial conservatives, not liberals. They were committed to excluding African Americans from the mainstream of society and were willing to use the state toward that end. Moreover, most racial conservatives were racists, viewing blacks as inherently inferior to whites.

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