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Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

As a social justice activist, I initially accepted new friend requests from most people due to wanting to connect with like-minded others in America and across the globe. When I first signed up for Facebook, I both accepted random inquiries and sent occasional friend requests to people whose comments seemed aligned with important aspects of my anti-racism efforts. I’ve since had to make major adjustments. Over time, being bombarded with hostile people calling me names due to their anger about something I wrote, resulted in me exploring how to limit exposure to unwanted communication. …


You Can’t Judge a Body by Its Cover — New Book by David Bedrick Offers Crucial Psychosocial Insights for Understanding People Beyond the Obvious — review by Fannie LeFlore, posted December 1, 2020

In his new book on women, dieting and body image, Psychotherapist David Bedrick captures the literal and metaphorical realities of what happens when people feel forced to deny or hide from their true selves in order to gain acceptance by others. When unrealistic expectations of perfection intrude and weight is used to determine someone’s worth, the unspoken dynamics of advertised messages reveal just how much women are conditioned to shrink due to social pressures. When women have a need to grow emotionally beyond approval-seeking but being authentic still results in relational difficulties, many feel pressured to ignore their internal guidance or compromise their own self-esteem and overall well-being. …


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I am tired of this country going in circles when answers to longstanding problems are so obvious to many of us. It should be clear that a major reason we cannot heal our social ills including systemic racism and sexism, is because patriarchal white supremacy is continuously recycled and presented as a solution to the same problems it creates. The formula of rinse and repeat for a status quo that keeps white men in charge of everything, has failed historically. …


White America needs to answer for itself why so many among them remain fear-based, insecure or miserable despite surface trappings of success through material comforts and pseudo-supremacy beliefs. Anyone paying attention should have a clue. Living on a foundation of lies can destroy the human spirit, leaving people empty inside in ways that distort reality and compromise substance.

Blacks and other people of color have been socialized to accept racist premises as well, which cause harm to themselves and others. No one has been untouched by the lies that dehumanize and cause damage to diverse humanity. …


There is a phenomenon known as “Murder-by-Suicide,” whereas people who’ve been exposed to emotional abuse (and other forms of abuse) for a long time, may come to believe dying is the only option for relief from their pain. You can look up the term by referencing the words “gaslighting” and “narcissistic abuse,” to learn more details from credible sources. Although human beings do not simply live on bread alone, it is common to take for granted the invisible and unspoken factors that support our quality of life, basic survival and a will to keep living. Are Americans taking stock of just how much lies — both political and personal — can kill the human spirit, damage the intellect and cripple the mind? Let us not minimize real risks posed to mental health and well-being by pretending that abuse on psychological and emotional levels is somehow less consequential. …


Patriarchal white supremacy should be seen as a major cause of death, disability and despair based on multiple indicators — personal, practical and philosophical. The coronavirus crisis is triggering all kinds of mental health issues as well as increased risk of suicide (with symptoms even among people who are usually stable) due to the ongoing exposure to gaslighting, lies, greed, callousness, lack of necessary resources from many politicians to support solutions and inspire hope for improving basic conditions. Human beings do not live on bread alone, so it should come as no surprise that the tone of people in positions of power can impact individual and collective functioning. …


How Minds and Mental Health are Influenced by Past Generations

Ask anybody, regardless of race or ethnicity, whether what happened in their family a long time ago, is still affecting them in some way today. Everyone can point to interactions from the past that continue to influence the present. You will find that many cousins do not know each other because one or both of their parents had a “falling out” a long time ago. You will find scandalous examples of relatives who were envious or lied about particular people, some resented for reasons rooted in half-truths rather than facts. …


The antics of Trump — with his lack of credibility and insatiable ego — continually get on the nerves of millions. Ongoing headlines about the Occupant in the White House reveal consistent callousness and incompetence in responding to the nation’s current public health crisis and related, pressing issues. And, as Americans look for reasonable guidance, little clarity or comfort can be found at the moment. As John Pavlovitz wrote 3/21/20 in referring to one of the most recent indicators of the American president’s failure to lead: “Today’s #TrumpMeltdown (and it was a meltdown) occurred when a reporter lobbed Donald Trump a softball about what he’d say to people who are scared, gave him the chance to calm people, steady the nation, be presidential — and he freaked out…because he is over his head, terrified, and incapable of decency.” As the lives of everyday citizens are turned upside down, millions are at risk due to lack of access to routine testing or healthcare. Some interactions could result in virus exposure from people who are careless about their impact on others. …


If Everyone Has Been Programmed to Normalize Racism, then What?

A white woman recently said she and other whites face a dilemma when they are a “work in progress” while learning to become more fully anti-racism. My response to her was that all people in America, including black and brown people, absorbed racist ideology from schools, churches and other institutional influences. The question is what are we all doing to overcome the ignorance, reverse the nonsense and stop repeating the cycles of damage caused by systemic racism? …


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Conscious matters for our own evolution and for a revolution that liberates. No one likes being treated as if they are completely handicapped and always helpless, even when they find themselves in dire need. Among activist circles, nothing makes me cringe more than coming across white people whose sense of superiority leads them to treat other adults like children. In fact, I get irritated by white savior types for many reasons. One is because, were it not for systemic racism that oppresses blacks and other people of color, most people would not have a need to seek major help except in emergency situations. The other reason is because I recognize white people would be hypocrites to even suggest they have it all together as individuals or collectively. To be beneficiaries of unearned privileges and collude in any way with patriarchal white supremacy, are reasons enough that some people cannot claim to be beyond reproach. …

About

Fannie LeFlore

Social Entrepreneur, Activist, Psychotherapist and Writer/Editor. With Clarity that Gratitude and Decency Truly Matter.

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