‘Racism is a behavioral system for survival’
Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’s pivotal 1991 book, “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” presented a bold psychoanalysis of the system of racism/White supremacy. Dr. Welsing postulated that White supremacy exists as a behavioral reaction to the genetic recessive state of the White race. Dr. Welsing continues to practice psychiatry in the Washington, D.C. area. She holds a lecture series on the second Thursday of every month that’s free to the public at the Cress-Welsing Institute of Psychiatry and Social Research. She states, “It’s a lecture series where I talk only about racism and aspects of racism.” She is currently working on her second book, “The Isis Papers – Volume 2.” Dr. Welsing was interviewed by Final Call contributor Barbara Beebe.
Q: Do you believe Black people, in general, have a greater understanding/response to White supremacy since the publication of “The Isis Papers?”
A: I gave a lecture last night and one of the people said that I had saved her life, based on the understanding that she gained about what was happening in the dynamic of racism. I get many letters from people … people in prison who’ve said that it has helped them understand what has happened to them in their lives and what is currently happening to them.
Q: John Singleton’s movie “Baby Boy” opens with a short explanation of your theory on the effects of White supremacy on the development of Black males. Do you think its portrayal of dysfunction was realistic? Effective?
A: John Singleton read “The Isis Papers.” He was impressed with some of the ideas and that motivated him to do the film “Baby Boy.” Columbia Pictures contacted me. I said, well I have to read the script. And I had them modify it. They made an initial statement that Dr. Francis Welsing says that Black men are babies. I said that’s not correct. I said that because of the system of racism/White supremacy, Black males are sometimes caused to think of themselves as babies. But they took out White supremacy and said it was because of the system of racism.
I think John Singleton wanted to give an explanation through an artistic, creative production to try to tie in some of the concepts and things that influence Black male behavior. The very fact that he tried to say something about this terrible dynamic, I give him a lot of credit for attempting to do that, because most of the films that we see certainly do not talk about this system dynamic of racism.
Q: Why do you think there is reluctance/refusal to use the term White supremacy with the term racism?
A: There are people who want to maintain the system of racism/White supremacy. They don’t want the victims of that system to have clarity as to what’s happening to them.
Q: The recently published Scientific American magazine article “Skin Deep” states that melanin is an evolutionary advantage. Please discuss that article in relation to your theories.
A: First of all, Black people were the first people on the planet. Everybody, including White people, come from Black people. White people are a genetic mutation or a genetic deficiency state [which] is what causes skin to be White. Now, the article doesn’t talk about White skin in those terms. It talks about people migrating north and therefore losing color. I maintain that’s not at all what happened. They lost the color through a genetic mutation to albinism, which genetics defines as a genetic deficiency state and they were forced out of Africa into Europe. Scientists who classify themselves as White don’t want to say [this]. You can’t simultaneously think White is superior and then say that White is a genetic deficiency state.
Q: Genetically modified melanin (i.e. Epitan, Melanotan) is now being combined with libido-enhancing properties. Please discuss this new “commodity” in relation to your theory on the reasons for White supremacy.
A: I am not at all surprised. The mania to suntan [and] the new chemical and genetic techniques that they are developing to allow people to have skin coloration is evidence that they feel at deep subconscious levels that something is missing and something is wrong. White people are developing techniques to increase their fertility and give them skin coloration; at the same time you have mass murder on the continent of Africa of Black people, a people who already have melanin pigmentation. You have White supremacy through HIV/AIDS killing tens of millions of people on the continent of Africa. I have often thought that maybe the White supremacy mind or the genetic deficiency state of albinism, that mindset [says], “well, let me kill off all of the people who already have color and then I will develop for myself a way to produce color.”
A: I look at the system of racism having come into being consciously because the White population recognized, after they circumnavigated the globe, that they were a tiny minority, fewer that one-tenth of the people on the planet. And they were genetic-recessive compared to the genetic dominance of people who produce color. They realized that they could be genetically annihilated and White people could, as a collective of people, disappear. They worked out a system for White survival, which entails dominating all of the Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people on the planet. So racism is a behavioral system for the survival of White people. I would advise Black people and other people of color that since the practice of racism is the practice of White genetic survival, that the expectation that people who classify themselves as White can change this behavior is a high level expectation. Black people [must] finally understand that White people are playing a White survival game [which] has to inferiorize the functioning of Black and other people of color.
Well, how do we come out of the inferiorized state? We have to devise those means of behavior that are going to allow for the maximal development of the Black genetically constituted potential. That begins with how we relate to the behavior of sex. If we want to produce strong Black males and females, then we have to realize that White supremacy is not going to set up the conditions where that will happen because they are in fear of strong Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people. [They] set up a dynamic where you end up with large numbers of teenagers and children reproducing, single parents reproducing and not being able to guide the development of male children to functional adult male status. Black people [should] have quality control of Black reproduction. Well, how do we go about it? You have to have mature parents. You have to have parents who are married. If I could wave the magic wand, Black people wouldn’t have sex until they got married and they wouldn’t get married until they were 30. In the meantime, they would be going to school.
Q: War is one of the areas of people activity, and seeing that the U.S. government is about to go to war in Iraq, it may be appropriate for you to give your opinions about this area of people activity.
A: The first war that we have to understand is the war of White supremacy against non-White people all over the globe. And from that vantage point, what is happening in the Middle East, I have labeled it WWIII. WWI and WWII were about the people who classify themselves as White dividing up the planet and taking control over non-White people. WWIII is this: if all of the resources are in the areas of the world where non-White people are, then people who classify themselves as White can go in and take those resources. [They] set up whatever pretense is needed to justify going in and taking control over those resources. The non-White people are not supposed to have any means to protect and defend themselves from this ultimate aggression.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say to The Final Call audience?
A: I am suggesting that for the sake of Black mental health and for Black intelligence that all people of color must understand the dynamic of racism/White supremacy, what it is and how it works, so that they can have an appropriate, self-respecting response to racism. Television is indoctrinating Black people to think of themselves as buffoons and clowns and trashy people. By understanding racism you will understand that this is what the system of racism survives on. As long as we are disrespecting ourselves and acting in a stupid, demeaning manner, this furthers the dynamic of racism/White supremacy and we need to give a lot of thought to that and decide that we are not going to participate in it.
Q: Thank you.
The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Look at how Africans were stolen from their homeland, sent to various parts of the world, stacked like sardines in a can in the bowels of ships where they involuntarily urinated and defecated upon those below them, tossed overboard if diseased, sick or “defective” in any way, separated from fellow tribesmen, fellow villagers, family members, and those with a common language, sold on auction blocks (whether men, women, or children}, raped, forced to “mate” with strangers so that they would produce brawny slave stock, denied decent food, wages, respect and even common decency, were beaten, tortured, murdered, burned with huge audiences as though it was a picnic (there are postcards that prove this!), denied the benefits of the majority culture in this country, segregated into unfunded schools, neighborhoods, denied jobs, clean water fountains, hospitals and public restrooms, lynched, burned on crosses, terrorized, secretly experimented upon, you name it.
More recently, the racism is more underground and shows up in movie stereotypes, the disproportional number of Black men in prison and on death row, denial of decent jobs, harassment at work and by the police, denial of appropriate housing and medical care. Yet, like Maya Angelou says in her poem, “Yet, still I rise.” We must be a very special people to be able to withstand such torment. We do have our own fair share of problems, some of which involve institutional racism: deny us jobs, force us to live in squalor, and then, call us “dirty” and “smelly.” Denying us medical care is akin to slow extermination.