At the Intersection Between Black Pride and Mad Pride

Justin Brown
55
360

The Grand Jury indictment on January 21st of a Georgia policeman for the felony murder of Anthony Hill brought national attention to the intersection of Black Pride and Mad Pride. Hill, who was black and a veteran, was murdered in March 2015 while in an extreme state or “mental health crisis.” He was naked and clearly unarmed when shot by a white policeman.

The indictment — although far from a conviction — gives activists hope police will be held accountable for gunning down unarmed black men and women. According to Black Lives Matter more than 300 black people were gunned down by police in 2015. The New York Times reported that Anthony Hill’s family lawyer said: “This is a day in history. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for discouraging paramilitary policing.”

The indictment also brings attention to the failure of the mental health care system in America. A new Twitter hashtag #MentalIllnessIsNotACrime emerged from Rise Up Georgia’s vigil in front of the DeKalb County Court House. The “Grand Jury Watch” vigil began on January 18th — the Martin Luther King Holiday — with this statement from Rise Up Georgia:

Today, as we honor Anthony Hill, our fight for justice reminds us of a mighty legacy which transcends time. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man known for his radical actions that disrupted the status quo of segregation and Jim Crow during his time, was once one of our greatest leaders. He was known worldwide as a charismatic leader and for smiling in the face of adversity. What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is not known for is his bouts with manic depression. While entrenched in battle against the world’s intolerance and apathy, he suffered from mental illness. Throughout his life, Dr. King showed signs of depression: he attempted self harm in his adolescence and was even hospitalized for exhaustion. Many historians attributed his illness to his highly empathetic nature. They believed his illness was a direct correlation to his drive to be an understanding leader.

Those of us in the Mad Pride Movement resist labelling ourselves as “mentally ill,” but we know the label is all too often applied to us. I — for one — can understand why people of good will continue to use this offensive language. It expresses not only the pain we often feel but also the helplessness that sometimes comes over us. Anthony Hill, who had been in an agitated state hanging naked from a balcony shortly before, quietly bent over to face the ground when police arrived at his apartment complex. He remained there prostrate, as if in prayer, and naked in the parking lot for several minutes.

What was passing through Anthony Hill’s mind for those minutes as his death rapidly approached? Was he in the throes of mental illness? Was he on a spiritual quest? Did he see the impending threat advancing toward him? Was he afraid? Was he fearless? He was in a place that only he could describe. Now that he is gone, we will never know.

Like Anthony Hill, I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed Lamictal (lamotrigine). Lamictal was developed by Smith Kline Beecham and aggressively marketed off label for nearly a decade from 1994 until 2003, before it was approved by the FDA for bipolar disorder (see 2012 legal complaint). To this day, the extended release (XR) version of Lamictal has not been approved for bipolar disorder, and yet it is widely prescribed by psychiatrists. Lamictal can produce multiple side effects; the most dangerous of which is a skin rash that can be fatal. Thankfully, I have never experienced side effects; however I have read the bold warning: “Seek emergency medical attention if you have a fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue…” About five days before he was murdered, Anthony Hill reported that his tongue was so swollen that he fear that he could not breath. He immediately stopped taking Lamictal.

Much has been made of Anthony Hill “going off his meds.” We hear ad nauseum, from the Treatment Advocacy Center and other proponents of involuntary outpatient coercion, that those of us who go off our meds suffer from “anosognosia” (i.e. the inability to recognize that we are mentally ill). However, the facts of Anthony Hill’s murder tell a very different story. After fighting in Afghanistan, Anthony Hill was medically discharged in April 2013 with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. There is no evidence that Anthony Hill rejected his mental illness label or the treatment that came with it. To the contrary, Anthony Hill’s girlfriend Bridgette Anderson — who along with Rise Up Georgia organized the courthouse vigil — describes Anthony as waiting for as long as five hours on the phone to get a mental health appointment with the Veterans Administration. She describes Anthony showing up for his mental health appointment in Georgia only to discover that it had been mistakenly scheduled by the VA thousands of miles away in Texas.

The stark reality is that if Anthony Hill had not stopped taking Lamictal — as his tongue began to swell five days before his death — he might well have been dead long before the police shot him. That death would have been equally horrific but would not have made headlines. Lack of access to mental health care — not rejection of the mental illness label — was killing Anthony Hill even before the overt racism of a militarized police force shot him down in the parking lot.

It may be that the “mental illness” label has afforded Anthony Hill some modicum of justice after death not afforded most of the 300 other black people killed by police in 2015. Apparently a 27-year-old black man — naked and unarmed — labeled “bipolar” stands a better chance of getting justice for his murder than 12-year-old black boy killed by police after being labeled by 911 callers as “probably a juvenile” playing with a BB gun that is “probably a fake.” Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old victim of a December 2014 police shooting, was denied an indictment by a Grand Jury in Cleveland, Ohio. The announcement on December 28, 2015 of “no indictment” in Tamir Rice’s murder was patently unjust not only because the white prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, never asked the Grand Jury to return an indictment, but also because the Grand Jury never actually voted “no.” This travesty of justice for Tamir Rice is emblematic of similar cases across America where prosecutors — who should be defending the black victims — are instead defending the racist practices of the white police who killed them.

Against this nationwide backdrop of white prosecutorial misconduct, why was the prosecutor in Anthony Hill’s murder able to secure an indictment? More importantly, is there any real chance that Anthony Hill’s murderer will be convicted and, if so, what does this say about the intersection of Black Pride and Mad Pride in America?

Against the odds across America, the prosecutor in Anthony Hill’s murder is black. Not only is the District Attorney of DeKalb County Georgia, Robert James, black, he is an elected official in a county that is 55% Black and 30% White (non-hispanic). Even so, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) said that — through this indictment — Robert James “achieved something last week that is more rare than an earthquake in Georgia.” Anthony Hill’s shooting was among 184 police shootings documented by the AJC in Georgia since 2010. Nearly half of these individuals were either unarmed or were shot in the back. About half of those killed were black, but when considering the population, blacks were twice as likely as whites to be shot by police. Not one of these killings — black or white — got to an indictment, not to mention a conviction. The AJC concludes: “The long odds that James bucked in securing an indictment will become much longer as he seeks a guilty verdict.”

Although a conviction is extremely unlikely, Rise Up Georgia and other activists will continue to focus on Anthony Hill’s murder at the intersection between Black Pride and Mad Pride. As I write this, the new hashtag #MentalIllnessIsNotACrime has had 500 posts in the past three days — since the indictment — posted by 380 users reaching 730,000 viewers. By comparison my favorite hashtag #RealMHChange has had just 60 posts in the past ten days (some about Anthony Hill from the twitter handle @mpower_org) posted by 12 users reaching 9,500 viewers.

Of course, the hashtag #MentalIllnessIsNotACrime can play directly into the hands of Murphy Bill proponents who want to implement involuntary outpatient coercion and otherwise decimate community-based mental health. One of the many website supporting the Murphy Bill is entitled “Brain Disease: An Illness, Not A Crime.” As I have argued elsewhere, locking us up in psychiatric institutions instead of prisons is good for business but a horrible idea for people like me who have been labelled by psychiatry. The slogan “Docs not Glocks” developed by Rise Up Georgia is easily co-opted by the Murphy proponents. So what should we do about Anthony Hill?

The challenge faced by national organizations such as the Campaign for Real Mental Health Change and local organizations like M-Power is that although we have a comprehensive list of talking points, we lack the clarity of focus found in the Black Lives Matter movement. The Washington Post reported that 124 persons with mental illness were shot by police in 2015.  This was fully a quarter of the 426 people shot by police last year, 300 of whom were black. It only took 25 committed activists from Black.Seed — a black, queer liberation collective — to shut down the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Martin Luther King Holiday last week. They called for “the immediate termination of the officers involved in the murders of Richard Perkins, Mario Woods, Yuvette Henderson, Amilcar Lopez, Alex Nieto, Demouriah Hogg, Richard Linyard, O’Shaine Evans.”

When black lives and mad lives intersect, as they did in the police shooting of Anthony Hill, where do we stand? Nine days after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Kajieme Powell — a black man with mental health challenges — was gunned down by police four miles away in Saint Louis. Unlike Brown’s death which set off riots and propelled the Black Lives Matter movement into national prominence, those of us in the Mad Pride Movement (or whatever you prefer to call our struggle) said little about Kajieme’s passing, even though he clearly was in an extreme state as he challenged police. Leah Harris — a leader of the Campaign for Real Mental Health Change — wrote an excellent article on Kajieme’s execution at truthout.org and I established the justiice4kajieme.org petition campaign through the @justice4kajieme Twiiter handle, but neither of us went to Ferguson as deray mckensson @deray did to build allies and face arrest. Today, the Campaign for Real Mental Health Change @RealMHChange (a recent startup of course) has 144 followers on Twitter. Leah @leahida has 2,100 followers, and deray has 287,000 followers.

A Twitter hashtag does not a movement make. Organizing happens on the ground. You may like #MentalIllnessIsNotACrime or you may hate it, but the reality is that Rise Up Georgia turned out demonstrators who vigiled in the cold for four days until a guilty verdict was returned. We may never know what impact these demonstrators had on District Attorney Robert James’ resolve to obtain an indictment, nor can we count on him to secure a conviction, but we can be sure that without our feet on the ground, we will never build a movement worthy of the 124 human beings — of all hues — living through extreme states who were gunned down by police in 2015 because they were “mad” like us.

* * * * *

Please respond with ideas for direct nonviolent action @mpower_org using the hashtag #RealMHChange or suggest another hashtag that better defines the intersection between Black Pride and Mad Pride.

55 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo, Justin! Great post! My thought, we need our own Mad Lives Matter. As for the hashtag, #MentalIllnessIsNotACrime, if “mental illness” is not a crime, it is also not a medical condition, and they lock people up for “it” like criminals. “Mental illness” so-called is quasi-crime for which people are locked up in prisons called “hospitals”. On the other hand, if “mental illness” were really a medical condition, why the locked doors? “Sick” people need not be, as a rule, prisoners, and most actually sick people are not held as prisoners. We’ve got our own Berlin Wall in psychiatric institutions, designed as there to keep people in, and not so much to keep them out.

    I think of the sad case of Kelley Thomas in California where a white homeless man with problems was beaten to death by the police, and this instance of police brutality used to rationalize expansion of Laura’s Law, and I imagine with Black Pride involved perhaps this situation might not be as likely to happen in their communities, but then again the use of such out patient commitment laws could be construed as ‘increased treatment access’, too. Hopefully, people can begin to see, too, that people with problems have more to fear from the police than the police have to fear from them. Depriving this population of their second amendment rights, or any other constitutional rights, is not the thing to do either.

    This convergence, as I see it, can only be a good thing when it comes to getting that message out there. The violence card is being used to put further strip people in the mental health system of their citizenship rights, and this shouldn’t be happening. However, when the police kill people innocent people, there should be an investigation, and in cases where it is indicated, prosecution of the officers involved should take place. Yes, there is a lot of violence in this country, but some of it is not perpetuated by people with psychiatric labels, and some of it is perpetuated by police officers. As long as our politicians are out to please the NRA, it’s difficult to see these things as clearly as one might.

    • “As long as our politicians are out to please the NRA”

      The government is killing and brutalizing people so the people should agree to be disarmed.

      The bully beats me up on the way home from school, lets make it illegal to carry a stick ?

      Where do you get these ideas from ??

      I don’t get it please explain.

      • Briefly put, Americans see merit in the principle that a person accused of crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty and that it is better to let a thousand guilty persons go free than incarcerate a single innocent person. In the case of the person accused of mental illness, Americans see merit in exactly the opposite principle: namely, that such a person should be considered mentally sick until proven otherwise, and that it is better to hospitalize a thousands persons who do not need treatment than to deprive a single person of the treatment he needs for his mental illness.

        ~Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences, pg. 115, Thomas Szasz

        The people that have been disarmed are those who have done time in psychiatric institutes. “The people” are agreeing to this disarming of people with psychiatric labels. One thing is for sure, doing so is not going to amount to any sort of effective violence prevention.

        The director of NRA pointed his finger at people in mental health treatment. Politicians followed suit. Some segments of society have, more or less, been disarmed. Okay. Do we want some kind of real gun control, or do we want this sort of scapegoating? Right now…we’ve got scapegoating.

        I’m just saying, that when it comes to responding to police killings, this is an issue that we need to work on together, and it is good that there are people out there who see it as they’re issue. It is our issue, too. Just as the above post indicates, if we are to do anything about this matter, we are going to need to work together.

        • Do you think police should be trained to deal with “diagnosed” people any differently than anyone else? Because that’s what a lot of “our” advocates are advocating. Why should cops not be assuming anyway that anyone they are about to arrest is in an atypical “state,” at least at that point?

          • Well, they should be trained a little in how to deal with people in exceptional circumstances. Shoot first and think later just doesn’t cut it. Right now, police officers are getting away with murder, and the police haven’t shown themselves to be particularly good at policing themselves. Excusing police violence, especially when that violence was uncalled for, is not something I’d like to see done. There are big deficits, it would seem, in a lot of police officers “people skills”.

        • John Noveske is one of the most celebrated battle rifle manufacturers in America. His rifles, found at http://www.NoveskeRifleworks.com are widely recognized as some of the finest pieces of American-made hardware ever created. Sadly, John Noveske was killed in a mysterious car crash just a few days ago, on January 4, 2013.

          But barely a week before this incident, John Noveske posted a lengthy, detailed post on Facebook that listed all the school shootings tied to psychiatric drugs. At the end of the post, he asked, “What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on?”

          That was the last post he ever made.

          http://www.infowars.com/prominent-rifle-manufacturer-killed-in-mysterious-car-crash-days-after-posting-psych-drug-link-to-school-shooters/

          Did “they” kill him I don’t know but the NRA is not our enemy.

          The gun rights people were the ones who did most of the exposing of the school shooting psychiatric drug connection.

          Re: “Do we want some kind of real gun control, or do we want this sort of scapegoating? Right now…we’ve got scapegoating. ”

          I am very dedicated to the Mad Pride Movement or what ever we want to call what we do here but our liberty and right to bear arms to prevent tyranny is more important so to answer your question I would rather see scapegoating. We can deal with it.

          And if you think that those that wish to disarm America give a crap the size of a mouse turd about the rights of the so called mentally ill you are mistaken.

          They are not our friends and NRA bashing comments only makes enemy’s out of the people that DO care about our rights and liberties.

          • Well, if we started by disarming the police perhaps there would be fewer innocent people getting killed by over zealous police officers. I’m not out to take anybodies guns away from them, all the same, I don’t like seeing police officers getting off scot-free after murdering innocent people. I’d say police officers are more likely to kill people impacted by the mental health system than people in that system are likely to resort to murder themselves. When these crimes are directed against black people there are protests, but it isn’t exclusively a color issue. I’d like to see more of a convergence, not less, where Mad Pride and Black Pride are concerned, in the protests, and in the seeking of a just solution, to these matters. What do they say? There is power in numbers…One would like to think so anyway.

          • This is an amazing story, I don’t know why we haven’t heard it before. While I don’t necessarily support the politics of the NRA I don’t support a disarmed populace either and have a serious distaste for simplistic arguments which equate violence with the very existence of guns. Where I think you’re mistaken is in believing that liberals have a monopoly on totalitarianism. Liberals and conservatives are two sides of the same coin. You need power in the system for your opinions to matter. Pay to play.

          • I think it is a much more immediate problem when you’ve got members of your community gunned down by the police or anybody else. Violence happens. When it is directed at people because of race, economic status, or whatever, it’s not the kind of thing that anybody can just ignore, and turn a blind eye on. Those are my feelings anyway, and I’d rather stand with those who are trying to do something about the issue than to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

        • And the police are being misinformed, by the psycho / pharmaceutical industries and mainstream media, as to the actual causes and validity of so called “mental illnesses.” Since the DSM disorders actually have no scientific validity, and the psychiatric drugs are, in fact, mind altering drugs, that cause mind altering experiences.

          Love the quote, Frank, thanks:
          “Briefly put, Americans see merit in the principle that a person accused of crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty and that it is better to let a thousand guilty persons go free than incarcerate a single innocent person. In the case of the person accused of mental illness, Americans see merit in exactly the opposite principle: namely, that such a person should be considered mentally sick until proven otherwise, and that it is better to hospitalize a thousands persons who do not need treatment than to deprive a single person of the treatment he needs for his mental illness.
          ~Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences, pg. 115, Thomas Szasz”

          Hypocrisy, in action.

          • Someone — I thought with your interest in the whole banking angle that, if you don’t know about it already, you might find The Keiser Report on RT both informative and highly entertaining at times, especially when Max Keiser “goes off” on various bankers. If your local tv selections don’t include RT (maybe on a public access channel if not cable) here’s a link:
            https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/

          • And the police are being misinformed, by the psycho / pharmaceutical industries and mainstream media, as to the actual causes and validity of so called “mental illnesses.” Since the DSM disorders actually have no scientific validity, and the psychiatric drugs are, in fact, mind altering drugs, that cause mind altering experiences.

            Love the quote, Frank, thanks:
            “Briefly put, Americans see merit in the principle that a person accused of crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty and that it is better to let a thousand guilty persons go free than incarcerate a single innocent person. In the case of the person accused of mental illness, Americans see merit in exactly the opposite principle: namely, that such a person should be considered mentally sick until proven otherwise, and that it is better to hospitalize a thousands persons who do not need treatment than to deprive a single person of the treatment he needs for his mental illness.
            ~Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences, pg. 115, Thomas Szasz”

            Hypocrisy, in action.

  2. It’s a sad day to be an American when the sheep (meaning most of our fellow Americans) are bleating out, “#MentalIllnessIsNotACrime”

    There is no mental illness… DSM categories are totally subjective and arbitrary… not one reliable biomarker has been found for any one supposed mental illness… the contributions of poverty, abuse, trauma, and poor parenting to soul-suffering/emotional distress continue to be inadvertently denied by the sheep who say “mental illness is not a crime”, thus strengthening the narrative of distressed people being fundamentally different from the rest of us… America’s “mental health” outcomes are far worse than in poor countries where no drugs are used… denial of the harmful and sometimes fatal long-term side effects of the drugs used to sedate unwanted people continues… denial of the psychological harm of forced treatment continues… the gun violence issue itself is mostly just a shiny object distracting the lemmings while the 1% and corporations continue to stripmine the economy using tools including psychiatric drugs to quiet the masses. Violent crime is in fact down considerably from earlier decades, and does not even register as a killer relative to many other causes like smoking or other poor lifestyle choices.

    Stuff like this is why I have stopped reading the mainstream news and now read only a few blogs providing insight into the power structures such as http://www.OfTwoMinds.com or http://www.OurFiniteWorld.com or http://www.zerohedge.com, as well as the obligatory http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org . If one stops constantly focusing on the most unfortunate segment of the population, a lot of good is going on in daily life as well.

    • I agree, BPT. The so called 1% apparently decided it’d be a good idea to drug up everybody, except themselves, for profit, and replay their WWII Germany behaviors, or follow the anti-Semetic Protocols manifesto, in the US today. But it doesn’t seem to be working out very well for them.

      There are now lots of people discussing the staggeringly fiscally irresponsible bankers’ crimes all over the internet.

      Of course, we all know about the pharmaceutical and medical industry’s ongoing psychiatric industry’s crimes against humanity.

      Books and movies are being written and made about the child molestation covering up paternalistic religion’s crimes.

      I’m pretty certain we got the wrong 1% in charge right now. We have the almighty dollar worshipping “psychopaths” in charge right now, it seems. Which isn’t actually beneficial to the majority of humanity.

      Although, I do agree, there are many good people, doing many good works, as well.

  3. Please respond with ideas for direct nonviolent action…

    I don’t understand why more people don’t demand Jury trials? Make the fascists work for their extortion money and explain their reasoning to the people. Hell with most victimless so called “crimes” even if the jury sides with the police state thugs it still ends up costing them more than they win; the bullies may beat you in the end but send the bastards home with a black eye and busted nose for their efforts.

    Plea bargains are the Achilles heel of the entire so called “justice” system in America. Without a large majority of people taking those the whole wrenched system gets overloaded and implodes.

    I don’t get why Black Lives Matter or anyone else doesn’t attack this weak point .

    Anyone who takes a lea bargain after being accused of one of their make you a cash cow so called crimes or says “it is what it is” (the montra of loosers ) and mails in money to pay things like an unconstitutional a red light camera ticket is an ENABLER.

    If I had any kind of voice in BLM or any of these movements with similar goals my message would be NO MORE PLEA BARGAINS.

    Hit them in the pocketbook. Plea bargains are the chink in the armor, the Achilles heel and that is what I would direct everyone to attack first.

    How is that for nonviolent action ????

    • “I don’t understand why more people don’t demand Jury trials?”

      The problem is the legal system has been bought out by the psycho / pharmaceutical industries. And it was easy to do. It’s very profitable to incarcerate well insured people in hospitals, and no doubt, kickbacks are being made to the State’s Attorneys and judges.

      I spoke with a couple of IL States Attorneys about being illegally held by V R Kuchipudi, while holding the expunged court documents, proving I was denied my rights. Talk about making States Attorneys dance. By the way, here’s Kuchipudi’s eventual arrest for harming and killing a lot of patients for profit.

      http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-ndil/legacy/2015/06/11/pr0416_01a.pdf

      But the actual goals of the psychiatric industry are pretty sick, which many may be unaware of, as I was.

      http://www.psychquotes.com

      It’s really a shame the “professions” have all seemingly been bought out by the psychiatric industry. Because the psychiatrists have devised a way to legally defame, torture, and murder anyone they – or any “professional” – wants, for any unethical reason.

      • If you don’t hold humans accountable to the laws of their country, as the psychiatrists are not being held accountable, you will run into the problem of “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Which is now where we are with the psychiatric industry of the US.

    • I take it you’re not going to trial yourself anytime soon. In the context of prison, what with prison over crowding and so forth, plea bargains make sense. 3 strikes you’re out laws, on the other hand, don’t make as much sense. Vagrants were executed after the 3rd offense in the days of King Henry VIII. I think that a tad severe.

  4. Justin,

    Your insights into the adverse side effects of the drug Anthony Hill was on, and had to get off of, points out to me that his “mental health” problem was possibly largely iatrogenic, especially given the fact he was a veteran. Thus, a person who was not “bipolar” prior to his going into the military, and likely being drugged.

    And the massive drugging of today’s military is unconscionable. Pardon the CCHR video, but they do speak the truth in regards to psychiatry, based upon my research, and IMHO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHC2wH_iGYM

  5. Hi Justin, thanks for the excellent article.

    Anthony Hills neglect was fairly gruesome. If Anthony Hill had died due to the drug reaction nobody would probably be any the wiser.

    I was hospitalized when I came off lithium. I wasn’t put back on it though, and things eventually settled down after a while of their own accord (suggesting Rebound).

  6. OMG excuse me but I may have to throw up at the notion of Martin Luther King being accused of “manic depression.” This is before reading the article at all. I know they tried to do this to Abbie Hoffman, but this is the first I even heard it suggested about MLK. The ultimate in disrespect! OK so back to the article, I’ll try to return with less emotion & more “objectivity.” But this sucks big time!

  7. OK. So I’ll post this before I read any other replies. The assumptions in this article are problematic as hell and reflect the lack of understanding of white liberals regarding racism and police abuse in general. Because this is garden variety police racism we’re talking about, and affects all Black people, whether or not they are additional perceived as “psycho.”

    Lack of access to mental health care…was killing Anthony Hill even before the overt racism of a militarized police force shot him down

    No it wasn’t, apparently just the opposite was happening — too easy “access” to “mental health” “treatment” was killing him by directly poisoning him. Then he was murdered by racist and mentalist police. Two different things. Different shit, same system. It’s a shame that the family has been influenced by those who wish to make this a “mental health” issue. It is a murder issue. Don’t you realize that Obama has been harping on “access to mental health care” as he takes away our rights in practically the same sentence?

    The challenge faced by national organizations such as the Campaign for Real Mental Health Change and local organizations like M-Power is that although we have a comprehensive list of talking points, we lack the clarity of focus found in the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Yeah, that’s because you don’t have clarity in your thinking and are immersed in “mental health” ideology and terminology. I find it disturbing that inquiries about Murphy are channeled to realmchange for lack of any apparent alternative (though the latter is the responsibility of a viable anti-psych movement). We had been discussing this in the Organizing forum but to no avail, at least so far.

    I doubt that white “survivors” who do not even have a viable analysis of their own oppression by psychiatry, and try to approach even it in reformist terms, are politically ready to be making alliances or taking positions in our name with groups such as Black Lives Matter, who are dealing admirably with racism in a pretty sophisticated and revolutionary manner. I fear it would sow confusion more than anything else, and end up with more Black people being suckered into trusting the mh system. Because again, we don’t need more access to psychiatry, we need more access to anti-psychiatry information and an analysis with which to expose and defeat it.

  8. Alan Christopher Pean, 26, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was shot last Thursday, a day after reportedly checking himself into St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Houston with signs of “intense anxiety” and “general disorientation.”

    In a statement released on the day of the shooting, the hospital acknowledged the incident, referring to Pean as a “combative patient.” The two security guards involved, who also work as Houston Police Department officers, were injured in the struggle, and the department is pressing charges against Pean — whom they referred to in a statement as the “suspect” — for two counts of aggravated assault against a police officer.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patient-shot-in-hospital-after-seeking-mental-health-treatment_us_55e4abdee4b0b7a96339dfcc

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/alanpean

    At the Intersection ? Here is the epicenter, this was dude shot by police inside the hospital psych dept !

  9. “Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” George Orwell.

    These sorts of negative outcomes are always problematic and complex. There is much to be done to identify which duties need to be neglected, documents require legal narratives changed in order to effect outcomes, and information gathered to slander certain parties …..

    I know that my claim has always been that I would have preferred to have been executed in my driveway rather than be delivered to this place they wrongly called a hospital. A cesspit of criminality would have been a more accurate description.

  10. No one is white. No one is black. People are different colors, ask any innocent child. Only the cartoon character the “Joker” is white.
    No one is permanently “mad”, but yes all humans can sin. In the past sins were forgiven. In psychiatry they are written down and recorded, never to be forgot.
    Psychiatry is a confidence trick. The elitists needed a valid scientific claim to their genetic superiority to the common folk, who they kill, steal from and mistreat for money.

    ““You will Do well to try to Inoculate the Indians by means of Blanketts, as well as to try every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Inexorable Race.” Lord Amherst 1763 letter to Colonel Bouquet.

    A “Black” person self identifies as black, and names himself black. A “Gay” person self identifies as gay, and names himself gay.
    A “Mad” person is named mad by a fraudulent doctor, who is in perpetual fear of an unknown future.

    To abate the fear of the future the doctor poisons the person/patient/prisoner in the present moment, to prevent a possible “bad” outcome. The act of poisoning in the present moment fulfills the prophesy of doom.

    I don’t agree with separating people on preconceptions or on prejudice ( judging people before they have done anything good or bad).

  11. A “Black” person self identifies as black, and names himself black. A “Gay” person self identifies as gay, and names himself gay. A “Mad” person is named mad by a fraudulent doctor, who is in perpetual fear of an unknown future.

    Not at all. A dark-skinned person of African descent is identified by “white” society as Black no matter how she or he self-identifies.

    Gay people may “self-identify” as what/who they know they are, though it may not be overtly apparent to others. Still, gayness is a clear category of being.

    “Mentally ill” is a false category based on decree.

    To unite different groups of oppressed people requires a clear analysis of both the similarities and differences in the dynamics of their shared oppression. Getting back to the main point, Black people cannot simply decide to stop identifying as Black. A racist system will not allow it, and it is hardwired into our collective DNA.

  12. Old Head wrote:

    Because again, we don’t need more access to psychiatry, we need more access to anti-psychiatry information and an analysis with which to expose and defeat it.

    When I am not getting caught up in political stuff, like I did above, I spend my activism time spreading links to anti psychiatry information online anywhere I think people will click and read or watch a video.

    It only takes one read of a good anti-psychiatry web page or view of a good anti-psychiatry video for a semi intelligent person to understand the fraud and more harm than good of psychiatry. Then that person is immune from all the marketing and other propaganda for life and the mental health system the way it is has one less supporter.

    I have the internet, a keyboard and I am real good at copy pasting.

    I think Mad Pride / anti-psychiatry should remain a totally separate movement.

    Sure politics play a part but we are really up against fake science and doctors and the medical world ect.

    Black Lives Matter and the Police and politics, its a different thing and a different fight.

    There is no left vs right politics or white vs Black or gay vs straight in science and medical stuff, only fact and fiction.

    So I think Mad Pride and the Anti Psychiatry Movement should stay apart from all the others.

    Psychiatry is bullshit science, we have the winning hand, the truth, why mess with it ?

    Does everyone get what I am saying ?

      • I guess what I was saying is that if we focus on exposing psychiatric pseudoscience, how they do more ham than good and thoroughly discredit them they won’t be able to sell the public their bullshit.

        And this

        When faced on the battlefield with a numerically superior enemy, one must attempt to divide his enemy into smaller, more easily dispatched opponents – or even more ideally, divide them against one another, and have them defeat each other without ever drawing your sword.

        Look how the psychiatric industry plays the sides,

        Hey liberals give us billions in funding to label drug school children. Every child needs a chance to succeed !!

        Hey conservatives if you want to keep you right to bear arms give us more power to coerce the crimes against humanity we call treatment.

        The psychiatric industry has some really smart people playing divide and conquer with us . They do their job well.

        This is the most effective way for tyrants to rule over large groups of people who, should they ever learn to cooperate, would easily throw off such tyranny.

        I just don’t want to see Divide and Conquer, that’s one of the reason I get angry when I see stories and comments on this site siding with the liberty hating gun control tyrants .

        What happens is many readers say screw these anti psychiatry people attacking the second amendment, they should just take there damn meds and STFU.

        But something needs to be done we have an “epidemic” of mental illness !

        Ya something needs to be done, all sides in every debate need to know that the psychiatric industry is creating the epidemic and need to know how the scam works.

        And your link to “Gender Gap in STEM Fields Persist”

        LMAO

        “says National Education Association Senior Policy Analyst”

        ROTF !!

        Those self serving psychos are the reason America spends the most on education but is on the bottom of the list on math and reading skills in the first world !!!

        An undercover sting of Common Core book publishers revealed insiders who “hate kids” and push a “bulls–t” system to “sell books.”

        Undercover Common Core Vid: Exec Says “I hate kids…it’s all about the money”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8tZGl1SVs0

        The NEA and “common core”

        LMAO+ROTF+LOL = what I think of that !

        How is that for math skills ?

        I gots a pubbic educashion in AmmerIca and it werked fer me.

    • I get what you’re saying but don’t see things that way. In my view all the “other” forms of oppression are enforced by psychiatry as a cultural police force, i.e. the “normal” police. Which is what we all have in common.

      I applaud your internet activism btw.

  13. Hi Justin, I don’t know if you read the comments at all, but thanks for this thoughtful article… I appreciate the emphasis on the many different things Anthony could have been living through that get reduced to “psychotic break” by colonial/psychiatric language.

    Yeah. What else is there to say. Police were born out of slave-catching patrols and union-busting militias. Psychiatry acts as a para-policing force. Prisons are a form of re-enslavement, and mental hospitals are a form of prison. It’s infuriating to see how racism, sexism, etc, have fractured our resistance… I’m somewhat withdrawn from the social world right now but I might be in a place soon to bring more psych-survivor issues into local anti-prison agitation… Cheers!

    • “union-busting militias”

      I remember when they were building those sound barriors along the side of the highway out of wood and the union wouldent let the workers use nailguns so they could ripoff the taxpayers even more.

      Those machines are taking our jobs !!!

      I remember when they “protected” that crappy kitchen job I had in that hospital many years ago by stealing money out of my paycheck.

      And 5 or $10 more of my money for the political action fund or what ever.

      Thieves.

      • Lol Yeah, the “thieves” that brought you:

        Weekends
        All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
        Paid Vacation
        FMLA
        Sick Leave
        Social Security
        Minimum Wage
        Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
        8-Hour Work Day
        Overtime Pay
        Child Labor Laws
        Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
        40 Hour Work Week
        Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
        Unemployment Insurance
        Pensions
        Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
        Employer Health Care Insurance
        Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
        Wrongful Termination Laws
        Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
        Whistleblower Protection Laws
        Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
        Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
        Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
        Sexual Harassment Laws
        Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
        Holiday Pay
        Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
        Privacy Rights
        Pregnancy and Parental Leave
        Military Leave
        The Right to Strike
        Public Education for Children
        Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
        Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

        • No it didn’t,

          The thought in my head “dishwashing sucks” got me the heck out of there to go start a little landscaping business to make 4 times as much and take what ever holiday or weekend off I chose.

          You do have to love police unions though,

          Officer: The suspect had no front plate and tried to drive away so I shot him point blank with my 9mm and splattered his brains all over the inside of the car.

          Police union: Don’t worry we got your back no matter what. Our lawyers will get you off, we got this.

          Hospital worker: I abuse mental patients.

          1199 union: Don’t worry our lawyers will have no problem discrediting a mental patient. We will get your job back with back pay too !

        • I do remember the union employees at that hospital job always complaining about the management and hating their jobs but they would never quit ! Their ARE other jobs.

          The were so bad at managing their money they would get all angry if the paychecks were late cause they had nothing in reserve cause they had no self control , maxed out credit cards and stuff like that from buying dumbshit.

          So when they got their paychecks they ran to the check cashing place to be ripped of by that major scam.

          I used to eat my lunch outside cause I couldn’t stand to be around half those loosers in the breakroom.

          • Poor me , poor me

            I have no money !

            But when I do I spend it all on fast food and diet coke and cute dumb things from Walmart.

            See my TV ? I have every channel and my cable bill is $300

            See my car ? I saw it at the used car place with a sign that said $99 down.

            The blue book value is $3000 but when I am done with my payments it will cost me 20k !

            But forget all that I am broke cause my boss is a cheap bastard and I cant get ahead.

          • I’ve often wondered about how much of an effect the little problem they had in Russia with workers had on the concessions given in other countries.

            The peasants are revolting? Looking at the way they are being treated would suggest that this is certainly how some people think. Revolting? Positively disgusting if you ask me Mr President lol.

    • I’m somewhat withdrawn from the social world right now but I might be in a place soon to bring more psych-survivor issues into local anti-prison agitation… Cheers!

      Looking forward to your “return”! The prison work sounds great; I’ve been harping on the theme for awhile that the psychiatric system is a branch of the prison system, not of medicine. One likely reason there aren’t many Black anti-psych people here right now is that we don’t take this seriously enough, and there are still too many people trying to talk psychiatry into changing who don’t acknowledge that this is repression we’re dealing with, not “treatment.”

      So far I’m frustrated with this discussion because I don’t see how survivors who are not anti-psychiatry can possibly be making alliances with serious activist groups such as Black Lives Matter, who are much more sophisticated in their understanding and analysis, and could lead not only to a lot of confusion but to progressive Black people actually being drawn into the mh quagmire. Do you have any thoughts on this?

        • OK maybe I should have said should “survivors” who are not anti-psychiatry be making political alliances on behalf of all of us? I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case here. But it’s an important issue to me because I don’t see how people can make beneficial alliances with progressive organizations while still immersed in the ideology of the oppressor. That’s what I was asking you if you had any comments on.

  14. OK folks this is simply unconscionable. Someone from BIG MENTAL HEALTH has seemingly gotten to this organization of well-meaning progressive folks and convinced them to embrace psychiatric ideology.

    Let me quote again how they have allowed themselves to be conned into besmirching the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King with the following:

    What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is not known for is his bouts with manic depression. While entrenched in battle against the world’s intolerance and apathy, he suffered from mental illness. Throughout his life, Dr. King showed signs of depression: he attempted self harm in his adolescence and was even hospitalized for exhaustion.

    Has anyone from our movement approached these folks about how offensive and insulting this is, and the dangerous mentality it reflects? If not, why? Why would anyone sign onto this?

    Here’s the “Rise Up” solution to Anthony Hill’s situation:

    “If a mental health unit with paramedics, nurses, or even doctors had been sent to help Anthony (instead of an officer with a gun) he would still be alive today. ”

    This is the sort of mainstream left mentality that is now filtering down even to the hardcore grassroots, who should be exposing it and fighting it, not buying into it. If the anti-psychiatry movement (which I’m starting to realize does exist, though right now it’s like a soul with no body) were at all organized we would be able to educate grassroots activists in particular to steer clear of psychiatric “solutions” to anything.

  15. The symbiotic relationship between police and mental health services would be laughable if it weren’t for the disastrous consequences. Both parties are looking for ways of dumping their problems on to the other. I spoke to one man who explained to me that police, not wanting his drunk butt in the cells, told him they were going to pack rape him at the station. The resulting behaviour was enough to hand him over to mental health services for ‘treatment’, which, two years later he was still receiving.

    Of course good public officers would never engage in such behaviour (well, except the one video on you tube which was an unfortunate isolated incident).