In the wake of the awful tragedy that took place on Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, the issue of treating individuals with various mental health disorders before they reach the point of insanity or causing harm to others in order to express their emotions, came up. The 20-year-old young man who massacred 6 adults and 20 innocent school children is being presented in the media as someone who had severe mental health issues and wasn’t stable. Due to this instability being untreated, he acted out in a heinous way that affected the nation. Why is it that when Blacks commit crimes they are labeled as thugs or a menace to society? Blacks suffer from mental illnesses as well, contrary to popular belief.

It seems as though the only time the issue of mental wellness comes up in the case of African Americans is when someone commits suicide, such as in the cases of Don Cornelius, music executive Chris Lightly and the recent murder/suicide news of Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. That is when a conversation about the mental stability of Blacks and the lack of help they receive actually becomes a central issue. In all actuality, mental instability runs rampart in the Black community. The sad thing is that no one looks at the cause behind the action, but simply labels the convicted as having a troubled life or having a history of run-ins with the law. No one cares about what thought process that went on in that person’s head that led them to commit a crime. No one cares about this person’s home life, upbringing or possibly untreated mental illness. The labels are swift and quick without a second thought.

Blacks are hurting just as much as any other race, yet their problems are ignored. Depression is one of the biggest undiagnosed plagues facing the Black community. ” … researchers reported that 10.4 percent of African Americans, 12.9 percent of Caribbean blacks, and 17.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites had MDD at some point in life. However, among participants with depression, the rate of chronic depression was highest in black groups: 56.5 percent in African Americans and 56 percent in Caribbean blacks, compared with 38.6 percent in whites, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The efforts made to address this are few and far in-between. Every Black person who commits a crime isn’t just another statistic who should be treated as such. They have problems and suppressed emotions that have built up over time.

“Misinformation, an absence of trust in the system, racism and financial circumstances are some of the forces that can create barriers in making appropriate decisions about [Blacks] seeking treatment,” according to child psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Vinson.

It is sad that Blacks aren’t afforded the same level of understanding and diagnosis as their White counterparts. Mental illness is one of the things in life that doesn’t care about color. It can affect anyone, at any time and on any level. It kills me when it is obvious that a person who has committed a crime has deeper issues, but no one thinks to address them because of the color of his/her skin. In 2011, MSNBC reported that Psychologist Dustin Pardini of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that about four out of five kids who are delinquents as children do not continue to offend in adulthood.

It is not always as simple as those people are just a “product of their environment.”

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  1. This was the majority of my conversation over the weekend. When I think about those 20 babies gunned down, I do not see color. I just think about the sorrow of these parents burying their kids, then during the holidays. At the same time; if the same incident had taken place at an inner-city, (low income area) school, mental issue wouldn’t have been an issue. If so, other issues would have over powered the topic of blac men and mental issue.

  2. Aside from race, I think there is also a socio-economic bias. You gave the examples of African Americans, citing suicide as the reason why their actions were deemed mental illness, but I think their celebrity statuses played a part in that as well. I’m seeing a pattern: “if the murderer was rich or raised in a upper class family, it must have been mental illness and a decision/force beyond their control. Yet, if you grew up in the ghetto, it’s because you are just a riot.” *smh* We have to stop categorizing… all people have battles, no matter race or income level.

    • @Em: EXCELLENT POINT!! It is as though having money should make a person happy and stable; in essence, if you have money or material comfort and you are still this violent, there must be a mental preoccupation

    • This is the basic premise seen in all societies. Rich = godlike, righteous and good. Poor = bad, dirty, evil.

  3. I do know what you mean, but have you met a good thug? IMO, all thug behavior is an expression of mental instability to some degree. The range varies depending on many factors such as socialization, morals, values, brain chemistry, etc.

    I think it’s time WE abandon the “when are we going to start talking about xyz” conversations and simply start talking about it, offer up solutions and champion the process — sink or swim. I love that you gave statistical info.

    When we feel compelled about a subject matter, it’s time to tap into the creative force within all of us to TRY and come up with solutions in spite of our current level of power to influence or change it. A wise man once said (Al Sharpton) that it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about standing up and fighting.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly that blacks who go out to commit murder are labled as thugs. The black on black crimes in the inner city of America has not and will not be seen as a mental health issue, simply thuggery is what these crimes are labeled as. However, this topic is more complex than race. Class, privilege, and the definition of mental health are all involved with the latest mass murder. I am currently in the middle of a facebook debate with a group of people who are quick to label the killer of the latest shooting as an individual with mental health issues whom would never have had the idea to kill if his illness was treated. I disagree, there’s more at play. This guy was selfish, like all murderers, and needed more than just the label of mentally ill. Americans are one of the most privilege individuals in the world with access to more necessities and wants than any other country. We need to own up to our ungrateful and selfish dispositions and seek other mediums to restore peace within ourselves.

  5. BLACK THUGS are much more VIOLENT than MUSLIMS!

    MUSLIMS ARE GOOD PEOPLE!

    BLACK THUGS KILL many more Innocent PEOPLE around the World than MUSLIMS!

    FACT: BLACK THUGS KILL 40 AMERICANS (Including 18 White People) in the U.S. every single day and SERIOUSLY INJURE another 2,800 (Including 1,400 White People)!

    FACT: MUSLIMS KILL fewer than 5-Americans in the U.S. annually!

    The TRUTH about SCHOOL & COMMUNITY VIOLENCE!

    BLACK THUGS who make up less than 3% of the U.S. population ARE COMMITTING 89% of the VIOLENT CRIMES, however, LIBURD GROUPS like the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, along with NEWS PAPER ORGANIZATIONS like the NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES TIMES will Sic their ATTACK DOGS on you if you Simply Utter those “POLITICALLY INCORECT” but TRUTHFULL WORDS!

    The SPLC should SUE the fatuous1 for DEFAMATION!

    … especially if what MARK TRAINA is saying about them is UNTRUE!

    The SOUTHERN POVERTY LGBT LAW SINNER is DEFINITELY a LEFTIST, ANTI-CHRISTAIN, ANTI-WHITE, ANTI-FAMILY VALUES GEOPOLITICAL HATE GROUP that supports ABORTIONS, GAY MARRIAGE, SINGLE FAMILY HOMES, YOUNG BLACK THUGS, URBAN TERRORISTS, TINY TUPACERS, LITTLE TRAYVONS, STREET HUSTLERS and ENTITLEMENT LIFESTYLES!

    FACT: The SOUTHERN POVERTY LGBT LAW SINNERS are nothing more than the LILY WHITE LYING LIBERAL JEW MEDIA’S “POLITICALLY CORRECT” LEGAL BULLIES AND POLITICAL WATCH DOGS!

    … and if what I am Claiming ain’t the TRUTH the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING but the TRUTH, the SOUTHERN POVERTY LGBT LAW SINNERS should sue me for DEFAMATION because CRITICS like MYSELF can DEFINITELY DAMAGE their FUND RAISING EFFORTS!
    I am actually trying to create a RIF over at the SPLC in Montgomery, Alabama and beyond.

    FACT: The SOUTHERN POVERTY LGBT LAW CENTER puts TARGETS on People’s Backs, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE who DARE to SPEAK OUT AGAINST THEM LIKE ME and therefore, they should be FORCED by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to LIST the NAMES, PHONE NUMBERS, ADDRESSES, as well as, the AMOUNTS DONATED by each and everyone of their DONORS!

    FACT: Mr. MORRIS DEES falsely claims to be running the America’s Largest Non-Profit Legal Agency, yet he is one of the RICHEST ATTORNEYS in NORTH AMERICA-sooOOOO MUCH FOR BEING A “NON-PROFIT”!

    FACT: The SPLC’s “NON PROFIT” Status is SIMPLY another way for the “FILTHY RICH” like Mr. Morris Dees to avoid Paying his Fair Share of American Taxes!

    fatuous1 says EFF the SOUTHERN POVERTY LGBT LAW SINNERS and the HORSE they Road in on!

    QUESTION: How do you like them APPLES?

    MARK TRAINA
    FATUOUSCRA@AOL.COM
    (504) 231-3056

    CALL ME BYTCHES I’M READY TO DO A “MEET N GREET” in FEDERAL COURT.

    FACT: I don’t need to hire a HIGH_PRICED ATTORNEY, because no one on PLANET EARTH can DEFEND the fatuous1 better than he can DEFEND Himself!

    WARNING: To all the CHICKEN $HYT LGBT LAWYERS over at the SPLC-I have always REPRESENTED Myself in COURT and I have yet to LOSE a LEGAL DISPUTE!

    FACT: If you LGBT LIBTARDS are still to EFFIN STUPID to realized what I am doing, I will state my state my Case in SIMPLIER TERMS, “I AM CHALLENGING YOU AZZOLES TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST LITTLE OLE fatuous1 ASAP!

    FACT: If you “IDIOTS” were saying these same things about me, I would DEFINITELY SUE YOUR AZZEDS OFF!

    FACT: You Guys DEFINITELY need to “LGBT LAWYER UP”!

  6. PROOF: “YOUNG BLACK THUGS” are EFFIN U.S. UP!

    This HORIBLE VIDEO was SHOT in the “NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA”!

    http://www.examiner.com/play-video/video-portal/flag-stomper?cid=PROG-DM-1-Video-flagstomper-061913-11.30AM

    fatuous1 is MARK TRAINA a LILY WHITE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST from Southeast LOUISIANA whose RUNNING for GOVERNOR of the GREAT STATE of LOUISIANA in 2015!

    “ENOUGH is ENOUGH LOUISIANA it’s DEFINITELY time to TAKE BACK our STATE from all the THUG LIFERS, CRAZY CHECKERS, CRACKHEADS, CRACKORES, DRUG DEALERS, STREET HUSTLERS, STICK UP GUYS, AFRICAN QUEENS and the MOTHER of all this MADNESS-the “ENTITLEMENTERS”!

    If you are HAPPY with the “STATUS QUO” in LOUISIANA Please VOTE for one of my CAREER POLITICIAN OPPONENTS-DAVID VITTER, MITCH LANDRIEU, JAY DARDENNE or JACK STRAIN-because they’ll make sure that nothing “CHANGES” in the STATE of LOUISIANA!

    Under their LEADERSHIP LOUISIANA Leads the U.S. in all the WRONG WAYS!

    1) POLITICAL CORRUPTION-TIED with CHICAGO
    2) VIOLENT CRIME-HIGHEST in the WORLD
    3) INCARCERATION-HIGHEST RATE in the entire U.S.
    4) EDUCATION, or LACK thereof
    5) DRUG ADDICTIONS-CRACKHEADS, CRACKOERES &THUGS
    6) ALCOHOLISM-one of the HIGHEST in the WORLD
    7) POVERTY-2nd only to MISSISSIPPI
    8) ENTITELEMENTS, PEOPLE PARASITES & CRAZY CHECKERS
    9) UMEMPLOYMENT
    10)ECONOMY

    THANKS, but NO THINKS Mr. VITTER, Mr. LAMDRIEU, Mr. DARDENNE and Mr. STRAIN, but LOUISIANA needs NEW LEADERSHIP and a NEW DIRECTION!

    FACT: LOUISIANA deserves BETTER, MUCH BETTER LEADERSHIP than any of these CAREER POLITICIANS have ever been able to bring to the TABLE!

  7. This is the exact topic of my research paper. Too bad you did not make this an academic article :-(.

  8. O’REILLY misses the TARGET on CRIME in the BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITY! A COMMUNITY that is CYCLICALLY CYCLING DOWNWARD toward SELF-DESTRUCTION!

    CRACK BABIES, SMACK BABIES, BABIES BORN into CHAOS, POVERTY and FILTH! BABIES SURROUNDED by THUGS HOOKED on DRUGS! BABIES CRAWLING around on FILTHY FLOORS COVERED with BUGS!

    BABIES BORN to be PREDISPOSITIONED due CHEMICAL BRAIN DAMAGE to be ADDICTED such things as the DRUG CULTURE, THUG LIFE in an ENVIORNMENT-BASED of SURVIVAL of the FITTEST! An ENVIORNMENT where everyone else is to BLAME for your MISFORTUNE! PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, SELF-RELIANCE and SELF-GOVERNANCE don’t EXIST!

    There is an old saying in the CYBER WORLD that goes like this “GARGABE IN – GARBAGE OUT”, basically what I am saying is that you cannot BLAME AMERICA’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM , nor can you BLAME the TEACHERS for producing BAD STUDENTS!

    FACT: Any Good Cook will tell you that “YOU CAN’T MAKE CHICKEN SALAD OUT OF CHICKEN $HYT”! These poor Kids come to School in PRE-K and KINDERGARTEN ADDICTED to “THUG LIFE”, the DRUG, GANG and CRIME-RIDDEN RAP and HIP HOP CULTURE! They come to School as “DAMAGED GOODS” and EDUCATORS are expected to turn out “ALL-$TAR$”, ready to hit the “PLAYING FIELDS and off to “FAME and FORTUNE” in the NFL, NBA or MLB!

    … again I say, Teachers and School Officials no how hard they try will ever be capable of “MAKING CHICHEN SALAD OUT OF CHICKEN $HYT”, and that’s a fact!

    “CRACK COCAINE EFFS UP THE BRAIN” (TRAINAISM, 2013)

    “DRUG, THUGS, IRRESPONSIBE and INDEFENSIBLE BEHAVIORS have led to a BLACK RAP and HIP HOP CULTURE of CHAOS, DOOM and SELF-DESTRUCTION!” (TRAINAISM, 2013)

    CRACK COCAINE, SMACK and POT are the DRUGS of CHOICE in PREDOMINATELY BLACK CITIES and TOWNS like DETROIT, ST. LOUIS, FLINT, OAKLAND, CLEVELAND, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, JACKSON, JACKSONVILLE, BATON ROUGE, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, PHILLY, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, DENVER, PORTLAND, BALTIMORE and too many more to list!

    “The City of DETROIT CRACKED UP long before it ever went BANKRUPT!” (TRAINAISM, 2013)

    The preceding information comes directly from my new Book, which will be in BOOK STORES in the spring of 2014.

    “THE LIFE and TIMES of an INNER-CITY SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST!”

    fatuous1
    MARK TRAINA
    NAAWP PRESIDENT, CEO and NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON
    Author of the Best Selling Educational Hand-Book Titled:
    “THE REALIST” Educational Facts Essential to Parents and Educators

    PUBLIC NOTICE: When I talk about “FILTH and STARK POVERTY”, I am not just describing the PHYSICAL ENVIORNMENTS that these Black Children are Living in! I am talking about the “FILTH” that they are exposed to by the types of People who come in and out of their everyday Lives, specifically DRUG DEALERS, THUG LIFERS, CRACKHEAD, CRACKORES, GANGSTAS, ROBBERS, MOBBERS, AFRICAN QUEENS, TINY TUPACKERS, LITTLE TRAYVONS and WORST of all the FRUITLESSNESS of the ENTITLEMENT LIFESTYLE!

    “… and no I don’t HATE BLACK PEOPLE, but yes, I do HATE what they are doing to U.S. and themselves!” (TRAINAISM, 2013)

  9. mental illness as a whole is pervasive in the u’s but it’s more hidden in the black community we need to really address this why do we keep this hidden why

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