n a series of experiments, psychologists show that white people were quicker to associate superhuman words (ghost, paranormal, spirit, wizard, supernatural, magic, and mystical) with black faces relative to white faces. Also, when explicitly asked, white people indicated that a black person was more capable of possessing superhuman qualities—and would need less medication to alleviate pain—than a white person. [My underlines]That last part reminds me of a story of a black woman in a hospital during either Jim Crow days or thereabouts. She was having a baby and the doctor had a set of interns with him. He allegedly told the interns that black women were like mules and could just pop out babies without much pain or fuss and so it wouldn't be necessary to provide much pain medication. The report was that the woman, hearing this made sure to hollar and scream as much as possible in order to show how much an ass that doctor was. I cannot verify the story of course. The thing about that claim, particularly in the past was that it likely stemmed from two phenomena: 1) The bush system among certain groups in Africa where circumcision is practiced (male and female) usually has a requirement that the person being cut no cry out or otherwise show [much] discomfort while being cut. Such a display would likely disqualify that person as being able to move on into social adulthood or otherwise show them to be a coward of sorts. The possible value of silence in the face of pain and discomfort may well have survival value. 2) The punishment of enslaved Africans would no doubt lead to having to literally work though pain. After all, after getting whipped, you don't exactly heal in a few hours. Therefore it is likely that many Africans not only acquired, as a survival tactic, the ability to deal with high levels of daily pain, but possibly taught their offspring how to deal with it as well.
Monday, October 27, 2014
This isn't actually anything new.