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Monday, August 8, 2016

A Black Psychologist’s Clinical View of Violence in Policing Matters

Black police stress

Philadelphia, PA — Norman Johnson, a black clinical psychologist in Philadelphia, says that he observes “the daily non-stop stress of police officers bumping heads with the stress of black citizens, who are subjected to daily non-stop racism.” Johnson also noted that,” the media repeatedly reports Police accusations of blacks of being prone to violence and that blacks respond with counter accusations that police are prone to violence”. Johnson, who has a background in security policing in the military and the federal government recalls having a handgun put to his head by, “a bad guy” and a shotgun put to his head, “by a stressed out federal officer”.

After reading some comments in the book, America The Racist, by H.J. Harris, Johnson surmised that,” The US American psyche belongs to one citizenry body that is fighting itself. Police officers (among several other occupational groups) are bombarded with stress on a daily basis-a hazard of the job. Many blacks are employed in similarly stressful occupations and their stress (or “Fight or Flight”) response may be compounded by the stress of daily institutionally-sanctioned racist assaults to their well-being. Racism is like a cancer. It is painful to admit that you have it and are victimized by it. But if you do nothing about it, you succumb to the inevitable. You have to identify where it is, what type it is, where the damage has been done, accept it as a disease process and set a precise course for its’ eradication.”

Johnson added, “It is conceivable that a black police officer, who is also a victim of racism on a daily non-stop basis may have a stress (Fight or Flight) response that is off the charts. What may result is what could be termed a biological stand-off (for lack of any other clinical or scientific term).Two immovable objects or persons on the same highly-charged course are going to clash! There is some science behind the stress-related (Fight or Flight) response. Does this mean that we live in a sick society? In many ways, yes. The researchers in the medical and mental health communities have a very difficult-and yes stressful job in finding healthy interventions. It is conceivable that stressed out police should have shorter work shifts or immediate sick leave options to bail when their stress levels get too unmanageable versus remaining on the street at-risk to themselves and others. Black’ citizens should be able to employ the same release valves after dealing with daily periods of toxic race-based traumas. But none of these interventions will be successful if toxic racist policies and practices persist. In many ways, racism is an offspring of slavery and the abolition of racism is required if we are to remain a healthy, nurturing, tolerant and productive nation with equal social and economic justice for all.”

Finally, the psychologist sums it up by stating that ”relaxation-training, crisis management de-escalation training, a yoga practicing life-style, slow deep breathing, quieting techniques, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and elimination of racism (at all individual, family, primary health, workplace, community, city, state and federal) levels would benefit the national collective body of humanity.“

For more information, read the following web sites and formulate your own opinions: www.medicaldaily.com/changes-dsm-5-racism-can-cause-ptsd-similar-soldiers-after-war-246177 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder

For more information, contact Norman Johnson at 215-670-5946

 

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