Psychoanalyst journal publishes piece ‘demonizing whiteness.’
The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, a well-known medical journal, has published a study by Dr. Donald Moss, a psychoanalyst who teaches at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, demonizing “whiteness” as a “malignant, parasitic-like condition to which white people have a particular susceptibility.”
The study refers to “whiteness” as a “disorder” with no permanent cure. “Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable and perverse,” Moss, a white New Yorker, wrote. “These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples.” The article continues, “Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which ‘white’ people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world.”
Thus, Moss explains, “While it’s ‘nearly impossible’ to eliminate such appetites, they can be effectively treated with a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions. Medical professionals can only hope to reshape those appetites for the better, such as reducing their intensity, altering their aims and, in some cases, turn those aims to the work of reparation.”
Moss’s peer-reviewed study is real (and not satirical), despite some of the responses it’s stirred on social media.
“How do my colleagues consider this scholarship? Anyone actually take this seriously?” tweeted Pennsylvania-based clinical psychologist Dr. Philip Pellegrino.
“This racist vomit should be called out for what it is,” another person responded, stating, “This is the lowest and most dangerous form of racism masquerading as academic discourse. Shameful.”
In October 2020, the American Journal of Community Psychology also published an article calling for greater awareness and understanding of “whiteness,” as well as “interventions to dismantle whiteness.”
Previously, in April 2021, New York-based psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Aruna Khilanani lectured at Yale University on “the psychopathic problem of the white mind.” Khilanani explained in her lecture, “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step.” She likened white patients to a “demented, violent predator who thinks they are a saint or superhero.”
Yale responded to her talk by stating the content of the lecture was “antithetical to the values of the school.” It, too, provoked controversy in the media with many outraged, and those on both sides of the fence in the argument. “The entire mental health industry is irreparably broken – absolutely infested with this kind of madness,” podcast host Matt Walsh said on Twitter.
Regarding Moss’ article, commenters called it “distributing” with some even likening the language he used to “Nazi propaganda against Jews in the 1930s” and suggesting that the argument may be taken off-paper and cause real-life chaos. “The language of genocide,” one observer said, while another warned, “We should be scared. Next is hospitalizing those afflicted by whiteness, reprogramming them, then extermination of many.”
Moss’ American Psychoanalytic Association bio states that his work “from the mid-1980s has been trying to “understand and dismantle structured forms of hatred…racism, homophobia, misogyny and xenophobia.” The approach taken in his latest article, however, seems to have incited fear and unrest.