I am having a hard time understanding why people who deny that racists are crazy are some sort of bad people, especially when we say they’re not crazy, but they are bad.
Neither is flattering.
It’s not flattering at all to call someone nuts, but it also sort of lets people off the hook. After all, crazy people aren’t really responsible for their condition, right? In that case, racists, being nuts, are no more responsible for their condition than people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. They’re not bad, they’re just ill. Do you really want to say that about racists?
Further, I don’t understand why it is outrageous or offensive to say, “Racists aren’t nuts, they’re just being immoral or bad.”
Both sides are saying racists are not cool. And it doesn’t really matter if someone is nuts or evil. Does it matter if a psychopath is nuts or evil? Of course not. We deal with them in the same way regardless.
So people who say racists are bad and people who say racists are nuts are both saying some pretty unflattering things about racists. In fact, it’s a lot more condemning to say that racists are bad than to say they are nuts. Crazy people are not responsible for their behavior, and bad people.
I don’t agree that racists are nuts, but if people want to take that position, it’s fine with me. People who say racists are nuts and people who say racists are bad should be friends, not enemies. They’re on the same page. They’re both looking at the same ugly picture. One person is saying that the ugly picture is caused by one thing and the other says the ugly picture is caused by another thing. At the end of the day, it’s not much of a disagreement.
I respect people who take the position that racists are nuts, not evil. I think they’re wrong but I respect the position. In the end the two positions are not particularly different anyway. See my analogy with psychopaths above.
Recently we have been dealing with someone who is a huge asshole. Like the biggest asshole in the galaxy. It’s controversial why he’s such an asshole. He has a mental disorder, bipolar disorder to be specific.
This person is at least a little bit manic all the time. The problem is that many manics are not happy manics. In fact, many are angry, irritable, aggressive, hateful, confrontational and even violent manics.
A lot of these manics look “Cluster B”, “narcissistic,” or especially psychopathic when they are manic.
In this sense Axis 1 conditions (true mental illnesses) can perfectly mimic Axis 2 conditions (personality disorders). In fact, if someone has a serious Axis 1 disorder such as a mood disorder, I would not diagnose a personality disorder until you clear up the Axis 1 disorder.
Only when that’s cleared up can the true personality shine through. Otherwise you are just looking through a fogged up mirror. You can’t see much of anything, and anything you think you see is probably wrong.
Anyway, discussing this person and others I have known with this going on, such as an aunt of mine, I told my Mom recently:
You know what? I really don’t care why someone acts horrible. I don’t care why someone is a total asshole or a monster. I don’t care if they act horrible because they’re mentally ill or just because they’re bad people. What difference does it make? All I know is that I need to get the Hell away from this horrible person. What’s causing their horribleness is ultimately irrelevant.