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In the dedication of her book, “The Isis Papers,” Dr. Frances Cress Welsing wrote, “This work is dedicated to the victims of the global system of white supremacy (racism), all non-white people worldwide, past and present, who have resolved to end this great travesty and bring justice, then peace to planet Earth.” Then it is followed by quote from Neely Fuller Jr’s. “The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/
Concept,” a text book/workbook for thought, speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy) which states, “If you do not understand White Supremacy (Racism)—what it is, and how it works—everything else that you understand, will only confuse you.”
Welsing’s theories about skin color and race have been very controversial yet straightforward and enlightening because unlike many—some who agree with her and others who do not—she had the audacity to publish her findings (thoughts and observation); something that many who may agree with her are not willing to do. A perusal through history and the comparison with other renowned scholars would reveal many similarities with Welsing’s work.
In “From Superman to Man,” J. A. Rogers wrote, before Welsing published her book, “Color prejudice is only a result of certain ignorant teachings. The White American to whom the feeling against the Negro means so much, had he been born in Europe and remained there, would have has some other kind of hate or phobia, such as dislike for Germans, or Frenchmen, or Italians, or Jews, or other White people.” This seems to validate the essence of Welsing’s observations.
She was born Frances Luella Cress in Chicago, Illinois, in March 1935, the second of three daughters to Dr. Henry N. Cress, M.D. and Ida Mae (Griffen) Cress, a schoolteacher. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College in 1957, Welsing continued her education at Howard University College of Medicine where she graduated as an M.D. in 1962. Following an internship at Cook County Hospital, she did a residency in general psychiatry at St. Elizabeth Hospital from 1963 to 1966 in Washington D. C. Welsing seemed to focus her professional career on psychiatry, psychology and the mental defects that she believed is inherent in Black people in general, as a result of centuries of oppression by White people.
During her career, Welsing has worked in a children’s hospital specializing in child psychiatry; the Paul Robeson School for Growth and Development North Community Mental Health Center; and in private practice as a psychiatrist, before rocking the fields of cultural and behavior science with her essay, “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy).” It describes that the origins of racism is rooted in the effects that varying degrees of melanin can have on racial perception and development for which she has been criticized for allegedly promoting an overtly racist ideology that White people are the genetically defective descendants of Albino mutants who had been forcibly expelled from Africa.
Welsing has espoused a theory of the condition of the world’s non-white—and especially Black—peoples that some scholars find obnoxious, others think incredible and many seem to just ignore, thinking that her ideas will eventually fade away, if ignored; but they have not. Rather than fade away, just the opposite seems to have happened because many reputable people and renowned scholars—past and present—have advanced ideas that paralleled her work and from whom she has referenced, directly and indirectly.
That mainstream academia do not subscribe to Welsing’s theories do not invalidate them (her theories) because a numerical majority (numbers) does not make them wrong, or right. To prove or disprove a theory would usually involve undertaking a combination of analytical, scientific and/or empirical work over a period of time depending on the nature of the theory to be proved or disproved. Laws in society tend to emanate from the will of the people (the governed or the majority) However, these laws are not always right. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that we have an obligation to resist unjust laws—civil disobedience. It must be remembered that at one time, “The Slavery of Black people was the law” in the United States.
Not only have other scholars described similar findings from their observations, but history also validates much of Welsing’s work. Look at what has happened—and in some cases continues to happen—from the European onslaught of Africa and the slave trade; the slaughter and near annihilation of the (American) Red Indians; the spread of the former British Empire in India and other peoples of color; and the residual effects of the aforementioned—part of what is now loosely called the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth consisting mostly of former British colonies). European imperialists carved out the continent of Africa among the following: Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal to the detriment of the indigenous Africans. The enslavement of Africans and other peoples of color have been given many “lofty” sounding names depending on the colonial power, the point in time and the location but they all “sub-descriptions” of racism (white supremacy) including imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, discrimination, jim crow and segregation, because “members of a large orchestra do not accidentally play the same tune, they do it in concert.”
In an etiology chart, Welsing laid out how the oppression and enforced low-level functioning for Blacks and other non-whites result in overall excessive environmental stress in all areas of life. Blacks were not supposed to function at the same level as Whites and to make sure that this occurred Blacks were afforded lesser with which to accomplish more, and were then described as functional inferiors, according to Welsing. Landmark decisions such as “Dred Scott” and “Plessy” were legal examples that served to institutionalize and justify someone else’s theory of Blacks’ position in society. In the United States and South Africa—where education was allowed—it was consciously designed on a two-tier system; excellent schools for Whites and inferior schools for Blacks, and the sole purpose of the “Black” education was to “keep them in their place.” In 1995, one Dr. William Tutman reportedly said, “To oppress a race (of people), and then label its reaction as a “mental illness,” is not only morally wrong, it is criminal and a fraud.”
The global system Welsing refers to as the cornerstone of the white supremacy power base consists of “patterns” that are found in nine areas of human activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war. As a (Black) behavioral scientist and psychiatrist, Welsing choose a path that complemented her training because by studying and publishing her findings relative to the mind and behavior of oppressed people worldwide, she has provided a mirror that reflects the devastating effects of racism (white supremacy). And whether or not it (white supremacy) is cloaked in another skin color, the results are just as insidious.
Wherever there is an oppressed majority—[South] Africa, India, the Caribbean—(in the United States, slaves were an oppressed minority), the oppressor primarily uses the mind—often subtly—and physical brutality—more openly—to control the behavior of the oppressed, of course, in participation with some the victims. Hence Welsing’s focus as a behavioral scientist. Psychiatry, in many different forms and names, has consciously used pseudo-scientific terminology and experimentation to secure fraudulently obtained positions of authority and compliance on the psyche of the oppressed masses. It is a problem masquerading as a solution.
How else could less than a quarter of a million British men (and women) oppress millions of Indians in India; or South Africans in South Africa; or Caribs and Arawaks in the Caribbean? The methods used were the same when the oppressed were a numerical minority as the slaves were in the Western World, or the American (Red) Indian, even though the latter started off in the numerical majority. (Welsing wrote that the term “Western” means “White;” it has become a comfortable obfuscating euphemism or code for the word “white”). The term that comes to mind is “genocide.” In “Stolen Generations,” Peter Read wrote, “Genocide does not simply mean the extermination of a people by violence but may include any means at all,” and over a long period of time.
In one of the closing chapters of her book, Welsing emphasized, “There is not a Black problem that I mentioned in this book which is not related to the reality of white domination of Black people.” In addition, in the Pan African.TV website, “Our leaders, lecturers and activists” section which is adjacent to Welsing’s, the categories name Amilcar Cabral, Elijah Muhammad, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the Black Panther Party.
“Legends” is the brainchild of Danny J. Bakewell Sr., executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel. Every week it will highlight the accomplishments of African Americans and Africans.