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Racism and Lack Of Intelligence Go Hand In Hand with Suicidal Depression!

New Study Shows Racists Are Basically Lacking Higher Cognitive Ability! Is Racism Just a Form of Stupidity or is it something much worse and deadly... depression?

The journal Current Directions in Psychological Science has released a study and... The short answer is yes—there is a clear, predictable and causal link between low intelligence and racism.

Let’s not stop there, however. It’s important, when dealing with such a controversial topic, to get down into the evidentiary weeds a bit. One of the problems plaguing the early research was that the results were confounded by other possible causes, like financial status and class and education. That is, it could have been these things, and not intelligence per se, that led to prejudice. Scientists had trouble sorting all this out. Scientists also didn’t have longitudinal data—data gathered on the same subjects over time—so they could not address the important issue of cause and effect.

Plus their study samples were not representative of the population. But scientists have over time solved these problems, and the key finding has held up: Empirical evidence has consistently linked low intelligence with prejudice.

Importantly, scientists have measured intelligence in a variety of ways, and the main conclusion always holds up. In one study of white children, for example, some were less able to see that a short wide glass holds the same amount of water as a taller skinnier glass. This ability is known as “conservation” in the jargon of the field, and it’s widely considered an important mental ability. In this study, the kids who lacked this ability also held more negative views of black children. Other researchers conducted an ambitious meta-analysis—a statistical aggregation of findings from many studies—and this also documented a link between cognitive style and ability, on the one hand, and authoritarian attitudes on the other.

Longitudinal studies provide some of the most convincing evidence. One such study looked at general intelligence in 10- and 11-year-old kids, and then re-studied those kids as adults two decades later—and found a clear connection between low intelligence and subsequent racism and sexism. Similarly, higher intelligence in childhood has been shown to predict less racism in adulthood. These analyses strongly suggest that low intelligence actually leads to hateful attitudes later on.

This is just a sampling of the accruing evidence on this point, all of which points to another puzzling question: Why? Why would verbal ability and math skills and other cognitive assets translate, over the years, into such hateful attitudes?

Researchers Dhont and Hodson believe they have an answer to this, again one based on rigorous abundant evidence. Their theory is that right-wing ideologies attract people with lower mental abilities because they minimize the complexity of the world. Right-wing ideologies offer well-structured and ordered views of society, views that preserve traditions and norms, so they are especially attractive to those who are threatened by change and want to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity. Conversely, smart people are more capable of grasping a world of nuance, fluidity and relativity.

The empirical evidence supports this link, too. Low intelligence and “low effort thinking” are strongly linked to right-wing attitudes, including authoritarianism and conservative politics. And again, there appears to be a demonstrable causal link: Studies have found, for example, that children with poor mental skills grow up to be strongly right-wing adults.

There is a final link in the chain of causality, according to head researchers Dhont and Hodson. Considerable evidence shows that conservative ideology predicts all sorts of prejudice—against ethnic and racial minorities, the disadvantaged, any outgroup. Indeed, right wingers are much more likely to see outgroups as a threat to traditional values and social order, resulting in heightened prejudice. Dhont and Hodson tested and confirmed this mediation model: Lower childhood intelligence clearly predicts right-wing ideology and attitude, which in turn predicts prejudice in adulthood.

The scientists elaborate on this idea in the Current Directions article: Intelligence and thinking determine how people assess threats in the world. Those with lower ability—reasoning skills, processing speed, and so forth—prefer simple and predictable answers, because that is what they are capable of processing. Any uncertainty is threatening, and they respond to such threats by trying to preserve what is familiar and safe, the status quo. These conservative reactions are basic and normal—they reduce anxiety—but over time they harden into more stable and pervasive world views, which include stereotypical thinking, avoidance, prejudicial attitudes and over discrimination.

The weight of evidence is hard to ignore, yet according to these scientists, it is conspicuously absent from contemporary theories of prejudice. They believe that it’s time for psychological scientists to stop ignoring the evidence—that in fact the field will benefit from open discussion of these controversial findings. The country might as well, and the events in Ferguson may well trigger that discussion. The discussion is not a new one but the evidence supporting it has grown it is now clear that higher cognitive ability promotes tolerance of racial out-groups and a sincere commitment to racial equality. Indeed, several studies now provide evidence that higher cognitive ability is associated with lower anti-black prejudice, lower authoritarianism, greater tolerance of out-groups, and greater support for egalitarian values among whites (Bobo and Licari 1989; Deary et al. 2008; Hodson and Busseri 2012; Kanazawa 2010).

Systemic/Structural racism has three components: history, culture, and institutions/policy. Historical racism provides the framework for current racism. Any structure built on a foundation (history) of racism will be a racist structure. Culture, which is ever-present in our day to day lives is what allows racism to be accepted, normalized, and perpetuated. Institutions and policies make up the fundamental relationships and rules across society, which reinforces racism and give it societal legitimacy (which makes it so hard to dismantle). People that are mentally lazy or have difficulty with critical thinking tend to embrace authoritarian ideals.

Racism also has an emotional and psychological effect on the victims! Approximately one third (35.6%) of U.S. high school students reported perceived racism. Perceived racism was highest among Asian (63.9%), Black (55.2%), and multiracial students (54.5%). Students who reported perceived racism had a higher prevalence of poor mental health (38.1%); difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions (44.1%); and not feeling close to persons at school (40.7%). Perceived racism was higher among those students who reported poor mental health than those who did not report poor mental health during the pandemic among Asian (67.9% versus 40.5%), Black (62.1% versus 38.5%), Hispanic (45.7% and 22.9%), and White students (24.5% versus 12.7%). A better understanding of how negative health outcomes are associated with student experiences of racism can guide training for staff and students to promote cultural awareness and antiracist and inclusivity interventions, which are critical for promoting safe school environments for all students.

But Ironically it is those who adhere to racist ideologies that are more likely to commit suicide surrounding those beliefs of persecution and directly related to their inability to recognize they or their views which internalize as they become more cognitively dissonant are the problem! The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention released a report citing that 90% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death.

Most telling are the disparities in both gender and race when it comes to suicide. Men die by suicide 3.8 times more often than women, and the suicide rate is more three times as high among Whites compared to African Americans, and twice as high as Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result? White men account for more than 70% of suicide deaths.

Many of these men still buy into the stigma that they should be strong enough to handle things on their own, they are extremely conservative in their views on gender roles and research shows that they do delay seeking healthcare, ignore symptoms of illness, and hold back information when they do finally see a doctor. This can be especially true when it comes to mental health conditions, which tend to be under-detected in these men as they don't believe they have a problem.

Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. But, when conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems go undiagnosed or untreated, the risk for suicide increases. Just one in four men who report daily feelings of depression or anxiety have spoken to a mental health professional. Studies show that in the most racially stratified states diseases of despair, and the resulting deaths of despair, are high especially in the Appalachia region of the United States, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri, Texas, Florida and Delaware. The suicide rate among males in 2021 was approximately four times higher than the rate among females. Males make up 50% of the population but nearly 80% of suicides. Firearms are the most common method used in suicides. Firearms are used in more than 60% of suicides.

Stressful life events, like divorce, financial crisis or loss, can also play a big role as environmental risk factors for suicide. The area of the country you live in can affect your risk for suicide, too. Research shows that people who live in rural areas are more likely to die from suicide for multiple reasons, including more access to firearms and less access to mental health resources.

In 2021 the States with the highest amounts of suicides of which over 70% percent of the suicides were white males were Arizona (1500 deaths),California (4200 deaths),Colorado (1384 deaths), Florida (3351 deaths),Georgia (1676 deaths),Missouri (1777 deaths),North Carolina (1448 deaths),Pennsylvania (1885 deaths),Texas (4193 deaths), Tennessee (1222 deaths), Ohio (1766 deaths). Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD, wanted to know if racial resentment lead White people to support public policies and make decisions that ultimately hurt their own health. Something that has been apparent to stratified communities in the south for decades. The physician and sociologist explored how racial anxieties fueled the repeal of gun control laws in Missouri, dampened enrollments in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Tennessee, and spurred education and social services cuts in Kansas. As a result of these decisions, he contends, gun suicides and school dropouts among White people in those states rose, and their life expectancies fell.

He chronicled his observations, including health data and conversations with residents, in his 2019 book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. Metzl states its only going to get worse as whites make up the oldest demographics in the country with a mean age of 48 and most suicides are white males above 55-60! Metzl categorizes "Whiteness" as the rise of a particular politics of Whiteness that is anti-immigrant, anti-government, ardently pro-gun, bathed in a kind of nostalgia for imagined greatness that is very often racialized (racist). "My research does not aim to discern individual racism. What I saw when I was talking to poor people was that part of the reason that their racism, quote unquote, was coming out, was that they were part of a political party that was draining their resources and giving the money that would have gone toward their education, their safety, their health care, toward tax cuts for wealthy people and corporations.

It was all going out the window." Metzl elucidates that the public was told their money was being given to minorities and immigrants and the citizens bought into the lies whole heartedly just as past generations had and with very few questioning the validity of the statements. "Trying to change people’s minds is exhausting and impossible. It’s much better to change structures in ways that reward cooperation." Perhaps their wiser children will stop this needless suffering based on fear and the insecurities of whiteness!

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