Master Teacher Sister: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Community Award at National Black LUV Festival in WDC, September, 21 2008.
Washington, D.C.-based psychiatrist and race theorist Frances Cress Welsing rocked the fields of cultural and behavioral science with her 1970 essay The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy). This striking theory of the origins of racism is rooted in the effects that varying degrees of melanin—the color-producing pigment in skin—can have on racial perception and development. “The quality of whiteness is a genetic inadequacy or a relative deficiency or disease based upon the inability to produce the skin pigments of melanin which are responsible for all skin color,” she explained in the essay, adding, “The majority of the world’s people are not so afflicted, suggesting that the state of color is the norm for human beings and [its] absence is abnormal.”
In her essay, Welsing contends that because of their “numerical inadequacy” and “color inferiority,” white people may have defensively developed “an uncontrollable sense of hostility and aggression” towards people of color which has led to “confrontations” between the races throughout history. Repressing their own feelings of inadequacy, whites “set about evolving a social, political and economic structure to give blacks and other ‘non-whites’ the appearance of being inferior.”
The second of three girls, Welsing was born on March 18, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, into a family that had already produced two doctors. Her father, Henry N. Cress, now deceased, was a medical doctor, as was her grandfather. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1957, and her M.D. at Washington D.C.’s Howard University College of Medicine five years later, Welsing pursued a career in general and child psychiatry. Her Cress Theory essay was published while she was an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Howard University College of Medicine. According to Welsing, it caused such a stir that her tenure at the university was not renewed in 1975.
In addition to her role as an educator, Welsing spent nearly two and a half decades of her long and distinguished career working as a staff physician for the Department of Human Services in Washington, D.C., and served as the clinical director of two schools there for emotionally troubled children. A specialist in both child and general psychiatry, she began her private practice in the district in 1967 and has gained particular acclaim for her work with young people.
excerpt from “The Isis Papers” by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (pages 255 – 258)
Because Blacks and other non-white people have failed to understand racism as white genetic survival, they erroneously have believed that they could be integrated into the white supremacy system and that they could depend upon whites to maximally develop Black infants, children and youth in the same manner that white people promote the maximal development of white infants, children and youth. Blacks and other non-white have failed to understand that if white people were to do this, it would mean active white participation in white genocide. Black people must master this perception of racism (local and global) as a war for white genetic survival, a system into which non-white people never can be integrated.
Under the stress of white supremacy, numerous offspring prevent the possibility of adequately meeting the needs of each individual child, as each child crowds out the opportunity for emotional nurture of the others. The crowding prevents high level psycho-social development from taking place. The promotion and insurance of failed psycho-social development is the process of inferiorization, which in turn promotes and ensures local and global white genetic survival.
What then is to be done? What short- and long-range strategies and tactics do Blacks need to employ in order to neutralize the ongoing white supremacy thrust for white genetic survival, which is achieved through Black infant, child and youth inferiorization? As an initial response to integration and face the difficult reality that most Black people prefer to ignore: you do not win a chess game if you have no knowledge of the exact objective and rules of the game. It is imperative that all Black people understand they are not in a benign environment of benevolence and support, and that the surrounding highly structures environment is deadly; a very specific warfare is being waged against Black and other people classified as non-white in this social system. Further, all must understand that the specific war is racism for the purpose of white genetic survival – by any and all necessary means, inclusive of chemical and biological warfare. (Chemical warfare is designer drugs, such as crack and PCP. Biological warfare entails the production of cultural and ethnic organisms in viruses such as AIDS.)
Additionally, Black people must recognize the following points:
1) The war of white genetic survival achieves a major effect through inferiorization or failed psycho-social development, creating dependency, negative self-image, negative self-concept and vulnerability.
2) The war of white genetic survival attacks the functioning of Blacks in general, but most specifically attacks the Black male, as it is the Black male who most specifically threatens white genetic survival at a level the Black female is unable to approach.
3) Blacks must learn to counter the thrust of white supremacy and Black inferiorization effectively.
4) Blacks must discuss openly those means by which Black male infants, children and youth can be supported and developed maximally in order to counter the attack of white supremacy on Black male development and functioning.
5) Black male infants, children and youth need their fathers constantly present to support the behavior and identity of Black male children. And, because of the historic removal of Black fathers from homes, classes are needed to promote high-level functioning of Black males in their roles as fathers.
6) The white supremacy attack upon the Black male causes a collapse of Black family life and a distortion in the role of the Black female. This, in turn, causes a distortion and collapse of the support system for Black infants, children and youth, thereby beginning the process of inferiorization.
7) Black must think about and openly discuss, not how to beg white people to stop racism (because white people will have to continue their efforts for white genetic survival), but instead, how Black people can organize their own behavior on an ongoing basis, specifically to neutralize white supremacy and its impact on the development of Black offspring.
8) It is futile to beg white people to give grants and funds to foster the maximal development of Black people. To do so is to ask white people to commit white genocide.
9) Blacks must be able to discuss openly the logical necessity for Black inferiorization in whites’ struggle for white genetic survival.
10) The singing of “We Shall Overcome” will not combat white supremacy or Black inferiorization any more than singing any song will help to solve a problem in medicine or physics.
11) Immature and overwhelmed fathers and mothers cannot promote psycho-social development and counter Black inferiorization in the next generation.
12) Single female teenagers cannot promote psycho-social development in male or female offspring. And, most certainly, they cannot develop male offspring. They only can prepare these male offspring to spend their lives in penal institutions, while preparing their own daughters to become teenage mothers.
13) No Black female should become a mother before 30 years of age. No Black male should become a father before 35 years of age. Each Black family should have no more than two children, no closer together than three years apart. And, both Black males and females should, at a minimum, complete high school and become fully self-sufficient before marriage and parenthood. These structures are specifically for the purpose of countering the thrust for Black inferiorization and failed psycho-social development, under the conditions of white supremacy.
14) Maximal development of the collective Black genetic and constitutional potential will take place by the efforts of Black people alone – through their knowledge, understanding and behavior.
It is my hope that eventually every Black person in the healing profession will master an understanding of the etiologic chain that leads to Black inferiorization. Furthermore, it clearly would be to the benefit of Black people if Black professionals, in their efforts of healing, pass on this knowledge to their Black patients – enabling the patients to neutralize the impact of white supremacy on their lives and achieve a development of their Black genetic and constitutional potential, second to none.