“There is no mental health for Black people without understanding racism and [whyte] supremacy; it is the major origin of stress that impacts us… There will never be peace as long as there is [whyte] supremacy.” -Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing
Jan 2, 2021 marked 5 years since we lost Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, who was a psychiatrist, scholar and educator in our community. It is even more important now, to reflect on the insight and teachings of Dr. Welsing, as the topics of racism and white supremacy are more widely discussed. For Black America, the landscape of 2020 and the state of Black America could only really be understood through the lens of Dr. Welsing.
Dr. Wesling began studying racism in broader context after trying to understand the root causes of Black patients that were coming to her about being stressed, particularly in the workplace. Her ideas on racism led her to developing her theory which she published in The Isis Papers: The Keys to Colors.
In the words of Neely Fuller Jr, “if you do not understand racism and white supremacy, what it is and how it operates, everything you think you understand will only confuse you.”
Dr. Welsing learned a lot from Neely Fuller regarding racism and white supremacy. It was from his lectures and teachings that she began to understand the structure of racism as a system operating at various sectors of our society, to maintain white dominance over their non-white counterparts.
Dr. Welsing took her understanding of racism and white supremacy further, as she deeply searched for the “why” to racism and white supremacy which she published in The Isis Papers.
The collection of essays Dr. Welsing complied over an 18-year span was influenced by Fuller’s The United Independent Compensatory Code.
Dr. Frances taught us that the oppression and historical trauma inflicted by the white race, is for white genetic survival.
“Fuller demonstrated what racism is, and where it functions. However, The Isis Papers shows how and why racism functions. Dr. Welsing analyses racism and its horrific effects by decoding the symbolism of European domination. It is interesting to note that symbols do not arise from conscious levels of thought. Hence, the dynamics of racism also operate below our conscious awareness, unless of course we are awakened to its subtleties.”