Reviewed by Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Educator and author Ethelbert Haskins has written a brilliant novel on the mind set of inner city children who have been taught by their African American leaders to be victims. In Victim Psychosis in the Center City Ghettos, author Haskins, himself a leader in the early Congress of Racial Equality movements, defines victim psychosis as a serious, self-defeating mental illness in which one is taught to think of him/herself as hopelessly set upon, such that rage, hate and alienation are the means to the end. It was never the intention of early Black leaders to work for anything other than equality under the law. But the author contends that current leaders have gone far beyond the aspirations of racial equality. As long as current African American leaders continue to keep alive hate and hostility, their clientele (young, Black children) will remain on the bottom rung of the culture in matters of health, education and finance.
As an educator, Haskins feels that as long as leaders continue to teach undisciplined activity (which is the easiest road to follow), then young African Americans will continue to spew out rage and hostility in rap songs and a specialized "African" culture which is intended to segregate them from the American culture at large. This segment of inner city victims not only wants right accorded to the general population, they want rights of separatism under the protection of USA laws. This position, which is said by Black leaders to improve the status of Blacks, actually alienates them from society and makes it impossible for them to absorb Western thought. It is antithetical to the "melting pot" theory of "e pluribus unum."
The author is African American and erudite in his claims. He backs his theories with substantial research as well as on-the-job experience. Although the book may inflame those to whom the message is directed, this reader believes the book should be on every college campus and required reading for all students in cross cultural studies.