Friday, May 25, 2007

Lee Jasper: the multiculturalists go insane

This story starts back in early 2004, when a former High Court judge Sir John Blofeid, led an investigation into the death of David Bennett, a black schizophrenic patient. Blofeid's inquiry concluded at the time, that the mental health services were nothing but 'a festering abscess' of institutional racism. From then on, anyone and everyone seemed to agree that a strategy of 'leadership' and anti-racism was needed in order to combat what was perceived as 'institutional racism'.

So there it is, in a nutshell - the reason why people of Caribbean and African origin are over-represented in Britain's psychiatric wards is simply because psychiatric hospitals are akin to something like the British police force - institutionally racist. From this perspective, it stands to reason that what needs to be done is to drastically reduce the rate of ethnic minorities being detained in psychiatric hospitals.

Into this steps Lee Jasper, the anti-racist, mental health advisor to the Mayor of London, who told the BBC's Newsnight, that we are currently witnessing 'racism on an industrial scale' in psychiatric wards up and down the country. For Jasper, the Blofeid report and the subsequent national census entitled 'Count me in', are proof that mental health services are profoundly racist. Indeed, Jasper confidently asserted only 2 years ago at a national conference for professionals and carers that the national census 'confirms once and for all that mental health services are institutionally racist and overwhelmingly discriminatory. They're more about criminalising our community than caring for it'. This all sounds very alarming, however, there is no real need to be alarmed, mainly because Jasper is sadly wrong on these issues.

It doesn't seemed to have occurred to the national census 'Count me in', Judge Blofied, or New Labour's Jasper, that the reason why there seems to be a disproportionate amount of ethnic minorities in the mental health services, might be because there is a disproportionate amount of mental illness amongst ethnic minorities, especially in urban areas. The truth is, ethnic minorities in Britain are just as likely to suffer from a mental illness more than their white counterparts - this truth appears to shock many on the Left who find the notion unbelievable. Indeed, Jenny Daniells, a mental health worker told the Socialist Worker back in 2005 how shocking it was to 'walk into any secure mental health unit in London', and only to find out 'it will be full of young black men' - the truth can indeed be disturbing for some people

I agree with professor Swaran Singh - a respected consultant psychiatrist who argued that the constant labelling of psychiatric hospitals as a festering abscess of racism is not only erroneous, it's far worse than that, it's counter-productive. As professor Singh tried to explain to Newsnight, that the high prevalence of psychosis in ethnic communities and high rates of detention 'are not a result of racism'. So now it appears as if there is a huge reality gap - there is the reality of multiculturalists like Jasper who see 'racism' everywhere and anywhere he turns his head. In fact, for Jasper, there can be 'no other credible explanation' other than institutional racism he says. Yet, the reality according the latest research by the Institute of Psychiatry reveals a rather different story altogether.

For example, the latest AESOP (Aetiology and Ethnicity of Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses) study talks about 'remarkably high rates for schizophrenia and mania in both African-Caribbeans' - and that the 'findings held true for both men and women and were evident across all age groups'. The truth is, official anti-racists like Jasper are actually ignoring the real causes of why black people are over-represented in the mental heath services, and in doing so, he puts our community and patients lives at real risk. In fact, mental health tribunals are so frightened of being accused of institutional racism, that they release dangerous black mental health patients back into the community, in order to shake off such charges and basically hope for the best.

The research points to the fact that migrant communities, no matter where they come from, suffer from more mental health problems - and this applies to all migrant communities around the world. Indeed, white Britons who migrate to Australia are just as prone to suffer from high rates of psychosis as black people who migrate to Britain. The institutional racism/multicultural agenda is in fact insane because it makes matters worse for those who really need treatment.

Those who question the notion of institutional racism in the mental health services are perceived as being in denial of racism - but if you ask me, official anti-racism and multiculturalism are making the problem worse. Indeed, those who argue that mental health services are racist are doing the black community in inner cities no favours whatsoever.

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