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Skin Lightening/ Whitening, is the most common Mental illness in the World
Due to the effects of alienation of the existential self, some blacks have even gone as far as changing their skin colour from black to white, in an attempt to deny their “Africanness”
The Healing Power of Self Love (P. 131)
It was close to mid day when I bumped into five of my Ugandan friends. They were all well educated, fashionably dressed, and properly fed women belonging to the upper echelons of our society. “Hey Oscar,” they screamed out in unison, with beaming smiles, “check out this wig! What do you think about it? Do I look cool?” they asked excitedly, as each one of them tried out the blonde haired wig of a white woman.
On any given day, each of these African women looks fabulous, but with the blonde haired wig placed on their heads, their appearance was close to that of an African ghost on strike in a rural market place!
“That wig is a symbol of the black person’s self hatred!” I bellowed with intense emotion, a tight knot of disgust forming in my belly. “That is something Malcolm X spoke about in the 1950’s when he referred to the use of the conk and wigs of white women’s hair by blacks as symptoms of the self hatred of the black race. Anyone who wears that wig is mentally ill, and they suffer from a severe form of mental illness to which the psychiatrist ascribes the name Alienation of the Existential Self…”
My women friends posed for a while, took a hard long look at me, shook their heads in sympathetic disbelief, and then burst out into their loud, cheerful chatter as a very dark skinned woman among them planted the wig on her head. “Oh my God you look cool!” her friends complimented her, “but a light skinned person would look more like a white woman in that wig than a black person.”
These women were all suffering from alienation of the existential self, which is the most severe form of self hatred, in this case, the black person’s hatred of his own blackness, and in other cases, the Asian’s hatred of his own race. It is the most common mental illness among non white people, and the leading cause of self destruction in these people. These facts are well explained by Oscar Bamwebaze Bamuhigire in The Healing Power of Self Love (504 pp., $30.95).
Self hatred leads to self destruction in all its forms- addiction, suicide, mental illness, crime, depression, eating disorders, etc. At no point in history have white women attempted to wear wigs of black women’s hair, nor do white women make the attempt to speak in African or Asian accents. This is a mental illness that affects non white people only.
There are many other symptoms of this kind of self hatred. Many Africans, African Americans, other blacks and Asians bleach their skins in an attempt to look white, many others who have even never been to Europe or USA go to great lengths to speak in European and American accents. Light skinned African/ Asian women are considered to be more beautiful than black/ darker skinned women by Asian African men, and many African/ Asian women are increasingly suffering from eating disorders like Bulimia and Anorexia because they want to transform their African/ Asian morphologies into White ones!
According to BBC, more than half of the women in Mali are bleaching their skins, and the same could be said about any other region with black people, including the rest of Africa, Jamaica, USA, UK, etc.
Asians are facing a similar trend- 4 out of 10 women in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan use a skin-whitening cream. "Every Thai girl thinks that if she has white skin the money will come and the men will come.” said Nithiwadi Phuchareuyot, a doctor who prescribes skin bleaching creams at a clinic in Bangkok. In Thailand and many other Asian countries, the hatred of a non white skin is rooted in their languages. One common insult is "tua dam," or black body- it is a rude term used to degrade people of lower social standing. Similar words are "e dam" (black girl) or "dam tap pet" (black like a duck’s liver). As a black African, I was constantly a victim of racism in Bangladesh. My experiences are available at: http://www.selflove.zoomshare.com/
A recent study revealed that 61 percent of Asians in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan said they felt they looked younger with a fair complexion. It also revealed that half of Filipino women, 45 percent of Hong Kong women and 41 percent of Malaysian women were currently using a skin-whitening product. "Everybody else basically wants white skin," said Leeyong Soo, the international fashion coordinator at Vogue Nippon (Japan). The Ancient Chinese used to say that, "one white covers up three ugliness".
Another survey by a research company, Asia Market Intelligence, revealed that three quarters of Malaysian men thought their partners would be more attractive with lighter complexions. In Hong Kong two thirds of men had a preference for fairer skin, while half the local women wanted their men paler. Almost half of Asians aged 25 to 34 years have bleached their skins.
Slavery, segregation, Apartheid, and colonialism instilled self hatred in non white people, most especially those of African descent, because they robbed them of a sense of self worth and self value. It conditioned them to hate themselves for many centuries. When you are abused over and over again, you learn to hate yourself, and those of your kind, until, in self hatred, you turn against yourself, and begin to abuse yourself in the same way that you were once abused. This is what is sometimes referred to as Repetition Compulsion.
Non white people could not defend themselves against their white abusers, and so they identified with them instead! They learned to adore the white skin, and everything associated with it, and to hate the non white skin, and everything associated with it. The great psychiatrist Frantz Fanon explained: “In the man of colour there is a constant effort to run away from his own individuality, to annihilate his own presence”.
OSCAR BAMUHIGIRE has more than twelve years of experience as an addiction counsellor. He has a degree in Psychology from Makerere University, and training in the Therapeutic Community model from DAYTOP International, New York, U.S.A. In 2003, he represented Africa at an international symposium on addiction held in the Vatican, where he personally met Pope John Paul II. Oscar Bamuhigire suffered from alcoholism for ten years, but recovered in 1995 after he joined a 12 step group. He currently lives in Uganda, where he works as an addiction counsellor in private practice. He has a website at: http://www.writersownwords.com/
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