“John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh, M.D.


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“John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh, M.D.

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“John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh, M.D.

  1. 1. “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh http://hiphopwired.com/wp- [1] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  2. 2. “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist”By James McIntosh The following is the text of a speech delivered by Psychiatrist Dr. James McIntosh, at therecent reopening of John Henrik Clarke HouseSource: http://www.facebook.com/notes/james-mcintosh/john-henrik-clarke-master-psychiatrist/449143171790131Professor John Henrik Clarke was my teacher, my mentor and hero at Hunter College. He wasmy instructor for 16 of the credits I took in my Black Studies major. He influenced every aspectof my life, what I named my children where I live and where I worked-- everything. Mydaughter is named Asantewa because Professor Clarke taught me about the Warrior Queen YaaAsantewa. My oldest son is named Tayari (in honor of both Kabili Tayari and Tayari Casel)but also because Tayari means prepared or ready and Dr. Clarke taught us that we should havenation building skills and be prepared. My youngest son Molefi has the middle name Henrikbecause Dr. Clarke had changed his own middle name from Henry to Henrik. I worked atHarlem Hospital because Dr. Clarke suggested I work at Harlem Hospital when I asked himwhere I should do residency when I completed medical school.I met Professor Clarke as one of the students involved in the struggle to form the Department ofBlack and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and the struggle to bring Professor Clarke as afaculty member to Hunter College. There were some very heavy students there and my job inthat struggle was more muscle than intellectual. I was recently back at the college from Vietnamand student leaders would tell me to stand by a door and look ugly as we sat in and laid siege tovarious offices in the college. In the course of that struggle my consciousness was raised and Ieventually changed my major from mathematics to Black Studies -- right there in the departmentwe had forced the college to create.Dr. Clarke surprised me one day by asking me to represent the department on behalf of thestudents at a large conference the Hunter College Department of Education was holding upstate.This invitation was expressing in me a confidence that I certainly did not yet have in myself andI argued with him that there were far more intellectually powerful student leaders such as JamesOllie, Felix Rivera and Cecilia Clay that were eminently more qualified to represent thedepartment but Dr. Clarke said "No, I want you to do it."For three days at the conference I did not say a word. I simply listened in disbelief as I heard andobserved the racism of the largely white gathering. Finally at the last plenary session which wasbeing taped for a TV program I was placed on a panel with Professor Clarke even though I wasstill saying nothing. Professor Clarke turned to me and said, "Boy you cant sit up here for threedays and say nothing." I said, Professor Clarke, I dont want to say anything that wouldembarrass you. He reassured me that I could let loose without causing him any embarrassment. [2] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  3. 3. Armed with only, at best, 2 Black Studies courses I began to light into the racist things that hadbeen said at the conference. The place caught on fire. Some of the other Black folks scattered inthe audience and who had also been sitting in silence up to that point, now jumped in supportingmy statements. Soon some of the white faculty began to direct their fire at me. But I found thatwith the smattering of Black History information I had, I could easily refute their statements andarguments. Professor Clarke had already taken the time to show me and all the Black studentsthe power of African History at one of our invasions of the College Faculty Council. It was therethat we witnessed Professor Clark decimate the colleges top scholars -- telling the mathinstructors what they did not know about the origin of math, the Romance language instructorswhat they did not know about Russian, Spanish and French history and literature as he hit themwith the Moorish invasion, Pushkin and several generations of the Dumas family. So there I wasat this conference with my two courses trying to do the same thing and actually doing it. It waslike I had a machine gun rat tat tat tat tat I was mowing them down.Soon one of the big guns at the conference fired. He shouted at me, in a thick Germanic accent,"You are arrogant, you are arrogant," but I just mowed him down. I said "you call me arrogantwhen a few minutes ago I heard you use the phrase Red China. You are the epitome ofarrogance; calling the Peoples Republic of China --red China and calling the little island TaiwanChina. Thats is like calling mainland United States-- Red America and calling Manhattan IslandThe United States. I looked at Professor Clarke and he was smiling. The Black folks in theaudience were smiling. When the real big guns came out, Professor Clarke took over, coolytaking a straight razor out of his jacket pocket-- not a real straight razor. This is a metaphor yall.He took out his razor and slit every opposing throat in the place. The conference was blownapart. When it was over everyone was excited all the Black people gathered around us andProfessor Clarke was beaming, like a Bear who had just taught his cub to hunt.Now as professor Clarke would say, I will get to the subject of my lecture. My topic is "JohnHenrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist.” But Professor Clarke is not a psychiatrist you might say andI once might have agreed with you. For it is only recently that I realized what a psychiatrist hewas for me personally and what a role he played in my ever becoming a psychiatrist. It wasProfessor Clarke who taught me about Imhotep and who first introduced me to the work ofFanon, Senghor and to the literature which would lead me to the works of Wright, Akbar,Kambon, Karenga, Asante, Ani, Wilson, Welsing, Nobles etc. [3] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  4. 4. Yes in retrospect Dr. John Henrik Clarke was not only a psychiatrist he was a masterpsychiatrist. His patient was our people. His technique could be called African, cognitive,emotional and spiritual, reconstruction but he was eclectic enough to use whatever was needed tohelp his patients, psychoanalysis, supportive psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and even shocktherapy when necessary. This topic John Henrik Clarke, Master Psychiatrist is way too large tobe covered in the 20 minutes alloted to me. To treat this subject properly would requirethorough scouring of all of Dr. Clarkes writings and speeches. That is a task obviously beyondthe scope of todays lecture and too comprehensive and specialized for the purpose of today’slecture/ tribute. So today instead of comprehensively detailing my thesis I will simply do enoughto to make my point,Today I will review with you one presentation of Dr. Clarke from around1995 which was hisdebate with Cornell West over Nationalism vs. whatever it is that Brother West says he believesin. Try as I might, I can never remember what that is. I know that there are words such asChristian, Radical and something else which apparently my limited brain refuses to remember oreven instruct my hand to write down.In that debate Dr. Clarke actually on numerous occasions used formal psychological terminologysuch as ego, guilt, consciousness, conscience, Intelligence, Natural genius, depression, fantasy,temperament etc. . In several other instances during that debate, Dr. Clarke addressedpsychological issues such as sociopathy, manipulation, family dynamics, child development,altruism, object constancy, autonomy, shame and doubt, and defense mechanisms without everannouncing that this is what he was doing. Lastly in this debate, Dr. Clarke demonstrated the useof various psychiatric techniques such as proper timing when making an interpretation as well asthe uses of emotional learning, and therapeutic alliance in the treatment of the patient. Duringhis lifetime Dr. Clarkes patients were 1. Our people in general, 2. His audience and in the caseof this debate, 3. Dr. West himself. Certainly this discussion is more therapy than a debatebecause, as Dr. Clarke pointed out in his infamous confrontation with the european anti-Afrocentrist Mary Lefkowitz, it was not a debate, because a debate is between equals. Likewise,with Mr. West, Dr. Clarke was never engaged in a debate but as he pointed out to Lefkowitz hewas engaged in Quote World War III unquote.The Debate with West started with Dr. Clarke doing what only he can do so well, which was togive a grand overview of the dynamic between Africans and Non Africans going all the wayback to the Punic Wars. Dr. Clarke discussed the European Personality starting with the Romansduring those wars as an example. The term he used was European temperament. Temperamentis simply another word for character and Professor Clarke was showing familiarity here withLeopold Sedar Senghor’s work which postulated certain differences between European andAfrican personalities. He was also demonstrating a familiarity with Dr. Bobby Wright’s book"Psychopathic Racial Personality," Clarke characterizes the period of the Punic Wars as a blownopportunity for Europe to share the power and the trade of the Mediterranean Ocean. [4] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  5. 5. He described what could be called a sociopathic tendency on the part of Europeans to want anddemand "it all” in any transaction rather than share. He describes it as an example of a tendencydictated by their temperament. Dr. Clarke traces that tendency exhibited during the Punic Warsall the way to the present where he points out that Europeans use as close to all of the worldsresources as they can. Dr. Clarke speaks of the vicious burning of Christians by the Romans followed by themanipulative conversion of the Romans to Christianity under Constantine to advance theirpolitical purposes. The Romans had decided that a religion with only one God was moreconducive to getting people accept the rule of the Romans under just 1 emperor. Clarke furtherwent on to demonstrate the consistency of the European personality when all the countries ofEurope even under the official label of Christianity engaged in the obviously immoral andmurderous behaviors required for conducting the slave trade. Dr. Clarke, without stating so,demonstrated his knowledge of defense mechanisms when he pointed to the Europeans use ofthe defense mechanism rationalization to overcome the small moral hurdle of justifying slaveryand murder even when ostensibly saddled with a religion which they alleged taught thebrotherhood of men. Clarke explains in this debate that Europeans simply used the rationale thatwerent slaving and murdering for profit but they were doing so to save souls and convertheathens to Christianity. Dr. Clarke points out how the Pope (Alexander 6) drew a line downthe middle of the earth and said that the Portuguese had the right to render persons into servitudeon one side of that longitudinal line and the Spaniards had the right to do it on the other side ofthat line.Dr. Clarke contrasts this moral flexibility, manipulativeness and obsessive acquisition of powerwith African Naiveté. He then pathologizes that Naievte and demonstrates examples of thatpathology in their interactions not only with Europeans with other non Africans. He gives thespecific examples of Africans’ alliances with Muslim Arabs in an effort to escape the yoke of theEuropean oppression only to find themselves later oppressed by the same Arabs. As apsychiatrist Dr. Clarke is speaking of the issue of object constancy. Object constancy refers tothe knowledge that a given person is the same person no matter under which circumstances onemeets that person. The infant according to western psychiatric thinking has a phase during whichhe cannot combine the identity of the mother who gratifies him by feeding him and playing withhim with the identity of the same mother who sometimes ignores his cries and sometimes failsto gratify him. They say that for a brief period in the infants development the infant thinks hismother is two different people. Now how did the infant tell European people this we cannot saybut let’s suspend our own object constancy for a moment and assume that they would not lieabout such a thing and just take note that Dr. Clarke is utilizing this concept as he critiques thehistorical child like naivete of our people failing to recognize the long standing modus operandiof non Africans. He contrasts Europeans consistently and persistently seeking power and controlof African resources to this African naivete. [5] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  6. 6. Dr. Clarke is harsh in his critique of those such as Dr. West, who feel they will obtain all thatthey need for liberation by alliances with Eurpean and other Non African sociopaths. Dr. Clarkeactually infers that they are psychotic. Remember psychosis is defined as a break with reality, i.e.thinking and perceiving things that have no basis in reality. Dr. Clarke does not overtly use theword psychotic but he describes psychosis perfectly as he says these words to Cornell West. "Wehave to introduce our people to reality. Oppression has taught us to live in a world of sickpolitical fantasy. "Clarke elaborates on this with several other comments such as:"No one has ever planned our destiny...Any people who think another power will plan their roadto power are fools...""Freedom is something you take with your own hands. You control it with your own hands. Youdo not leave it to other people or alliances. You first make alliance with yourself. When youmake an alliance you make it on whats convenient. Make it on what works and when it stopsworking you break it."Clarke does not say that his patient, Dr. West is specifically is engaged in a world of sickpolitical fantasy during this debate but it is obvious to the listeners that he considers West to beof that ilk. By not calling Wests name specifically and by speaking indirectly, Dr. Clarke is atone and the same time being respectful of West as an African man and on the other hand is alsousing what is considered generally as good psychiatric technique. The psychiatrist never makesan interpretation until the patient has in some way indicated he or she is ready for it. The healthypart of the patient will never ally with the therapist or form a therapeutic alliance if the therapistinjures the patient with the interpretation.Instead of the healthy part of West allying with Professor Clark, West attempts to flip the script.He attempts to ally with what he asserts is Dr. Clarke’s political past. He attempts to dissociateClarke from what West might call run of the mill nationalists and paint Clarke as an exception.West addresses the audience directly and alludes to Dr. Clarkes early and even late associationwith marxism/ communism by asserting that, "There is a tendency,” said West, “to relate to his(Clarkes) particular nationalist discussion and not recognize from whence it comes. He is not agarden variety nationalist who has not grappled over his life with complex ... issues of class,patriarchy, gender and ... so on” West then tried to butter up Professor Clarke by saying, "It isvery easy at times for people to invoke the name John Henrik Clarke because he is so well andrightfully respected and not understand the fire, the brook of fire through which he has come. Hehad to ... as a senior intellectual freedom figher to engage Marx and Engels and Lenin and rightacross the board as well as to be a radical democratic thinker? Is that fair to say," he asks Dr.Clarke. [6] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  7. 7. Dr. Clarke is gentle as he tries to address the issue of racial identity with a person he can clearlysee has problems in this area. "That’s fair." said Clarke "But remember I was born in UnionSprings Alabama the son of a sharecropper." Clarke goes on to tell how his father made 14dollars week and how on one day after he had made 18 dollars in a week his father had hadlectured Clarke on the value of hard work. Dr. Clarke goes on to contrast his fathers view pointwith his own observations. It is said that if two people agree on everything all the time one of thepeople is not thinking. Dr. Clarke, even at that early age was certainly thinking. Clarke tells howhe saw people who were working hard and not making much and others hardly working anddoing quite well. Clarke describes how his leaving home at 14 because he could not get alongwith his stepmother had led him to have many experiences among his own people, poor peoplethat gave him insights into the inequities in the system.In his youth, Clarke was indeed a member of the Young Communist league and by his ownaccount he was an associate of the Communist Party for 50 years. However, Dr. Clarke makesit clear by his disclosures to West regarding Clarkes own childhood observations of inequitiesthat it is these observations that are the source of his class consciousness and not the Europeanswith which he would have later association.. Clarke takes care to credit the Communist partywith giving him a place from which he could refine his own observations and analysis. He alsotakes care to say that he never joined the Communist Party.He tells West how he used the tools of analysis he gained and eventually turned that analysis onthe communists with whom he associated. He says this led the Communists to kick him out. Incase West had missed Clarkes subtle points regarding identity and development, Dr. Clarkespells it out for West saying Quote "I am a nationalist and I am unapologetic about it. I have hadassociations with all kinds of people. I have loved all kinds of people. I have appreciated the helpof all kinds of people but first and foremost above all things I am devoted to the ultimateliberation of my own people." Unquote The debate is really over at this point but unfortunately, West could not leave it alone. Westdesperately offered what could be called in psychiatric terminology, resistance to insight. This isperhaps what makes Dr. Clarke decide to eventually invoke shock therapy.West says in response to Clarkes remarks regarding Clarkes own nationalism."That raises a question of people-hood versus nationhood because you see," said West, "Ibelieve that people of African descent are a distinct people and an extension of African people.But ONE CAN BELIEVE IN DISTINCT PEOPLEHOOD AND NOT INFER WHATFOLLOWS THAT IS NATIONHOOD," asserted West. Clarke by this point, convinced that theaudience was ready for his interpretation, delivered a concise remark perfectly timed to giveWest the jolt he deserved and to give the audience immediate insight as to what force propelledWests feet and mouth. [7] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh
  8. 8. Said Dr. Clarke, "You would not say that to an Israeli." From out of no where-- BANG, Youwould not say that to an Israeli. Dr. Clarke had hit both West and the audience with high voltageinsight. For those who dont believe West felt the current consider the following fact. Westsnext four words consisted of the single word I stuttered in rapid succession, "I-I-I-I. It was likehe had stepped on Granville Woods’ third rail. So busy with the double talk, West had nevereven seen Dr. John Henrik Clarke slip on the electrodes --Dr. John Henrik Clarke the MasterPsychiatrist! James C. McIntosh, M.D. is a practicing psychiatrist in Queens New York. He is a Graduate of Hunter College Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Co-Chair CEMOTAP, Inc. (The Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People) 135-05 Rockaway Blvd. S. Ozone Park, NY 11420 [8] “John Henrik Clarke Master Psychiatrist” By James McIntosh