04 June 2014

Doctor Of Hate

It's amazing how much hate you can get away with spreading if you have a "Dr." in front of your name or "Ph.D." after it.

Nobel Laureate William Shockley--who is often called "the father of Silicon Valley"--went on the lecture circuit to call for eugenics, saying that blacks were innately less intelligent than whites.  Of course, wherever he went, anyone tasked with promoting his lectures played up the fact that he won one of the world's most pretigious prizes.  However, the fact that it was for Physics was never mentioned; Shockley had no expertise in genetics, which was supposed to be the intellectual foundation of his prejudice.

More recently, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein used the confidence bestowed upon them on account of their academic attainments to promote nonsense much like Shockley's.  But together they had even less knowledge of genetics than Shockley had:  Murray was a political scientist and Herrnstein a psychologist.

Now we have another doctor in the House of Hate.  At least he is employed where he belongs:  Faux, I mean Fox, News.  I am referring to Dr. Keith Ablow, who excoriated the parents of Ryan Whittington, the six-year-old transgender boy whose parents are aiding his transition.  The estimable Dr. Ablow says that young Whittington--whose inspiring video went viral--would be better served by "antipsychotic" medications.

Whoa, there. First of all, too many lives have been ruined and people destroyed by the notion that transgenderism (or, for that matter, homosexuality or bisexuality) is a psychosis or mental illness.  Plenty of LGBT people were given such medications as children and even adults; some who survived the experience were left in a haze, unable to function in school, jobs or relationships.  Note that I said "who survived the experience":  Who knows how many committed suicide or died accidental deaths in their drug-addled states?

Whatever you think of helping such a young child transition, you probably wouldn't want your kid on most of those medications even to treat the conditions for which they're intended.  While I spent large parts of my life in one degree or another of depression, I am glad I was not prescribed such medications.  In fact, a therapist wanted to put me on Prozac, but I refused because I knew people who took it and didn't like what I saw.

Then there is the issue of Dr. Ablow's expertise.   Whatever it is, it ain't in gender issues.  And, whatever it is, it is not the core foundation of his work:  He seems to operate from the same phobias one finds in those who use their "faith" or religion as a rationale for their prejudices.  On top of the veneer of faith is the sheen of his scientific--or, in any event, academic--credentials.  "If he has those degrees, he must know what he's talking about."  I can hear people thinking that, just as they believed the Nobel Laureate Dr. Shockley must have had some insight into racial heirarchy the rest of us don't have.

In the end, he's really no different from Marcus, a.k.a. Mr. Michelle, Bachmann.


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