Academic Journal Publishes Paper Calling Whiteness a “Malignant, Parasitic-Like Condition” For Which There is “Not Yet a Permanent Cure”
A psychoanalytic journal has published a research paper that calls whiteness “a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which ‘white’ people have a particular susceptibility.”
Published on May 27, Dr. Donald Moss’ paper “On Having Whiteness” appears in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Interestingly enough, Moss himself is white. He is also an academic, author, and has his own private practice.
The abstract of his paper begins as follows:
Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has—a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which “white” people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse. These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples. Once established, these appetites are nearly impossible to eliminate.
Moss then proposes a principle of “effective treatment,” though he admits that “whiteness” does not yet have a “permanent cure”:
Effective treatment consists of a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions. Such interventions can reasonably aim only to reshape Whiteness’s infiltrated appetites—to reduce their intensity, redistribute their aims, and occasionally turn those aims toward the work of reparation. When remembered and represented, the ravages wreaked by the chronic condition can function either as warning (“never again”) or as temptation (“great again”). Memorialization alone, therefore, is no guarantee against regression. There is not yet a permanent cure.
Prior to his paper’s publication, Moss gave at least two presentations of it at academic events. In January 2020 he presented the paper at the New York Psychoanalytic Society Institute, and then again in February 2020 at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies.
Psychoanalysis is a controversial psychiatric discipline founded by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century. Oxford Languages describes it as “a system of psychological theory and therapy which aims to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques such as dream interpretation and free association.”