You Can't Judge Me, I'm Culturally Incompetent!
I am a sick man.
Wait. That’s the wrong way to put it. I am “a consumer in need of mental health services.” Not that there are mentally unhealthy people. Or, if there are, that we should judge them in any way. They are a vulnerable population, so we must learn about their culture and be sensitive to it.
I still don’t know why they allowed me to become a psychologist.
I’ve been licensed to practice since 1991. In order to finally get your license to steal, there are so many moola hoops you have to jump through -- including three thousand hours of internship time -- that I don’t think I could do it today. The final hoop is the state licensing exam, which includes a written part and an oral part. The written part is a piece of cake, basically a low wall to keep out total retards, er, the cognitively challenged. There is no correlation whatsoever between the ability to pass this exam and the ability to heal the soul. Amazingly, many people do not pass it, while others do so after two or three stabs at it.
Much trickier is the oral exam, because it’s subjective and they can bounce you for any reason. You are examined by a random team of two licensed psychologists, so a lot depends on the luck of the draw. The examiners proceed to read you a little clinical “vignette” and ask you questions about it. What are your thoughts? How would you treat this person? What’s their diagnosis? They then change little details, asking what you’d do in this or that situation. They always want to know what you’d do if the person were homicidal or suicidal or abusing either their children or their elderly parents.
Then they come to the really important part, cultural competence. This is where you are presented with the opportunity to fall over yourself in demonstrating how politically correct you are. It is one of the best examples I know of how the left insinuates itself into virtually every profession, converting political dogma into what is essentially law. For a license is a legal document, and it is therefore “illegal” for me to not toe the leftist line on issues of multiculturalism, cultural relativism, victimology, and political correctness. In short, I must pretend to be a racist in order to "pass" in this bizarro world -- both literally and figuratively.
Normal people don’t think about these things, but leftists are not normal people. As activists, they are always active. You and I may go about our lives earning a living, raising our children, enjoying our hobbies, happily interacting with members of other races and genders, but the activist has no life, so he is actively involved in making your life more difficult. He will not cease his activity until there are no victims left on whose behalf he can be active.
So anyway, just when you think you’ve covered the clinical vignette from every possible angle, out comes the cross-cultural curve ball: what if the patient were African American?
African American! Oh my God! A negro! What would I do? What would I do? They're not like us! They’re a completely different race, I mean, culture. The same rules don’t apply. They don’t think like you or I do. What’s crazy for you might be normal for them. Don’t forget the anger over slavery! And don’t forget that the patient won’t trust you, because you're a person of pallor! No, that’s not paranoia. For them it’s reality. You’re the Man. You’re an authority figure, and they don’t trust authority. (I wonder how this process works for blacks taking the psychology exam. Are they presumed to be “culturally incompetent” to treat people of colorlessness? And are secular psychologists deemed incompetent to treat Christians? Imagine the füror if this were the case.)
And remember, for blacks it’s a stigma to even consult a psychologist to begin with, so be very sensitive to that. And don’t forget, they have a matriarchal culture, so don’t mention the “F-word” (father). They just choose to organize their families differently, so don’t be projecting your own patriarchal values about marriage or the need for a mother and father. And remember, they’re rough on their kids, so don’t call it abuse. Mama don’t play!
So in a supreme act of self-destruction, I said something like, “You know, I don’t think this question really apples to me, because in my theoretical orientation, I look at human development objectively, no different than physical development. Just because some cultures are more obese than others, we wouldn’t therefore say that obesity is normal, would we? (Wrong!) There are certain standards and milestones of psychological maturity that one either achieves or fails to achieve, and that is the definition of pathology.”
I could see by the blank look on their faces that they weren’t buying any of it. I was about to be on the receiving end of the hidden sadism that animates the Compassionate Crowd.
Think, Petey, think!
“B-but,” I said. “But I wouldn’t let my theoretical orientation, which, after all, is just a cultural construct, interfere with my appreciating the unique needs of this underprivileged population.” And I proceeded to spew what in my mind was the worst kind of racial stereotyping you could imagine. I might as well have said, “in case they get hungry, I should probably have some watermelon in the waiting room.” It wouldn’t matter. In the topsy-turvy world of the left, the more you deal in grotesque racial stereotypes, the more culturally sensitive you are.
Of course I passed. With flying people-of-colors.
But that’s not the end of the hoops. Oh no. They can’t risk you lapsing into cultural incompetence once you’re licensed. At heart you are an incorrigible racist and homophobe. Steps must be taken. So they have “continuing education” (or re-indoctrination), thirty-six hours every two years, another chance for the activists to activate. One of the reasons why I resent continuing education is that it is one of the few times I must temporarily discontinue my education.
Yesterday was a case in point. I took a mandatory ethics class which, typically, was obsessed with the rights of homosexuals, in particular, those with HIV (not that it's a gay disease!).
Here are some samples from the course:
“HIV/AIDS has its own unique ethical issues. Because HIV can be transmitted through sexual activity and by sharing drug equipment, it evokes significant personal feelings and judgments in the general public, as well as in health and social service providers.”
You shall not judge the victim! Don't be leaping to conclusions about their "drug equipment." It's not like they smoke cigarettes or something. Pregnancy is transmitted by heteronormative sexual activity, and you don't judge an unlucky woman who is punished with a baby, do you?
“The principle of justice assumes impartiality and equality. It means that a clinician will treat all clients equally and give everyone their due portion of services. This principle applies to the individual client as well as on the larger societal level.”
You shall not prefer certain people or cultures over others! Doing so is unjust. And make sure that 13% of your patients are black and 52% are women. After all, that's their "due portion" of your services.
“Individuals have the right to decide how to live their own lives, as long as their actions do not interfere with the welfare of others. This principle respects the unconditional worth of the individual and promotes the concepts of self-governance, self-determination, and self-rule.”
You shall not make any moral judgments! Doing so is immoral. Everyone is unconditionally valuable, except for people who think otherwise. And we must value self-determination and self-rule, except for official victims whose lives are determined and ruled by white male victimizers. They have no free will, and therefore, no moral standards.
“The impact of welfare reform may augment concern about access issues. Adding restrictions to a population that is already disenfranchised will require more creativity, patience, and determination on the part of the clinician who is trying to advocate for a client.”
Your job is not to "treat a patient” but to advocate for a client and achieve social justice through increasing dependence upon the federal government! And you must help your "disenfranchised" client register to vote (Democrat, of course), so that we can undo welfare reform and get them back on the dole, where they belong.
“For some counselors, the knowing transmission of HIV is as serious as hearing their client threaten to kill someone. There are differences, however, between knowingly transmitting HIV and murder. For one, the campaign to stop the transmission of HIV has encouraged people to protect themselves. Therefore, every individual is responsible for safer sex practices, so it is not entirely the responsibility of the person with HIV.”
You are not a victim if someone intentionally gives you HIV. Hey, wait, I don’t get this one... Finally, a real victim! Wrong. You can't be victimized by a homosexual, especially one with AIDS.
“Providers should consider the following questions: How can providers, and society in general, ensure that resources are distributed fairly?"
Why, by becoming Marxists, of course.
"How can such allocations be free of bias and assumptions about certain individuals, cultures, and populations?”
Umm, by having a load of politically correct cultural biases and assumptions about them?
“Cultural issues often are glossed over... For example, a gay, African American client may have difficulty dealing with his homosexuality and as a result may be having anonymous unprotected sex impulsively.”
Hmm... What if having impulsive anonymous unprotected sex is the whole point of his sub-culture? Shouldn't we be sensitive to that?
And my favorite: “Dual relationships should be avoided if possible. A clinician who knows a client via a past sexual encounter should not assume a professional role with that client.”
I looked up the word encounter: a chance meeting; a direct often momentary meeting.
Do not, under any circumstances, be a provider of mental health services to a client with whom you’ve had a chance, momentary meeting without your clothes on.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it. You're probably just an African American who can't admit you're gay.