The Condescending Psychologist

I admit English is not my first language. It is not even my second, and I come from a part of the world where we are frequently deemed too blunt and direct to the point of being insulting.

Yet with my best will I cannot read your “advice” or whatever you call this as anything but a condescsensending put down devoid of empathy. The great sage telling one of the plebs how they got to act and think, because sure a simple pleb cannot think for themselves.

It saddens me that you are labeled “retired psychologist.” I had hoped that empathy was one of the key requirements for the job. But perhaps I am just naive.

As a fellow white man I would be very careful about lecturing a black women about how she should feel about race. Neither of us have walked in her shoes.

This suggests that your appoach to your son is in part based on his racial characteristics.

She is dealing with reality as it is. You seem to imply that the profound different ways blacks and whites are treated in America, is somehow a figment of her imagination. Does the great psychologist deem her delusional? Is some psychotherapy in order?

I do not imply that you would not be a good parent. It is just that such an approach would have an effect on his self perception.

However I would imply that you totally missed the point of the article. This story could have been phrased in a multitude of ways. It could have been a gay man, thinking he was having a gay son, but suddenly feeling relief that his son is straight. Does that mean he has issues that he must she a shrink to sort out? Of course not. That would simply be normal human emotions.

It would be knowing his son would not go through the same hardship has he has. At the same time such a reflection with collide with “I am proud to be gay,” which invariably many gay people have told themselves, to reject all those who have implied they are lesser or should be ashamed of themselves.

The black author, is here just being honest about her emotions. Perfectly natural emotions in a world where racism still plays a role. We can pretend we are colorblind but society still sees your skin color and you must deal with that reality.

She is dealing with reality as it is. You on the other hand seem to have left into an escapist fantasy world, where skin color no longer matters.

I suggest you try to put your own identity issues aside, and view your son as a blank slate upon which he himself draws a picture of his own identity.

Could you possibly be more condescending? Where is your empathy? She open herself up for our judgement. Exposed a vulnurable side of herslef. Private thoughts she feels ashamed of. Still very human thoughts.

Yet your answer is basically to point a finger and say “Get your shit together!”

It is almost as if one wonders if you were trained by marines to be a psychologist.

Am I harsh? Probably. But I suspect you can take it. I am sure you have dished out far worse to people over the years, while telling yourself that you “helped them”. But what do I know about people? I work with computers.

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store