DECEMBER 31, 2022

It isn't here, you must have dreamed you put it there. Are you suggesting that this is a knife I hold in my hand? Have you gone mad, my husband? Yes, that's it. [throws the knife away] I am mad. I'm always losing things and hiding things and I can never find them, I don't know where I've put them. That was a knife, wasn't it? And I have lost it...I must look for it, mustn't I? If I don't find it, you'll put me in the madhouse. Where could it be now? Perhaps it's behind this picture. Yes, it must be here. No, no - where should I look now? Perhaps I put it over here. Yes, I must have done that. [She opens a drawer and discovers the 'missing' brooch] My brooch. The brooch I lost at the Tower. I found it at last - you see? But it doesn't help you, does it? And I'm trying to help you, aren't I? Trying to help you to escape. How can a mad woman help her husband to escape?...Yes, I am mad as my mother was mad. If I were not mad, I could have helped you. Whatever you had done, I could have pitied and protected you. But because I am mad, I hate you. Because I am mad, I have betrayed you. And because I'm mad, I'm rejoicing in my heart, without a shred of pity, without a shred of regret, watching you go with glory in my heart!

Paula Alquist Anton, Gaslight (1944)


"As this bleak world view takes hold in a new generation, we find another point on the through-line of systemic racism as we come to know it. There is an even greater swelling of the ranks as the campaign to further divide America progresses. This is education as intellectual warfare against cultural imperialism and a romanticized, national anti-intellectualism, where teachers quit themselves as foot soldiers armed with curricula, gaining ground in the battle-space of a child's mind."

Autumn Roberson-Manahan was a child gaslit and “nudged” to battery against a racist child at her school, thereby ruining her chances to achieve her dreams. She had no prior disciplinary record, and was very much focused on becoming the class valedictorian. After a few weeks of being taunted for being Black, she alerted her parents to the mistreatment she was receiving. Autumn used a recording device given her by her mother to collect evidence of the violations of her rights and personhood, which she later reported to the school administrators, but to no avail. After 4 months of such mistreatment, she snapped, and attempted to stand up for herself where it seemed no one else would. While Autumn was sentenced to 45 days at the campus of a correctional boot-camp, her tormentors received 3 days of in-school suspension. 

As if in a fit of drapetomania, Autumn fled the boot-camp, with the determination that death was better than bondage. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, after which the school administrators were finally willing to reduce Autumn’s sentence, and revise punishments for racial slurs at school.

The choices elicited bear the influence of the environment within which the chooser exists. In a toxic environment such as the one that existed for Ms. Roberson-Manahan, where little to no intervention occurred after multiple requests for redress, a psychotic break occurred and a toxic Hobson's choice was made. The sick environment where she attempted to excel academically ultimately made her sick. At scale, where systemic racism is global with a white supremacy agenda, the sick environment where every person, Black, white or nonwhite, attempts to survive if not thrive ultimately sickens them, and ultimately leads them through a pattern to a situation that destroys quality of life, if not physical life itself for the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Cho Seung-Hui was similarly led, much to the dismay of his family, his tormentors, their families and others involved. 


  • Racism/white supremacy can drive you crazy and provoke you to violence.

  • Without proper resilience training to resist this new form of "subtle racism," micro-aggressions, a moment can ruin a lifetime.

  • Organize to get rid of white supremacist policies and policy-makers.