Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Dead Racist Blogging: Return of 'Tis But a Scratch! Edition

About two months ago, I gave y'all a rather short Friday Dead Racist Blogging to show that people believed that blacks had a distinct insensitivity to pain. Well, here's another quote to that effect... actually, it's the same quote, but this time it's longer and you get the name of the person who gave it. Plus, it's being repeated by someone else, giving further evidence that people believed it.

From Benjamin Rush's "Observations Intended to Favour a Supposition That the Black Color (As It Is Called) of the Negroes Is Derived From the Leprosy":
4. The leprofy induces a morbid infenfibility in the nerves. In countries where the difeafe prevails, it is common to fay that a perfon devoid of fenfibility, has no more feeling than a leper. This insensibility belongs in a peculiar manner to the negroes. Dr. Mofeley fays, "they are void of fenfibility to a furprizing degree. They fleep found in every difeafe, nor does any mental difturbance ever keep them awake. They bear furgical operations much better than white people, and what would be a caufe of infupportable pain to a white man, a negro would almoft difregard. I have amputated the legs of many negroes, who have held the upper part of the limb themfelves." This morbid infenfibility in the negroes difcovers itfelf further in the apathy with which they expofe themfelves to great heat, and the indifference with which they handle coals of fire.

Rush himself cited Treatises Upon Tropical Diseases, p. 475.

2 comments:

Les said...

Doctors in France use fewer pain killers when treating Africans, so this idea is still current there. Interestingly, some EU people think the same thing is also true of Poles. I met a Polish woman who had a root canal with only minimal pain killers. She couldn't pay for them, but anyway, she asserted that she didn't need them because she was Polish.

Alien others are remarkably impervious to pain.

Skemono said...

Doctors in France use fewer pain killers when treating Africans, so this idea is still current there.
We have the same problem in the US. I don't know that it's because we think blacks are more impervious to pain, but that we think they're more likely to abuse any drugs we give them.

She couldn't pay for them, but anyway, she asserted that she didn't need them because she was Polish.
That's... interesting.

Alien others are remarkably impervious to pain.
Yes, it's remarkable how little pain the people upon whom you are inflicting pain can feel.