fig leaf


From: Andrew Phelps <>


Cc: Friends

Subject: [S-ACC] social and institutional change

Date: Sun 08/02/15 09:56 PM



Can't say what exactly will happen in Toronto next weekend with the APA facing institutional crisis. The "old guard" will likely come up with a "fig leaf" cover story about how they really do after all oppose psychologist collaboration with the national security system in rendering torture. There will also be some kind of process of organized challenge by the "social justice" advocacy, and I don't see clearly what they will seek to replace or restructure organized psychology. What I do see is that "mad lives matter" and the argument against the oppression of the behavior management system will not likely take a firm hold in the reorganization process.

As Moq said, "We continue to have our voice stifled." Success to date would only amount to some kind of acknowledgement. Friday, I learned from direct conversation with a top official of Behavioral Health in the Silicon Valley, that "mad lives matter" serves as an 'inappropriate' advocacy, unlike "black lives matter" which engages genuine social issues. In other words, [a] he spoke to me rather than simply managing in a manipulative fashion, and [b] he maintains that the present system (which may be done better - with fewer mistakes) basically works okay.

Delphine has described to me a parallel struggle in Sacramento, where bullying in the progressive movement has faced effective resistance from people with social justice advocacies because their lives matter, and in a way that exceeds the accommodation of "cultural competence." So while our advocacy does not have a firm hold in the APA reorganization, we become more of a consideration that has relevance, than heretofore.

To go beyond the present limited situation, we shall have to say more about how, "In the name of equal rights, we continue to exist with a jackboot on our throat." And we shall have to work towards the kind of genuine social and institutional change that will indeed rectify that concern in an effective and meaningful way.