By Mickinney Williams
Drapetomania is a disease that was created by a Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright during the month of May back in the year of 1851. He claimed that it is known to only affect those who were of the Negro race and that the disease is what causes slaves to run away from their masters.
Initially this information was released in The New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal which was and still is a publication of high level education and research.
Another disease called Dysaethesia Aethiopica, was more of a mental disorder that was given to slaves. The result of this disease was that the slave had no work ethic and did not want to do anything.
The only acclaimed cures for these diseases were to make slaves work as hard as they could and to punish them for any act of disobedience. Working was also considered a form of therapy for them.
According to Dr. Cartwright, he believes that these curable methods would help control the slaves as well.
Around the 1840s and the 1850s there were a lot of people who called themselves proslavery advocates. Their mission was to travel around and spread the word of how beneficial it was for the blacks to be slaves to the whites.
Many suspected with that the doctor’s diagnosis and the proslavery advocates were spreading propaganda to the masses. The two diseases amongst other things were just created to be forms of racism in a scientific manner so it was more presentable and acceptable by the masses. Scientific racism was so common because it was the best way to keep the racial hierarchy as it was.
Another try at scientific racism was later on during the year of 1897 when Dr. Benjamin Rush had declared that the dark skin of those who were Black was the result of a very rare disease. This disease was linked to leprosy and was called Negritude. He also has said that the only cure for this disease was to turn the skin white.
All throughout the 19th and 20th centuries there were doctors who were known as white scientists that would all say that black people were on the bottom of the human hierarchy because of the made up horrific disease that they were supposedly prone to having. It gave way for many of these so called scientists and doctors to further experiment on black people, even after slavery had ended.