There is a disease process that afflicts many African Americans and other minorities in this Country. It is called Stockholm Syndrome. In the arena of politics, Stockholm Syndrome manifests itself when people willingly agree to become instruments in their destruction. For example, when blacks and other minorities knowingly submit to efforts by others to disenfranchise them, or when they willingly support those that promote evils such as coerced segregation, voter suppression, and the building of walls.
Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological condition observed when a victim of abuse identifies, attaches to and bonds positively with the agenda of people who abuse, and subjugate them. The syndrome was first identified in 1973 by the psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, after an attempted bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The attempted bank robbery resulted in a six-day hostage crisis during which, four bank employees were taken captive. The captors strapped explosives to their prisoners’ bodies and inflicted all manner of abuse and mistreatment upon them. The hostages were thrown into a bank vault, their lives were constantly threatened, and they were only intermittently fed and allowed to use toilet facilities. After the crisis, to the astonishment of many observers, the former hostages showed sympathy for their captors; refusing to cooperate with the police. Later, the former hostages refused to testify against their captors. Some even expressed feelings of admiration and deep sympathy towards them.
Stockholm syndrome was brought into full relief in the United States Just months after the Sweden bank robbery. In 1974, the Newspaper Heiress, Patty Hearst, was kidnapped by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Three months after her kidnapping, Hearst was seen on videotape holding a machine gun, while participating in a bank robbery with members of the terrorist organization. In a separate event, Hearst narrowly escaped capture in a shootout between police and members of the SLA. Later, Hearst disclosed that she had romantic liaisons with and attachments to her captors.