This psychiatrist thinks we should treat alt-right bigotry like a disease. There could be a public health solution.
He says alt-right bigotry is not technically a discrete medical disease, but that “there are good reasons to treat bigotry as a public health problem.”
He says, “some of the approaches we take toward controlling the spread of disease may be applicable to pathological bigotry: for example, by promoting self-awareness of bigotry and its adverse health consequences.”
“[W]hat if, in an important sense, bigotry is both virulent and contagious – that is, capable of both causing damage and spreading from person to person? Wouldn’t a public health approach to the problem make sense?”
The article reports that bigots and the population targeted by the bigotry both suffer cardiovascular disease at higher rates than normal.
This article also cites a researcher’s article titled “Hatred – A Public Health Issue.” That article says, “Hatred can be conceptualized as an infectious disease, leading to the spread of violence, fear, and ignorance. Hatred is contagious; it can cross barriers and borders.” In our age of rapid digital communication, hatred can travel quickly and “go viral.”
The psychiatrist who authored the article at the following link recommends using insights from public health methodologies for countering the spread of alt-right bigotry.