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The Psychobiology of Racial Violence

Louis Jolyon West, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(6):645-651. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730240001001.
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ONE MAN is very much like another. To a remarkable degree our brains and other organs look and work alike. Our blood can safely be transfused between "races." Type O blood from a Negro donor can save the life of a white man who would be killed by a transfusion of type A blood from his own brother. Matched for type, all men are blood brothers. Yet Dr. Charles Drew, the brilliant Negro physician who developed the blood bank, bled to death after a North Carolina highway accident when he was refused admission and transfusion at a segregated white hospital.

This was no less an act of racial violence than the assassination of Medgar Evers, or the murder of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, or the group slaughter of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, or the bombing of a Birmingham church full of Negro Sunday-school children, or


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