Racism, the Primitive Mind and Foot-In-Mouth Disease

March 23, 2011

By now most of you have probably seen this ridiculously racist rant by Alexandra Wallace. Is it possible that such behavior could be the result of BPD?

If there was one redeeming quality about my borderline ex, it was that she was decidedly not racist. Race-obsessed maybe but definitely not racist. If anything she was PC to a fault. Sometimes acting like she was morally superior to those around her, when she was anything but.  She would often belittle people in order to make herself feel better about herself. She could be downright nasty with her putdowns and cattiness, when she felt like someone was a threat. She was always compensating for her inferiority-complex. Racists are basically operating under the same premise. They act like they are superior to compensate for hidden feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Different manifestation, same impulse.

Clearly something is not right with Alexandra Wallace. It’s too easy to say she’s ignorant and backwards. What’s going on psychologically? Let’s start with her desperate cry for attention. She may look pretty and privileged on the outside. But sometimes carefully-crafted beauty belies profound self-esteem issues. Sometimes people with poor self-image compensate by wearing tons of make-up and showing ample amounts of cleavage.  Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. These are characteristics we see in people with narcissistic/histrionic tendencies all the time.

Her library experience was sooo devastating, she felt the need to broadcast it onto the internet. Very dramatic. Very self-important. She was so outraged, she felt the need to condemn an entire race of people. It was all about her and what she suffered in that brief moment. Other people’s suffering (tsunami survivors included) could not hold a candle up to hers. I (of all people) get that she needs to vent, but like a borderline she took it a few steps too far. Clearly there is some grossly misplaced and wildly disproportionate anger here.

Some of this can be attributed to age and pure stupidity. But there’s an impulsive quality here that needs to be addressed. We all get upset, but the rage that comes with BPD is sudden and seems to come out of nowhere. It is more like a knee-jerk reaction that leads to being kicked in the face. It begs the “where did that come from?” reaction. BPD behavior is not abnormal, it is hyper-normal. BPs experience all the same emotions that everyone else does. Only their emotions are much more intense and their reactions are much more severe.

The first thing that stuck out as BPD behavior was her black and white thinking. No, I don’t mean skin color. I mean the belief that people are either all good or all bad.  The fact that she has made broad generalizations about an entire race of people is very black and white. There are no subtle shades of grey with untreated borderlines. Their thirst for conflict requires them to always look for a fight. To justify a war and make their rage righteous, they demonize and dehumanize the other.

Even though my ex was not racist, she would often make sweeping judgments about men.  “They’re all pigs”, she would say. You can imagine how this affects the way she treats men. Even men she supposedly loves. Perhaps you can argue that as an assault survivor, she had justifications for such beliefs. But the fact was her traumatic experiences tainted the way she looked at all human beings, even ones who did not deserve such harsh judgment. When you expect the worst in people, that’s what you get. She antagonizes people and then wonders why people treat her so horribly. Racists too create these self-fulfilling prophecies.

What we often see with borderlines is a lack of accountability. It’s always someone else’s fault. What makes it worse is when people in power enable such behavior. I was appalled when a UCLA professor rushed to Ms.Wallace’s defense. And even more appalled when Ms. Magazine portrayed this blatantly racist woman as a victim. Sadly, Ms. Magazine has a history of defending women with questionable histories and borderline tendencies all in the name of feminism. But don’t get me started on how feminism has gone astray. That I’ll save for a future post. For now, I’ll just say that I’m deeply disappointed.

The point is we reap what we sow. You can’t unleash your “shitass” rage upon the world and expect the world to treat you with dignity. When you behave in a boorish manner, you can be certain you will be treated with an equal if not greater lack of civility and respect. When you react with irrational rage, you invite an irrational response. Don’t cry about it. If you start a fight, take your licks.

Did Alexandra deserve to be subjected to sexist comments and death threats? No. But when she posted her hate-filled message on YouTube, she was starting a war. Once you set the dominoes in motion, there’s no stopping the sequence of events. Escalation is inevitable.

Right or wrong, hate incurs more hate.  To think otherwise is pure naivete. Sorry Ms Magazine, Alexandra Wallace’s victim card has just been revoked. Morons like her need to think before they open their big mouths. There are consequences for bad behavior, and it is often paid with interest.

But I digress, let’s get back to Alexandra’s rage. Let’s talk about emotional dysregulation. BP behavior is driven by intense emotions that override cognitive function. It makes people do stupid things, especially in the heat of the moment. While it is easy to label this YouTube racist as being dumb, it is more accurate to say that she is irrational.

If you read the blurb on the video, it mentions that she regrets her actions. It is not uncommon for the Irrational to later regret their egregious behavior. She says she doesn’t know “what came over her”. What came over her was uncontrolled rage. She was acting out. This type of behavior has become more common with the advent of social media. We’ve seen it with irrational bloggers like Shady, Garland and Lex, and now we see it with this irresponsible loudmouth.

Uncontrolled rage translates to self-destructive behavior. We’ve seen this before when 100 raging TigerBeaters stormed Savory Dish. I saw this when my ex engaged in acts of infidelity, when her last words to me were “fuck you” and when she ruthlessly cut me out of her life.  She was not thinking with her brain, she was reacting to her unstable emotions. My borderline ex is an intelligent woman but she does stupid things all the time.  By the time her emotions have done their damage, her intelligence works only to rationalize what she has done. This is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect that is so common with borderlines.

There is a primitive side to BPD which causes untreated borderlines to judge and treat people harshly. Studies have shown that people with BPD have higher activity in their limbic (primitive) portion of the brain. The limbic system was passed down from our prehistoric days when it was useful to group things into good or bad categories, especially good or bad people. We’ve evolved since then, but we still retain that primitive side of our nature.

When our cave-dwelling ancestors were confronted with a threat, they didn’t have time to think of an intelligent or polite response. So they reacted impulsively. It works well when you are reacting to a wooly mammoth. But not so well when you are reacting to loud people in the library. It served us well back in prehistoric times, but not so much in the era of YouTube.

So what causes someone to regress to primitive behavior? Most likely trauma. If the trauma was great enough or has taken place over a lifetime, it can arrest a person’s emotional development. It can keep the borderline in a state of fear and mistrust. Or in Ms. Wallace’s case, keep her in a state of anger and hate. The trauma evokes our most basic survival instincts. The limbic part of our brain is unsophisticated but it is designed to keep us alive. Believe it or not, intolerance and prejudice were originally designed to keep us out of harm’s way. But the prehistoric brain has difficulty adjusting to modern life. And it can be very destructive in social situations. It’s like sending a bull into a crystal store.

I’m willing to bet that Alexandra has a history of inviting chaos and drama into her life. These are rarely isolated incidents, as some UCLA administrators would like us to believe. People don’t act this way on a whim. It is usually a lifelong commitment to drama. These are patterns that are synonymous with borderline activity. I’m also willing to bet that Ms. Wallace did not have the wholesome upbringing that she claims she did. Her horrid behavior suggests otherwise. It suggests there has been a history of abuse in her life.

Most likely her YouTube rant was a result of misplaced anger. Something that you see a lot with trauma survivors. Anger can be healthy when it is directed at its original source. But with borderline types and trauma survivors, anger is rarely directed at its original source.

Most survivors were too young or powerless to confront their original abuser, so they carry unresolved anger their whole lives and unleash it on unsuspecting (undeserving) victims. Misplaced anger happens when people have repressed and unresolved pain. They look for convenient dump sites for their toxic waste.

Often, these people pick on easy targets like loved ones or, in Alexandra’s case, a visible minority. My ex had years of anger stored up from her past. But instead of pointing that anger at the people who assaulted her, she decided to use me as her emotional punching bag. Her own parents abused her trust, but yet she chose to cut me out of her life. I was a convenient scapegoat. Racists too look for scapegoats to unleash pain from their pasts. Don’t be surprised to find abuse locked away in their closet.

We can’t tell with any certainty what exactly happened to Alexandra Wallace, but there are unmistakable signs that are common with all survivors of abuse. Survivors of abuse work in strange but predictable ways.

What we have here is another teachable moment. This YouTube rant has taught us that when we let our emotions run away with us, we do things that we later regret. We hurt people who don’t deserve to be hurt.  We pick fights and then wonder why the world hates us. We make ourselves look stupid and embarrass the people around us. Sadly, these behaviors can not be curbed by will power alone.

When you are this emotional unstable, will power is rendered powerless. This YouTube act was probably not this little girl’s first regrettable act. Most likely, this was the culmination of  a lifetime’s worth of self-destructive acts. With people like this, it’s always a pattern of inappropriate behavior. To change such behavior requires breaking old patterns and replacing them with healthier ones. You are reprogramming dysfunctional patterns that have been hardwired into your brain. This takes years and years of dedicated effort.

Does this YouTube racist have BPD? Who knows? But clearly something is not right in her head. Whatever her malfunction is, she needs to take a serious look at herself. And address issues that she has probably ignored for her whole life. Sadly, low lifes like Alexandra Wallace are not likely to embrace change. When they are this troubled, denial is part of the problem. Yes, she has apologized and withdrawn from UCLA. But only to save her own skin. Self-preservation is always at the forefront of a borderline’s mind.

Before you feel sorry for poor Alexandra, know there is already talk about her own blog and an MTV show. Another slimey opportunist. Surprise. Surprise. Another attention-whore seeking fame at the expense of others. Another moron who thinks media fame will cure what ails her. Where have we seen this kind of wrongheaded thinking before?

3 Responses to “Racism, the Primitive Mind and Foot-In-Mouth Disease”

  1. savorydish said

    A Quote from My BPD Recovery:

    Borderlines are usually quite narcissistic because they have to be the center of the universe in their minds. They cannot get away from their pain, their insecurities, their fears, so they have to be the center of the universe.

    Those of us that were in relationships with Borderlines ended up putting the borderline in the center of our universe. Often, we had our family or our job or our friends or activities in the center of our universe. Clearly, all these things change, so our lives are not stabile.

  2. savorydish said

    On a personal note, don’t attack me and then expect that I will turn the other cheek. Don’t cry about it when I return fire. That’s called baiting and it makes you look borderline. http://infamousqbert.wordpress.com/

    Don’t bully and harass me and then turn around and accuse me of doing the same. That’s called projection. All these are standard borderline tricks. http://www.outofthefog.net/Disorders/BPD.html

    The Infamous Qbert is also wearing out her victim card.

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