"A huge Blue-eyed/Brown-eyed experiment
Right after the Martin Luther King assassination, an Iowa teacher named Jane Elliot (http://www.janeelliott.com/) asked her class of white 8 year olds what they knew about black people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Elliott). According to Wikipedia, she stated, “And I could see that they weren’t internalizing a thing. They were doing what white people do. When white people sit down to discuss racism what they are experiencing is shared ignorance.” So with the agreement of the students, she divided her class up into blue-eyed and brown-eyed students. In WWII, Jews had been sent to the gas chambers that way.
She gave the blue-eyed students special privileges, and in general had them treat the brown-eyed children to the same discrimination as Blacks in the South, even to the point of dispensing pseudo-scientific clap trap to support it. By the end of the day, the blue-eyed minority was behaving like true bigots, and the brown-eyed majority like a beaten people. The next day, Ms. Elliot reversed the situation. Then the brown-eyed children behaved like bigots, but not quite as bad as the first bunch.
See also http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/
When most people discuss mental illness, they mostly share ignorance and stereotypes. Like many states, Oklahoma’s mental health code and legal system is a huge blue-eyes/brown-eyes experiment, let run to ghastly lengths. Without a shred of scientific or medical standards or proof about who can be predicted to be “dangerous”, it puts the onus on those who are feared, to prove that they are not. It literally defines a person to be “in need of treatment” if that person is merely accused of threatening another person while mentally ill. The people in charge of that system then take that license to transform mere accusation into proven “fact”, against which no defense is allowed. Under those conditions, it is almost impossible not to be committed.
Oh, really? You think if they hadn’t done something wrong, they wouldn’t be there? So if this kind of marsupial justice were applied to you, how would you define “ghastly”? For, according to reasonable estimates from medical research, if one were to impose the standard that ten dangerous people be let free for every harmless person committed, the State mental courts and facilities could only commit about 15 out of every 1000 people brought before them, of which 10 would be harmless.
Certainly the State Council on Judicial Complaints doesn’t worry about it much. If a mental health court judge accepts hearsay as proven fact, makes utterly no attempt to find any “less restrictive alternative”, files a false claim about available medical information, and refuses to allow a defendant to plead his or her situation at the commitment hearing, the Council will dismiss any complaint. It claims to be “limited by the constitution and statutes of Oklahoma to matters concerning misconduct and physical and mental ability of persons occupying judicial positions.”
One might reasonably suspect that the Council consists entirely of blue-eyed 2nd graders. "