There needs to be more discussion around the effects of racial trauma, on the mental health of African-Americans.
Being bombarded constantly with videos of Black men losing their lives at the hands of police violence not only impacts Black mental health, it reinforces the feeling of hopelessness and oppression.
The issue of police violence in America especially concerning African-Americans, is nothing new. What is new, are these social media apps that allow these videos of police killings, to go viral on their platforms.
Meanwhile, content meant to uplift and inspire marginalized communities has a harder time making it through these algorithms.
In 1955, Mammie Till made the decision to have an open casket funeral for her son Emmett, after he was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a mob of angry white men.
She wanted the world to witness the horror she faced, over the death of her son.
The story of Emmett Till brought nationwide attention to racial violence and injustices prevalent in the south, and would become one of the catalysts behind the civil rights movement.
In 2023, mothers do not need to hold open casket funerals, for us to see the genocide and murder of Black, male-bodies at the hands of police.
We have been bombarded with countless social media, and now body camera footage, while non-Black and white people sit online and debate about the validity of their deaths.
Meanwhile, Black mothers are frightened and Black men are on heightened alert. Black parents are forced to have these “talks” with their kids, telling them they are basically second class citizens and to “act accordingly.”
Who could ever forget the horrible murder by police of Philando Castile, shot on a Facebook live stream with his terrified girlfriend and her young daughter in the car?
Or the videos of George Floyd, Keenan Anderson and now Tyre Nichols?
Videos related to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter has been shared over 1.4 billion times on Twitter.
Why in the world did the media and police department announce the time and day the Tyre Nichols beating video would be released, as if it was the premiere to the new Bad Boys 4 movie?
The year has just started and there have been several police involved shootings in L.A and across the U.S.
The last few years of continued protests, clearly have not phased police or the power structure to act on robust police reform.
It is important we have a level of accountability and access to body camera footage but it is also important we get to the root of police brutality and not just engage in reactionary protests.
As a community, we need to create more eco systems of support and care revolving around mental health services.
If we are going to “abolish the police” we also need to propose and envision new structures, that will keep children and single mothers safe in our communities.
Here is a link to some mental health services if you need support: