Why are You Posting Viral Videos of Black Pain?

Are You Causing More Harm Than Good?

Headline after headline, it’s the same story: another Black American shot &/or killed by law enforcement.

George Floyd, after a police officer knelt on his neck as the other officers watched. Ahmaud Arbery, while on a jog. Breonna Taylor, while police raided her home, with no probable cause. Philando Castile, in the car with his girlfriend, and her 4-year-old daughter. Trayvon Martin, only a young boy. And the countless ones before.

“A Portrait of Emmett, as His Former Self”, 2019, 44"x40" @juworkingonprojects

Why do we still have to rely on the viral exposure of Black pain for people to care?

Emmett Till is a reminder of all that has not changed, and how little progress we have made. The “problem” isn’t getting worse, it has been this way for the past 400 years, but now we are capturing more of it on video. The cost of these injustices ripple, and there is a profound emotional toll.

It is just another insidious way that systemic racism in the United States is making people sick.

Some may argue that the explosive footage that accompanies many of these violent deaths are vital to raising public consciousness, no matter how disturbing. While it is true that these images powerfully shape our discourse, there are plenty of places on the internet where footage can be found. If you do feel compelled to circulate this footage to bring awareness, please be mindful and give ‘trigger warnings’ beforehand.

This is your friendly reminder to be intentional with the content you post and repost.

Think carefully of how you engage with visual imagery, how you circulate it, and what it upholds. Refrain from contributing to race-based stress and trauma. Perhaps choose to do the anti-racist work instead. Or engage in pushing forth solutions to dismantling systemic racism, and creating safe inclusive spaces instead?

Leading with love in everything I do. Musings on art, food, personal growth, self care, travel, wellness, wealth, & work. Reach me at minnimuseclub@gmail.com

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