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The Trauma Of Being Black In America

A protestor stands in front of a police line in Times Square, during a "Black Lives Matter" protest.
A protestor stands in front of a police line in Times Square, during a "Black Lives Matter" protest.

The video of George Floyd’s death is hard to watch. It  shows former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck to the point of death. It’s also one of many such viral videos in the past decade that depict the deaths of Black Americans.

But while many think it’s important to witness and understand police brutality, some experts are warning these videos can impact mental health. This is particularly true for Black men. Medical authorities say these videos can traumatize those who view them, even causing physical symptoms.

The widespread sharing of the video has also sparked a conversation about the use and imbalance of media that portrays the death of Black people but not white people.

What does the constant viewing of videos of police brutality do to members of the Black community in America?

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. And the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

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