(AP) – Since Wanda Johnson’s son was shot and killed by a police officer in Oakland, California, 11 years ago, she has watched video after video of similar encounters between Black people and police.
The unfortunate irony is that the very tool that may be helping to make more people aware of the racism and violence that Black and other people of color face is also helping to fuel their trauma.
In the weeks following Floyd’s death, the spread of the video that captured it has been a major catalyst for protests demanding a reckoning with racism — attended by people of all races, many of whom never before participated in such activism.
Lewis, who is Black, had watched the death of Philando Castile in real time four years ago, after the 32-year-old Black man was shot by a Minneapolis police officer and video of the immediate aftermath streamed on Facebook.
Therapist and racial trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem near his home in Minneapolis (AP Photo/Noreen Nasir)
Anyone might be upset by seeing such graphic images — and many are — but Resmaa Menakem, a Minneapolis-based racial trauma specialist, says, for many Black people, that pain is amplified.