People keep sharing the video of George Floyd. Some activists and mental health professionals are calling it ‘pain porn’ and begging them to stop.

George Floyd
A chain portrait of George Floyd is part of the memorial for him, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, near the site of the arrest of Floyd, who died in police custody Monday night in Minneapolis. Video shared online by a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. 
Jim Mone/AP

by Rachel E. Greenspan 

The video of George Floyd’s death spread like wildfire. It was shocking, horrifying, and violent in its depiction of Floyd, a black man, pinned down to the ground by the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer (who has since been removed from his post). Chauvin dug his knee into Floyd’s neck for close to ten minutes as Floyd pleaded, saying “I can’t breathe,” before he stopped moving. Floyd later died in police custody in Minneapolis. 

The footage, taken by a bystander and shared on social media, appears to incriminate Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. It’s also become a touchpoint for many people online who believe sharing this kind of content can lead to action like the arrest of Chauvin. 

But activists, members of the black community, and psychiatrists beg to differ, and are instead asking their followers to stop spreading the video. 

“Stop sharing the videos of George Floyd’s murder,” Queen-Cheyenne Wade, an organizer and educator based in the Boston area, said in a tweet on May 26. 

There are countless tweets and Instagram posts that argue the video of Floyd — like footage of Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner’s killings — depicts a “modern-day lynching.” 

Mikki Kendall, an activist and the author of “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot,” called the deaths of black Americans “pain porn,” and said she would never post “images of people being killed.” 

2018 study by researchers from the University of Connecticut found that nonwhite Americans experience PTSD at a higher rate than white people, a phenomenon largely considered to occur due to racism. 

The sharing of this type of content further contributes to this issue, according to psychiatrist Danielle Hairston, the president of the American Psychiatric Association’s Black Caucus.

“There’s a correlation between racism and psychological distress amongst black Americans,” Hairston told Insider. “Seeing these images over and over can result in things like anxiety, fear, anger, worthlessness, humiliation, interpersonal sensitivity, traumatization, feeling triggered — all of these things that we would typically really associate with something like a traumatic disorder.” 

The rationale behind the sharing of the video is often the same — that people hope this kind of raw footage can help change the minds of white supremacists. One white person who posted the video on his Instagram story, and wished to remain anonymous for the article, said he feels that the footage is “something so horrible that needs to be seen firsthand to understand the intensity of police brutality, especially in hopes it reaches people on the far right.” Along with the video, he also shared resources encouraging his followers to call the local authorities in Minneapolis to fight for the arrest of Chauvin. 

But some activists disagree with that point of view, especially within the echo chamber of one’s social media feed, where it’s unlikely for your posts to reach and change the minds of people with opposing views.

“The reality is, you can find that video on the internet. All you have to do is Google it. But perpetuating trauma porn doesn’t actually make people want to take action more,” Thanu Yakupitiyage, a Brooklyn-based activist and cultural organizer, told Insider. 

Wade, who is also the cofounder of the Greater Boston Marxist Association, told Insider that while she understands “the good intention of trying to spread awareness for a racist system,” that is actually “a misguided notion.”

“By sharing these videos, you’re desensitizing white folks who already are taught to trivialize black lives from a white supremacist system, and now kind of continue that repetitive trauma for black folks by sharing these videos,” Wade said.

Especially during a time like the coronavirus pandemic, when people feel helpless and are stuck at home, Wade said the reaction to Floyd’s story by sharing the video is unsurprising. “With the pandemic, there’s this extra anxiety about how to spread awareness during a time when we can’t really congregate in a physical sense,” she said. “The intentions that come behind sharing these videos can usually be from good intentions.” 

It’s important to note that it’s not just white people sharing the footage, according to Hairston, as some black Americans and nonblack people of color also believe in the importance of viewing these kinds of events…

more…  

https://www.insider.com/george-floyd-video-activists-are-begging-people-stop-posting-2020-5

F. Kaskais Web Guru

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