Racism Causes PTSD? Recent Black-American Shooting Causes Trauma [VIDEO]By Sarene Mae Butao, UniversityHerald Reporter
Videos of shootings and harassment by police have been trending in social media sites and this created an outrage and trauma among the people.
On July 5, video of Baton Rouge shooting death of Alton Sterling surfaced on social media. The Netizens has been talking a lot about Sterling's final moments. This event was followed by the shooting death of Philando Castile which is streamed live on Facebook by his girlfriend. The video was showing Castile struggling to live after being shot four times by a Minnesota police officer. The video earned more than five million shares on Facebook.
Another video sparked an outrage among the people in social media. This cell phone video was showing an officer shoot an unarmed caretaker while he lays on the ground with his hands in the air. The caretaker, Charles Kinsey, was assisting an autistic patient who wandered off the assisting facility, PBS News Hour reported.
The imagery of this events is almost impossible to escape especially because online users are always posting updates about the event. For the people of color, constant exposure of these shootings of black people have long term effects on their mental health. Graphic videos combined with real-life racism creates severe psychological problems that similar to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Psychology Today.
The research on racism's psychological impacts has only surfaced within the last 15 years. And now, it receives the attention that it deserves.
A study in 2012 showed that black Americans experienced discrimination at higher rates than any other ethnic minority. Symptoms of PTSD reportedly affected black Americans more compared to Asian-Americans and Hispanics, according to the published report in National Center for Biotechnology Information.
The videos posted in social media can worsen the effects of these trends. During the weeks when Sterling and Castile was shot, subtle expressions of mental anguish are uncovered in black people's social media expressions.