I love Black people. I love us so much. I have so many friends who work in the anti-racist space. I worry for our wellbeing when we are inundated with racism. Continuing to engage in confronting racism in the online space can mean taking a risk with your brain and psychological wellbeing. All of the interactions and conversations in the online space, can be received as micro-aggressions andrace-based traumas. Though the work of creating a better racial digital landscape is all of our responsibility and intentional conversations matter, we must be mindful to take good care of ourselves. We must be mindful to create space, establish relaxation routines, and recharge with people who give us life while engaging in these discussions and doing this very important work.
When people of color are exposed to repetitive acts of racism (racism has been shown to be processed in our brains as trauma) a kind of post traumatic stress syndrome can develop. Race-based trauma can come in several forms:
Witnessing ethnoviolence or discrimination of another person, historical or personal memory of racism, institutional racism, micro aggressions, and the constant threat of racial discrimination (Helms et al., 2012).
This syndrome can be a response to any traumatic event and can be marked by an acute state of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. If the acute trauma does not reach resolve, or is not diffused within a reasonable timeframe, it can develop into post traumatic stress disorder. If you are a person of color or an ally you need to evaluate yourself and your loved ones for signs of emotional and psychological trauma. If you already have a history or mental illness, you need to be extra diligent.
[For more of this story, written by Jasmine, go to http://justjasmineblog.com/sel...sychological-trauma/]