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Mental Health Expert Discusses Impact of Seeing Acts of Racism Go Viral

Bank Street College associate dean Dr. Wendi Williams is discussing the impact of seeing acts of racism go viral.

“I think that those instances of police brutality, and violence, and killings affect people of color and Black people in particular because they are targeted,” she explained. “It’s one thing for that to happen every so often. Or for it to feel like a few bad apples. It’s another thing to see it every summer.”

According to a new study, police killings of unarmed Black Americans have adverse effects on mental health among the general population of all Black Americans. In light of this, Williams says that those who feel victimized and on edge shouldn’t feel compelled to watch anything, because it’s not worth compromising their mental health.

“I think that everyone knows that we’re all aware that there’s police killings and violence. And so if you find yourself in the loop and you can’t turn away, and you’re finding it difficult to leave the house, or to feel safe, or you’re questioning strangers on the street — you don’t even know who they are and you’re feeling threatened by them — it’s time to turn away and turn it off,” she stated.

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