I am seeing on Facebook and other social media platforms the sharing of the migrant father and daughter, laying in a pool of water reportedly dead. This photo getting a lot of attention, and whenever I see something like this, I have to ask myself, “Why are we sharing dead bodies of Black and Brown folks?
I wrote a piece called “Stop Sharing Black Pain” in which I talked about the repeated trauma and mental terror that Black people receive when videos of Black men and women being killed by police are shared. I never thought posting those videos were in good faith; it is almost a morbid curiosity/crash on the highway feel to it. But then I realized it is much more.
In the book, “The Man-Not”, Dr. Tommy Curry talks about Black men not being men or not even human, but just a thing. It is easy to view a Black body dead or being assaulted because we don’t look at Black people, particularly Black men as people. I believe we can apply the same theory to the many migrants that are coming from Central America. Look at the way the migrants are described – Hordes, illegals, aliens. It is almost never people. They are not called Mothers, Fathers, sons, and daughters.
I can almost be certain that if there were videos of white people being killed by the police or young white children laying, these images would not be shared, but there would be a different point of view of them.
I like to use the phrase “Your entertainment, my reality” when I see people put these images and videos on social media. The fact that many view this as something to put on your wall, as if you are surprised is sad and disgusting. I do not share videos, or “Snuff films” of Black men being killed by the police and I certainly would not post a picture of a Father and daughter dead. Ask yourself why would you think that is appropriate? Think about the trauma you could be inflicting on your friends that look like them, that come from the same country, who arrived in America the same way.