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We’re Not Ok - But We Will Be!

Bb Ojo | July 6, 2020 | 3 minute read

We’re Not Ok - But We Will Be!

Bb Ojo | July 6, 2020 | 3 minute read

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” -Angela Davis

By now, we have all heard or read about the merciless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Dominique Rem’mie Fells. These are three of the most recent members of the Black community who are, now, dead because of police violence. For years, activists, community leaders, and citizens have drawn attention to the injustices faced at the hands of those we give our trust: elected government officials and law enforcement officers. The flood of tragic stories about these senseless killings, coupled with COVID-19 and its implications on the Black community, leaves many of us feeling tired, empty, and betrayed. While Black people in the United States are uniquely affected, the feelings of loss, neglect, and violation are global. To put it briefly: the world is traumatized.

It is important to acknowledge that no one is immune to these emotions and distress. It is human nature to be emotionally impacted by traumatic events even if we were not personally present when they occur. In fact, it would be inhuman of us not to recognize and empathize with the pain of others. However, while our vulnerability leaves us with a sense of unease, one that points to our existence under extremely abnormal circumstances, it also leaves us with the opportunity to acknowledge and dismantle systems that have systematically traumatized us.

This type of growth is only made possible by embracing uncharted territory that requires a new level of resilience and consciousness. For many of us, this is a daunting, unfamiliar, and, at times, a seemingly unfruitful task. It requires doing away with norms that harm us and learning to cope with our “new-normal” in ways that intentionally manifest the wholeness of our being; whether that be through peaceful protesting, to have our voices heard, or confiding in friends to unpack the trauma we are experiencing. In my case, coping has meant being more vocal, and holding every space I inhabit, along with its inhibitors, accountable for their role in the continuation of this long history of trauma. In recognition and in celebration of our being, I have decided to investigate the ways in which our community and our allies are managing this trauma, and in some cases, using it as an impetus for growth through social advocacy.

Thought Questions:

  • How have recent incidents of police brutality in the United States impacted you and your loved ones?
  • What are some coping mechanisms you use to deal with trauma?
  • Have any of the coping mechanisms you have adopted been used as a catalyst for policy change?

About the Author

Bb Ojo is a Summer Fellow at Henry Health. 

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