When Human Beings Are Reduced to Hashtags

tisbySome of you may remember our interview with Jemar Tisby on Episode 48 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast. He is the author of The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism.

Here is his latest piece at Religion News Service:

According to mental health professionals, when human beings encounter a threat we respond in one of three ways: fight, flight or freeze. 

We can choose to confront the threat by fighting, either physically or verbally. We can run away from the threat in an act of self preservation; again, this can be literal or it can be an emotional and psychological retreat. Finally, we can freeze, an experience of physical or psychic paralysis that won’t let us fight or flee but temporarily immobilizes us. 

The fight, flight or freeze reflex may kick in when people of conscience see or hear about the latest incident of Black death. I had this reaction when I first saw the video of George Floyd’s killing this week. A white cop calmly pressing his knee against the back of the neck of a prostrate Floyd, who was Black. Floyd pleaded with the officer, “I can’t breathe,” until Floyd lost consciousness and soon died. 

Another human being reduced to hashtags: #JusticeforGeorge and #Icantbreathe

Read the rest here.