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Race Based Post-Traumatic Stress

July 3, 2015

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Race Based Post-Traumatic Stress

On Wednesday June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof a 21 year-old white male, allegedly shot and killed nine Black members of the Emanuel AME historically and prominent Black church in South Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, who dropped out of high school before finishing the 10th grade, confirms having committed the heinous crime after sitting with them in their Bible study before his attack. It was later confirmed but then debated whether Police officials were investigating this incident as a hate crime. Despite strong evidence that Roof had published an online hate manifesto and eyewitness accounts of him declaring that his role in the mass shooting was to start a Race War in America, officials claimed uncertainty as to whether or not to call this crime what it was.

This mass shooting, predicted on race, has touched off a series of hot topic debates to include analyzing the way America views raced based violence. Calling into question rather there is a Double Standard in Race Based Violence?” Recently published on the Huffington Post. However, a new conversation has emerged to question rather or not racism can cause post-traumatic stress. On July 2, 2015, KCBX Radio ran a story entitled “Coping While Black: A Season of Traumatic News Takes a Psychological Toll.”

What’s clear is that many black Americans experience what psychologists call “race-based trauma,” says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville.

KCBX reported that while researchers are still trying to understand exactly how this phenomenon operates, Williams says it’s clear that African-Americans are hit hard by incidents that recall the country’s ugly history of institutionalized racism.

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South Carolina does not have a “Hate Crimes Law.”

South Carolina is one of only five states that does not have a hate crimes law, according to campaign group SC Equality, although a recent extension of federal law means there are legal protections for victims of hate crimes in all states.

Race Based Post-Traumatic Stress

Also check out: Suburban Gun Violence and Urban Gun Violence

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