Diving into a very intriguing conversation around Mental health issues in the black community, sparked by unfortunate events (still unfolding) in Ohio. Dr. Boyce Watkins brought two guests onto his usual live broadcast to go over exactly what happened and why. We know how the mainstream outlets are discussing this now, but seldom will they dive into it from this angle.
Going to share that video with you now, with my comments below.
Dr. Boyce Watkins, Shaquita Graham and Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses on Mental Health issues In The Black Community
There are some powerful points mentioned in this video. Starting with, their best guess at why he is doing this. He snapped.
With all honesty I had no interest in watching this black man roll around killing other black men. I did hear much of the story, as it’s a conversation breaking out everywhere. I was having dinner with my family, when my nephew told me about it. He said, “They need to take facebook live away from people!“. Today in a group-text with friends the same point of view, that facebook is to blame, was expressed. I took the position that, facebook live is not the blame for this. People have been doing this kind of silly shit for years.
However, is it silly? Or are Mental health Issues something we should treat more seriously?
Perhaps even I, like so many others was too fast to simply scoff at all of this. My initial reaction, is that this was simply Loser shit. Losers, doing loser shit, taking the lives of others because they have no real value for life. Then, I listened to this conversation with Dr. Boyce, Shaquita Graham and Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses speak about this. Full confession, I enjoy the show these two ladies tend to put on together. They are frequent contributors to the Dr. Boyce Channel. They each have their own outlets as well, but come together to discuss some Timely topics for black people!
“Some of us are used to drinking, but when someone who isn’t drinks they’re throwing up and cannot handle it. The same can be said for black people, who finally come to realize that racism is a reality. Racism can make you lose your damn mind! Racism breeds mental illness.” – Dr. Boyce Watkins
I Just want to share some of the ‘notes’ I took from this conversation, which I hope you’ll join in with below.
I also want to take a moment to say that Mental Health Issues are not exclusive to blacks.
In so many ways, I often feel that the mental health issues throughout the world are an example of just how ‘common’ this problem truly is. Yet when it comes to black people it seems to occur often. However, rarely is it properly categorized as mental health issues.
From the top, this conversation discusses how this problem isn’t simple. Dr. Boyce pins this on both, the way this man chose to deal with his problems and also on the people who put him in this position. I think that is where we as a society tend to drop the ball. We often look the choices a person makes, but not the environment that shapes those decisions. We like to talk down on the person for the choice they made, but are slow to discuss what really created that choice.
“Often we reduce the role we (women) have in shaping the lives of black men. The person with the most impact on a man is his Mother. After that is his wife. Often as women we fail to understand that we can either help a man get through a rough time, or push him over the edge” (Nomalanga while discussing how this Ohio Shooter felt, his Mom abandoned him)
From listening to the Ohio Shooter talk about why he is doing what he’s doing, we pick up on how he’s feeling about his environment. He says no one really listens to him, not even his woman. He talks about his daily experience as a black man in society, always having to prove himself. That is something many black men can relate to, and all 3 of these intelligent speakers picked up on. Mental health issues can be triggered by several factors. For black people racism is a huge factor that causes many to snap. Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses makes the point she is surprised more black people don’t!
While talking about suicidal issues that his own uncle faced, Dr. Boyce brought up lyrics from Tupac, that are now more than 20 years old. Those lyrics, come from one of his greatest songs ever, Only God Can Judge Me. “Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here; cause even Thugs Cry, but do the Lord Care?”. Read the lyrics on screen in the video below
“Mr. Police, please see it’s a million motha fuckas stressin just like me” – Tupac, Only God Can Judge Me, 1996 featuring Rappin 4tay
They discuss the lack of a strong black role model, and how that could have helped this man cope better with life. We all know about the challenges that several black families face and have faced in this nation. Taking the black man out of the house has been one of several ‘strategies’ of white supremacy. Shaquita Graham (of blackteklab.net) hit that nail on it’s head throughout, in how not enough blacks understand their enemy. When you can’t see your enemy and who is harming you, then you may turn your desire to harm others on yourself or people around you.
On multiple levels, this conversation about what is happening tragically in the state of Ohio relates to nationwide challenges.
Are black men snapping because of mental health issues triggered by white supremacy?
Share your thoughts on this discussion with us below.
Also, a related conversation with Dr. Boyce Watkins and Shaquita Graham on Why Blacks are Begging Our Oppressors To Create Opportunities for us.