Do you believe that the Black community has become desensitized to violence? From police brutality, to school shootings, and even black on black crime, it seems like we all continue to drop like flies. I spoke to a few students from different areas to get their point of view on feeling numb to killings or just death in general in our community. 

Jayla Smalls, a freshman marketing major from Detroit Michigan stated that, “Not one victim deserves the “It’s happened again?” question from his/her community. Being desensitized from the killings and deaths in my city, it’s a scary norm that shouldn’t exist. Never felt safe, but I’m not afraid either. There’s no code anymore when it comes to justice because people are playing executioner as if they’re God, and over the silliest things. People have lost their mindset of morals.”

It has become so common to open up our social media accounts and see brutal videos of murders. We have watched police shoot innocent victims. We have seen the aftermath of school shootings with dead bodies on the ground. We have seen all of these things so much on repeat that we no longer feel hurt or saddened by these events. We no longer have time to mourn the loss of these people because the very next day there’s a new massacre that occurred. The repeated exposure to violence in the media and in our community has had such a negative impact on adults and sadly, our kids. 

Keenon Preyor, a junior criminal justice major from Hattiesburg, MS stated that growing up, yes you would see the killings but it didn’t cause such a numbness at the same rate that social media caused. The more something is shown to you the less effect it has on you. Social media has made it a point to present more and more killings on their platforms from all over the world. Way more killings that you would see in person, just in your own community. It has definitely caused us to become more desensitized to it.

Violence. It’s normalized. It’s socialized. It’s publicized. Everyone can see it. 

Caleb Penn, a senior mass communication major from Folsom, LA stated that, “Our surroundings have a lot to do with what we call our ‘’culture”. Unfortunately, in many areas it’s “gun culture”. For example, we refer to cities as the “murder capital” or even with “Chiraq”. We push a culture of violence to our people that shouldn’t be normal. 

Are we really desensitized or are we purposely numbing the pain? We already were becoming more and more numb to violence in our neighborhoods. Too many rappers and artists speak about numbing their pain from lost loved ones through drugs and alcohol abuse. Have we made it a point to purposely numb our pain? Or is it social media doing the desensitizing? I think it’s a factor of both. Killings in our communities were already normalized. Now, we see that, yes, it is everywhere and we all feel nothing.

 

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