“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of the Soul”

“I’m really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart – citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians – do Jacob justice on this level and examine your heart.

“We need healing. As I pray for my son, healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for healing of our country.” Julia Jackson, Mother of Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake, unarmed, was recently shot seven times in the back in front of his children. Suddenly as sure as the sun setting, peaceful protest disintegrated into nighttime violence as the city of Kenosha Wisconson burned. Wednesday night a white, 17-year-old vigilante shot 3 protesters, killing two of them. 

The spirit/psyche’s slow death is the “Spirit Murder” waged upon people at the margins through the slow cultural genocide. The hopelessness of people of color in this country is ringing. This kind of ringing pounds as though it were painful ringing sounds within the ear after the concussion of a loud explosion. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of the soul and an eminent feeling of doom is forever existent in the African American essence.

“Who’s next” cries out of the shadows of thoughts planted by news of yet another shooting of an unarmed black person by police. The fear and frustration resound in the echo chamber of an “I can’t breathe” society and landing flat by Deliberate indifference. Tone deafness exists throughout the world of the powerful. And still, things don’t change. Dr. King Marched on Washington in 1963, yet the outlook for African Americans today is unchained but, in large part, remains unchanged.

Spirit Murder is a term adopted by Law Professor By Patricia L. Williams “In such a way every personal assault that is also a “spiritmurder” – that is fundamentally racist – carries with it the message and injury of devaluation and disregard of the group as well as of the individual:

First, spirit-murder sometimes takes the form of a threatening and intentional personal assault upon the person, self, self-image, safety, and worth of individual African Americans. Second, spirit-murder is an ongoing, continual, and pervasive societal devaluation of the privacy, needs, rights, desires, ambitions, contributions, lives, and worthiness of African Americans collectively” By Patricia L. Williams in her book “The Alchemy of Race and Rights: The Diary of a Law Professor”.

Spirit murdering often falls into four categories: communication and language, uniformity and safety, character, and systems, as characterized by Khristy Nicholas – Guest Author (Education Elements) on August 17, 2020. 

The Milwaukee Bucks demanded justice for Jacob Blake and action from the Wisconsin State Legislature after being the first team to boycott games in protest of police shootingsThe Milwaukee Bucks boycott comes 4 years to the day after Colin Kaepernick’s protest became a national story. https://www.insider.com/

Today, America calls upon a new generation to March on Washington 2020 to address the literal murder and “spirit murder” that has haunted people of color for centuries. The latter, by addressing communication and language of hate speech, racist dog whistles, moreover confronting counter-narrative suggestions of reverse racism and “Cancel Culture as” excuses. 

Uniformity and safety concerns will be addressed by calling for equal protection under the law for people of color, and for passage of the H.R.7120 – George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. The character of our democracy’s arch can bend toward justice and fairness. The bending will be accomplished by highlighting the John Lewis Voting Rights bill. Marchers will encourage participants by registering them to vote and signing them up for the Census, therefore changing the systems from the inside.  

Chris Webber fought back tears while offering his support to NBA players and explaining why it was important to fight for justice even when change feels a long way away.https://www.insider.com/

Though the NBA players’ voices and the March on Washington 2020 are just a beginning, they denote full circle anticipation of what can be. By everyone doing their part, America can begin to find answers in the quest for the transformative healing courageously articulated in Julia Jackson’s prayers.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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  1. […] one will find a teardrop moistened by pangs of a wail that deepens to a groan buried within the “spirit murdered” soul. Dr. Maya Angelou said, “In Know Why the caged bird sings.” To answer that today, […]



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