The Intentional Clinician: Psychology and Philosophy

What does “Black Lives Matter” mean? (A Panel Discussion) [Episode 46]

June 6, 2020

What does “Black Lives Matter” mean? (A Panel Discussion)

Paul Krauss MA LPC hosts a panel discussion on Zoom with 3 of his friends, (Remahn, Chris, and James) who happen to be African-American males, to discuss the death of George Floyd and what “Black Lives Matter” mean and other related topics. If you are new to this topic or just curious, please remember to normalize changing your opinion on something after learning new information. It is ok. I promise. Evolution is natural. Denial is natural, but does not move you forward. I have personally changed my viewpoints on these issues as I evolved as a person. In fact, I learned new things and broadened my perspective during this conversation. I encourage you, whoever you are, to listen to this discussion and read through the sources and resources in the show notes.

On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.
By combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents and consulting experts, The New York Times reconstructed in detail the minutes leading to Mr. Floyd’s death. Our video shows officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.
The day after Mr. Floyd’s death, the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode, and on Friday the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, announced murder and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who can be seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground. Mr. Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint against him. Our video shows that Mr. Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Mr. Floyd lost consciousness, and for a full minute after paramedics arrived at the scene.

Imagine your child dies prematurely and you are hosting the funeral and you are giving a eulogy explaining what your own child meant to you and how special your child was, and then someone grabs the mic and says “Actually all children are special…” That’s what “all lives matter” sounds like. Embarrassing.

The whole point of Black Lives Matters was to bring attention to multiple issues, but one of the most pressing is: police are killing unarmed African-Americans at a much higher rate than Caucasian Americans. This is an undisputed fact.

We said “Black Lives Matter.” We never said “Only Black Lives Matter.” We Know “All lives matter.” We just need your help with Black Lives Matter for Black Lives are currently in Danger.

Also Discussed: Police Murders of unarmed African-Americans, Billie Eilish, Journalists are being arrested, America is at a boiling point, protests, Black lives Matter, stress, Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment at an all time high, fear, Racism, It is not getting worse, it is just being filmed, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Minneapolis Police, unnecessary neck restraints, Joe Biden’s foot in his mouth, lack of empathy, showing “black death” on Facebook and youtube, this struggle of African-Americans speaking out against police brutality has been going on for decades, Trump as a reflection of what America was built on, the mask is off, Colin Kaepernick, Black Unity, Domestic Abuse Metaphors, White people not understanding, critical thought, cultural attitudes, cultural encapsulation, reforming the police, already having your mind made up, identity politics, Qualified immunity, they used to hang African-American people after church, the murder of Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Sandyhook, Cliven Bundy stand off with the US Government, caucasian Quarantine protestors in Michigan where protesters holding semi-automatic weapons yelled in the face of Police Officers—but were not harmed or arrested, cultural attitude collectives, many elder Caucasian Men in the United States in denial and dismissive of these concerns, institutional racism, having uncomfortable conversations, actually experiencing racism, it is easy to ignore racism when it isn’t happening to you, Know Justice - Know Peace, no Justice - No Peace, How can you combat racism as a white person? Education, History, Context, The People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, White Allies, The History of the Black Panther Party, Government Assassinations of Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King Jr., The White House was actually built by slave labor—this is a fact.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

https://www.aclumich.org/en/news/facing-terror-police-racism

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/killed-police-black-men-likely-white-men/

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/05/mapping-police-killings-black-americans-200531105741757.html

https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

https://www.vox.com/identities/2020/5/6/21249202/ahmaud-arbery-jogger-killed-in-georgia-video-shooting-grand-jury

https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/george-floyd-protests-police-violence.html

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062397348/a-peoples-history-of-the-united-states/

Mentioned:

https://www.healthforlifegr.com/growing-up-black/

Mental Health Resources:

https://www.stevefund.org/crisistextline/
Are you a young person of color? Feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed? Text STEVE to 741741 and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will respond.

How you can learn more and help:

Regarding legislation: 

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/

https://5calls.org/

Things to read:

• BACP article: "why we need to talk about race": https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy-today/2018/october-2018/why-we-need-to-talk-about-race/

• ERACCE book list: http://www.eracce.org/resources

Supporting BIPOC-created mental health and activism groups:

https://www.baatn.org.uk/

http://www.eracce.org/

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the Clinical Director of Health for Life Grand Rapids, home of The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids. Paul is also a Private Practice Psychotherapist, EMDRIA Consultant in Training (CIT), host of the Intentional Clinician podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor. Paul is now offering consulting for a few individuals and organizations. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress)  as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Questions? Call the office at 616-200-4433

If you are looking for EMDRIA consulting groups, Paul Krauss MA LPC is now hosting weekly online and in-person groups.  For details, click here.

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Original Music:

”Welcome to Jamrock" from Welcome to Jamrock by Damian Marley (Spotify)  

“Get Up Stand Up“ from Burnin’ by The Wailers (Spotify)

“A Change is Gonna Come“ from Otis Blue by Otis Redding (Spotify)    

“This is America” from This is America by Childish Gambino (Spotify)   

—————
For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing. -Simon Wiesenthal  

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These are the last words of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died as a US police officer pinned him down, kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes:
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please
(inaudible)
man can't breathe, my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please, a knee on my neck
I can't breathe
shit
I will
I can't move
mama
mama
I can't
my knee
my neck
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
please
please
I can't breathe officer
don't kill me
they're gonna kill me, man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they're gonna kill me
they're gonna kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please
please
please I can't breathe"
Then, his eyes shut and the pleas stop. George Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.’