Miriam Carey & Black Pain

Miriam Carey (right) was murdered by police in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. has been rocked by a mass shooting and a government shutdown in less than two weeks. And now, it has something else to stress over, the police murder of an unarmed black woman who was reported as suffering from depression. Miriam Carey was that black woman.

News reports first reported that D.C. police shot and murdered a “suspect”. Yet, there was hardly any mention of what the suspect was suspected of. Then, it was discovered that the victim was 34-year old Miriam Carey who, according to her mother, was suffering from postpartum depression soon after giving birth to her daughter. We then get knowledge that she – in her car – rammed through police barricades and anything and anyone else who was unfortunately in her path (or so the reports go). Ultimately, her erratic actions led to her tragic death by police to saw fit that her cry for help was worthy of an immediate death sentence.

Amy Carey (Miriam’s sister) during a press conference outside her sister Valarie’s home

The police murder of Miriam Carey and the D.C. Navy yard shooting carried out by Aaron Alexis opened up dialogues across the news media about the subject of mental health taken to violent extremes. However, this also opened a small hole in the mental health taboo that exist within black communities across America.

Black people are not immune to the psychological and emotional trauma that sometimes come from living in a racist society that sees fit to remind them regularly that something’s worthless about them because of their black skin. However, the mental illnesses of black folks are grossly underestimated and undervalued as a genuine problem due to research that suggests that society is not so empathetic to the pain black people experience as opposed to white people. This is known as the racial empathy gap.

Slate reports:

The racial empathy gap helps explain disparities in everything from pain management to the criminal justice system. But the problem isn’t just that people disregard the pain of black people. It’s somehow even worse. The problem is that the pain isn’t even felt.

A recent study shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. The researchers asked participants to rate how much pain they would feel in 18 common scenarios. The participants rated experiences such as stubbing a toe or getting shampoo in their eyes on a four-point scale (where 1 is “not painful” and 4 is “extremely painful”). Then they rated how another person (a randomly assigned photo of an experimental “target”) would feel in the same situations. Sometimes the target was white, sometimes black. In each experiment, the researchers found that white participants, black participants, and nurses and nursing students assumed that blacks felt less pain than whites.

I thought about that research after reading the Slate article. I thought about the endless stream of racist trolls that strongly believe in black racism as opposed to white racism. I remember all the usual comments from “blacks bullied me when I was younger” to news articles of interracial crime as irrefutable proof of black hatred against whites. And I remember the usual accusation that anti-racism sites are racist against whites.

What I don’t recall is any explanation behind their arguments. Even asked, no straightforward answer was given, if there was any response at all.

Most of these people believe we are in some kind of “plan” to guilt trip white people. That being said, I assume that they don’t believe that black people are really experiencing any kind of emotion or mental anguish from living in a racist society because they don’t think racism is a big deal for blacks. So, any topic about white racism against blacks is scorned, ridiculed or debunked on the spot while white victimhood is thrown in our faces like cream pies as a more plausible issue.

Most people, including blacks and mental health specialists, do not believe that if a black person were to let lose their hold on sanity and express their pain violently, it is attributed to mental illness. There is a great insensitivity towards the pain black people experience, because they believe that their experience is normal.

Most conclude that it’s simply because of their true black savagery coming out. “They act that way because they’re black” is the low-level, stereotypical racist thinking to keep from diving into viable explanations. And if they don’t end up getting killed, the only solutions are locking them up or putting their heads to bed.

In that case, it’s no wonder why mental illness is hardly discussed in black communities. Some consider it as part of the cosmic flaw that comes with blackness. They don’t want to have that image of being inferior or to prove white people’s racist views.

However, none of this is a contemporary trend. It’s been this way ever since slavery. Ebony reports:

Historically, African Americans have normalized our own suffering. During slavery, mental illness often resulted in a more inhumane lifestyle including frequent beatings and abuse, which forced many slaves to hide their issues. Over time, strength became equated with survival and weakness (including mental illness) meant you might not survive.

Even though it was reported that both Miriam Carey and Aaron Alexis received some kind of treatment in their lives, I suspect that it was too little, too late. The discovery of their treatments may contradict that there is silence concerning the mental health issues of black people, it does hint that whoever was behind their treatments either didn’t predict any possible breakdowns or worse, didn’t believe that their illnesses were problematic enough for adequate therapy. Again, that’s all to be assumed at this point.

Yet, the mental illness topic is tight lipped within – at least – some black communities. It is not because they don’t care and it’s definitely not because they don’t have any. It is because the society they live in largely doesn’t care to see it as a human problem to those they still consider less-than human.


36 thoughts on “Miriam Carey & Black Pain

  1. This is truly on of the BEST posts I’ve read online. Black people have been taught, in more ways than one, to internalize pain and “deal with it” on their own without counseling, which is a very precarious way to live. People believe that since Blacks have to deal with a lot of shit, especially racism, that Blacks are immune to pain.

    But what is fucked up about all of this is that people are more likely to feel sympathy for a damn dog on one of those help-the-poor-animals-that-are-abused commercials than feel sympathy for a Black person. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in the mistreatment of animals, but I am a bit more concerned about the mistreatment of the same species.

      1. Me too and we should really separate from Whites and build our own communities away from them. They show us time and time again that they can’t ever be trusted.

    1. They get the badges just to be themselves around everyone else. Nothing is off-limits for their target pratice. Unfortunately, some of our people who call themselves “African-Americans” still call on the police. Why-tes feel no remorse for anything they do. The men have an uncontrollable rage in them. The women really need to be ticked-off to reach that point in their lives. I have heard stories of yt boys who abused their own sons and called them “the n-word”. The only time they appear to have any sanity in them is when they are at work. They cannot keep it inside when they have to do anything for our lost people (“African-Americans”) at their job. Anytime our history with them is mentioned around them, they just say, “Yeah…it was harsh, wasn’t it?” They’ll never apologize for it. Many of them believe it was best for us and still is.

      They are not human, but they appear in the form of a human being.

      1. Nope. they are Neanderthals in human form but they aren’t truly human. If they were truly human, they would feel sorry for all the wickedness they did to us and still continue to do to us. These people truly are soulless demons.

  2. I have worked with the mentally ill, in most cases chronically ill(mental illnesses run the gamut from mild chronic depression to full blown psychosis) Most of the mentally ill black people I have come across in these setting have delusions based on white supremacy. One fellow I came across slathered white toothpaste on his face and informed everyone he was ‘white’ for example. There are many other anecdotal situations such as this in varying degrees. Folks mental illness is not a taboo and should not be treated as such. If you are feeling symptoms of mental illness, get help! Funnily enough, the white mentally ill had delusions of superiority such as being supreme beings or royalty.

  3. This post was so insightful and full of truth. These people are able to do what they do because they truly are sociopaths. Sociopaths cannot truly empathize or sympathize. I believe every single one of us suffers from PTSD as a result of having to live in this society. I do not trust them anymore. Not at all. As a matter of fact, with the way things are going, we would do well to vacate this place altogether. Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to make an Exodus….

    1. Especially since whiteness is slipping, white people are becoming more and more paranoid. One has to wonder why is it that being white means everything to them, even more than live itself.

  4. “It is because the society they live in largely doesn’t care to see it as a human problem to those they still consider less-than human” this right here is on point.

    great post. Miriam carey didn’t deserve to be killed, I also heard a witness said they pulled her daughter out first before they killed her. They could’ve deployed spike strips and tazed her if necessary but to kill her and be called hero is bs. Mental illness affects every race nobody is immune to it. With that said we need to stop embracing the strong stereotype it hurts us it makes us appear superhuman and more like a machine than human. machines don’t feel pain and they work hard and are strong. Our ancestors were strong physically and had to work hard and they thought they didn’t feel pain. And now how they think we feel little to no pain. More ppl gotta speak out about this, black ppl do suffer but were taught to suck it up and deal with it. we’ve learned to think that vulnerability is bad and being tough and guarded is good, but sadly living in this society being vulnerable is looked at as a weakness and ppl do try to exploit it. When Europeans saw the native americans and the Africans they always made the same observation that oh they are trusting, generous, and vulnerable then they exploited them. Now from being hurt and exploited ppl turn to drugs and alcohol and don’t want to admit they have an issue out of fear of being labeled and looked at as weak and different. if ppl need help get it don’t be ashamed if family and close friends can’t understand if they are real they will be there for u if not go to a support group and therapy. My brother was mentally ill but therapy and the right combo of meds helped. It shouldn’t be taboo but should be looked at as healing nobody should have to suffer and worry about if ppl will treat them different. The ppl that do I say u need help don’t judge someone and label them because they get help u don’t know what they go through. Nobody wants to have illness but we all have to play with the hand we are dealt. Nobody wakes up and says I want cancer or mental illness, so ppl shouldn’t judge them but help them to get on the right path and get healthy.

      1. I know, I see how they keep trying to compare her to aaron alexis. Every news article I’ve clicked has aaron alexis then they talk about her. Really they are two different incidents comparing apples to oranges, they were both black and mentally ill that is where the comparison should end. He killed people she didn’t. the movie theater shooter and the boston bomber got taken into custody without being killed and they both planned to kill. This woman didn’t kill anybody and was killed smh.

  5. When will this end? There was no reason for the cops to kill this poor woman like this. There is more to this than just she was depressed. Her family is not buying this, there is something wrong here. What if they had killed the young child in the car? Thank God, the baby wasn’t harmed. The cops are total screw ups. They could have just shot out the tires or put spikes in the road. This poor young woman died unnecessarily. This is just wrong. This is happening way too much, this could happen to any of us.

    1. It keeps getting worse and worse whenever we hear something new about this. What on Earth happened on that day that would lead to the death of a young black mother, I wonder?

      1. They don’t really like themselves. Because of that, they feel like they deserve something. They have a problem with their own color which is why they make everything about color. I believe it is all a cover up. The why-te man hates the Black Man because he is jealous of us. We have the prettier women in our race and they know that. For that reason, they will always want us Brothas gone. It’s unfortunate that most of our Sistas in the States are Christians. That “black stands for sin and white is for cleaniness and purity” crap was made up by them. They want us to hate ourselves and love them above all. Even when Black Men go with why-te women, the yt man still wants to take a jab at the Black Man. Black Men should not be seeing ww to begin with. Why-te men just do not want to see us around at all. Because of intergration, we have young Brothas believing they can have a friendship with yt men. The whole time that yt boy is learning everything he needs to know about Black Men so he can replace us and win over our Sistas. They also befriend young Brothas to show off their wealth if they have any money. The yt boy always wants to feel superior to the Black Man. We need to watch how we are everywhere. We need to remember that our enemie enjoys it when we act stupid in front of them. Some of those yt boys also try to divide young Black Men. We should not ever trust them. We need to stop believing that we can change them. Yt “men” are always going to hate Brothas more than any of man of any other race.

        Yt “men” have a hard time approaching our Sistas because they know they are nothing special compared to the Black Man. By natural law, our Sistas are supposed to love us only. We are supposed to love our Sistas only, too. Self love is important to all. Because yts are mutated inbred Afrikan albinos, they take a liking to the people with the skin color they are supposed to have before themselves or anybody else. Other races are attracted to us too. They can pratice self love better than why-tes can because they evolved from us. We did not make yts our enemies, they made us their enemies. They could not and still cannot stand to see the Black Family together. Some Yt “men” do not mind telling anybody that they came from a Black Woman. They will never bring up who the Father was. Some of them are going around right now saying, “A Black Woman and a Neanderthal gave birth to white people”. They have zero respect for Black Men and that is what makes them why-te men. We did not know always know of who they were to us. At first, we made the mistake of trusting them. Unfortunately, some of our people today who are not Concious still do befriend them. We must learn everything we can about ourselves. Our people have got to stop referring to ourselves as “African-American”. All of this has nothing to do with where we came from and where we are today. Why-tes can claim that they came from Afrika, too. More of them are starting to say that all of civilization started in Afrika. It is all about our color. It has always been about color. Liberals use “African-American” to please some of our people who do not like being called black. On the job applications, police reports, and all else, we are black. Yts will never refer to caucasians, european-americans, or even all american. An albino would only think of themselves as a “white person”.

      2. Why-te men do not like the sight of pregnant Sistas. This policeman probably came to the conclusion that the father of the baby was a Black Man. Look at what happened to Lucinda White who was tased by the Springfield police. We can also point to what they did to the babies of our ancestors doing slavery. They have no respect for anything really. They are the most responsible for global warming. They absolutely hate the Black Family. It seems like a single Sista without children is safer in this Amerikkka than a Sista with a family. As a Black Man, I do not like seeing Sistas walking alone. None of us should be alone out here. There is safety in numbers. This is madness. Many of them get together in greater numbers than we do to do everything. So, even if a few of us were to walk together, we could still be outnumbered. Some of them still speak of rounding us up somehow and bombing us. Why-te people have this obsession with us. Thankfully, the other races are distracting them from us. We must remember that Robert Zimmerman still spoke about us everyday to his Peruvian wife and mixed sons. Perhaps, we need to think of what we would do if we were in the shoes of a mutated albino man. They organize better than we do. They do not think of themselves as human so much as they do rejected albino offspring. We still go around calling each other “Bossman”, “my nigga”, “man”, and “girl”. We need to start calling each other Brotha, Sista, Black Man, and Black Woman. We are not in the very beginning anymore. We are now in a very long race war. We need to think like soldiers on the battlefield do. All of this individualism in our community must go.

  6. This is a great post, Brotha Wolf! I completely agree on what you said throughout the post. I don’t know how everybody feels about other group’s sufferings, but I’ve come to the point where I don’t “care” about them. Maybe it’s me, but it seems whenever we, as black people, have a problem everyone else (that is non-black people) is silent. Yet we have to be sympathetic to all other groups; we have to include them in our struggle as “People of Color”. What sense does that make? Taking the burden for everybody can lead to depression. I know I’ve been guilty of doing that and have been trying to undo these things. Anyway I think it is difficult for us to heal because it’s difficult to separate from the white supremacists. They are in positions of power in the nine areas of people activity. I’m at a loss to figure out how to improve our position as a people.

    1. The reason why Black people tend to be sympathetic to others’ suffering is partly due to the suffering Black people have suffered and continue to suffer (empathy). Blacks practice a profound humanity towards others, which is a blessing and a curse all in one. Others do not practice the same sympathy towards Blacks. Blacks have to be “Super Negroes”.

      1. Perhaps it’s also a security issue. If we don’t feel secure within ourselves we feel a need to be validated by everyone else.

    2. We have no friends anywhere. All we have is each other (Black Man and Woman). The people of other races will not do anything for us unless we bond with them. Men of all races are attracted to the Black Woman (First Woman Made) over all others. The women of all races want us, Black Men (First Man Made). They have enslaved us in the past, too. We must stick together as Black People.

  7. Very good article Brotha.

    As a mostly past and present sufferer of depression I can put myself in the shoes of those that I share this evil illness with. Also, I can tell you from hand experience; a depressed person is only a danger to themself. That’s that.

  8. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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