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Category: Mental Health Essays

How Trevor Noah and Racial Profiling Broadened My Definition of Trauma

In July 2016, Minnesota police officer, Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Officer Yanez believed Mr. Castile fit the description of a robbery suspect. Officer Yanez was acquitted of all charges last week. However, newly released footage of the shooting has raised additional questions about the officer’s behavior.

Until today, my definition of “traumatic” hinged largely on concrete, definable harm. Trauma connects to events, links to horrific situations that embed themselves within us. However, after listening to the host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, discuss his reaction to the newest video, I discovered an entirely new meaning of the word.
In the following clip, you can see the video as well as listen to Trevor Noah’s comments. Give attention to the words of Diamond Reynolds, Philando Castile’s girlfriend, immediately after the shooting:

Losing a Peer to Suicide

***This article discusses suicide. For anyone in need of help, you can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.***

“Depression takes root when the picture of the past is more powerful than the picture of the future.”
-Amy Bleuel

I wear a tattoo on my right arm that carries a message. It’s a simple design, a heart that doubles as a bass clef which, in part, becomes a semi-colon.

It symbolizes that I am driven by love and harmony, that I have a song to keep singing.
The inspiration for my tattoo comes from Amy Bleuel, the founder of the suicide awareness and prevention movement known as Project Semicolon. The semicolon was selected as the symbol of survival because it denotes when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to.