Watch CBS News

High-Profile Racially Charged Viral Videos Are 'Pushing People Psychologically To A Melting Point,' Psychologist Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- This week, there have been reports of two high-profile racially charged incidents, and for many people, the disturbing videos are taking an emotional toll.

Many don't need a viral video to know the devastation that comes when privilege is weaponized.

A video circulating social media shows a white woman calling 911 to falsely accuse a black man, Chris Cooper, of threatening her in Central Park.

"How dare you. How dare you. People are dying," Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

"I don't even know what to do or how to handle this at this particular time," CBS This Morning host Gayle King said.

RELATED STORY: NYC Human Rights Commission Opens Investigation Into Viral Central Park Confrontation

In Minneapolis, someone captured another black man die on camera. George Floyd was pleading for his life while handcuffed in police custody.

Both incidents just happened this week.

"What happened in Central Park and what happened in Minnesota is really pushing people psychologically to a melting point," clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

Minneapolis literally reached it overnight as fires were set across the city. Peaceful protests turned to looting.

RELATED STORY: Several Arrests Made At Union Square Protest Over George Floyd's Death

Dr. Dierdre Royster studies racial inequities.

"And you know that any other body is not going to receive that level of excessive force. You know that we've hit a breaking point," the NYU sociology professor said.

Also consider that communities of color are suffering disproportionately from COVID.

RELATED STORY: Study Finds Low-Income Communities Hit Hard By COVID-19 Are Also Suffering Financially

It adds to the mounting trauma.

But being outside has not always provided the same safe release.

"That's why we're sort of seeing the kind of explosion effect because it's a throbbing wound now. It's a hot, infected, throbbing wound in which there is pus coming out," Royster said.

Healing is long overdue.

"Being able to talk about it. Being able to communicate. Being able to talk about our disappointment. Being able to talk about our anger and our sadness," Gardere said.

Talks without judgement and guts to stand up and call out what's wrong, even if it doesn't directly impact you.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.