10/09/2014 11:56 am ET

Patrisse Cullors Explains How Social Media Images Of Black Death Propel Social Change

Michael Brown’s killing raised serious questions about the crisis of state violence against African-Americans. With an FBI-led investigation of police bias officially in the works, more information is on the way, but current statistics paint a grim picture.

USA Today reports that between 2007 and 2012, a white police officer killed a black person nearly twice a week in the United States. In a recent HuffPost Live conversation, Patrisse Cullors, the creator of #blacklifematters, weighed in on how social media has shed light on these dark statistics.

“Social media has changed the game,” she said. “On a daily basis, every moment, black folks are being bombarded with images of our death. And after a while that does something to your psyche. It’s literally saying, ‘Black people, you might be next. You will be next.’”

With such images perpetually pervading our consciousness, social media lends legitimacy to complaints of police brutality and ultimately forces citizens to act, Cullors explained.

“There’s sort of like this instinctual act of we have to protect ourselves we have to protect each other,” she said. “It forces black folks to really deal with the reality of how oftentimes painful it is to just say out loud, ‘We might die.’ But it also forces other groups, it forces other groups of color, it forces white people to really be like, ‘Wait, black people really weren’t exaggerating.’”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about state violence against black Americans here.

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