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Exploitation of black suffrage and trauma


The exploitation and insensitivity

Exploitation is when someone is being insensitive toward the suffering of something or someone in order to benefit from this person or this situation. This is something that has been done toward black people’s suffrage for decades. Let’s look at a recent exploitation of black suffrage, the Netflix series of Jeffrey Dahmer.

‘Dahmer’ was released on September 21, 2022. It’s a series, based on TRUE story about a white homosexual serial killer called Jeffrey Dahmer whose target was black gay men. Jeffrey Dahmer acquires his victims by going to gay clubs, malls, and bus stops, convincing them to go home with him promising money or sex. Then he would drug them and strangle them to death. He would then do sex acts with the corpse of his victim before dismembering and disposing their bodies. Sometimes he would even eat the corpse of his victim. Yes, he is a cannibal too. During all of these, the police have been alerted of the acts of Jeffrey, but because the victims were Black, Poc, and queer. The police did not bother to do anything about it. Again the system failed these victims.

However, the reason why I have mentioned this situation as an example is not about the way the police failed the victims of Jeffrey, or what Jeffrey precisely have done to his victim. It’s about the way certain people have reacted towards the series ‘Dahmer’, their insensitivity, and how Netflix is profiting of the suffrage from the victims.

Recently, there has been a lot of post of people insensitive toward the suffrage of this victim or people making jokes out of this situation. An example is a woman on TikTok, her username is Kirsten.soap, who made a post and I quote: “When everybody is freaking out about the ‘morbid’ the new Dahmer show is…. And you’re just bummed they didn’t show the actual morbid pictures…” This show is about real people, people that really went through this suffering, but she’s talking like it is fictional. That is very disrespectful to the victims and the victims’ families. To add more to the disrespect, she is even wearing an earring of Jeffrey Dahmer.

Furthermore, she is not the only one. There have also been other people that try to justify the evil things that Jeffrey has done and make it seems like the things the victims went through are not that serious. Another example is of this other Tiktok user, whose username is Marelinn_, that said and I quote: “Is there something wrong with me because I high-key felt bad for Jeffrey Dahmer?”


Families' reactions

Additionally, the family of these victims has stated that Netflix has made this show without their permission. One of the victims, Errol Lindsey, sister, Rita Isbell, mentioned how the show has re-traumatized her. This is her statement in an essay for Insider: “When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said.” She continued saying: “If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That’s why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”

Furthermore, she also mentioned how Netflix did not tell them anything about the making of the show. “I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it. I could even understand it if they gave some of the money to the victims’ children. … The victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless. It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.”

Furthermore, Lindsey’s cousin, Eric Perry, also made a statement on Twitter and I quote: “I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show,” he continued by saying and I quote: “It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need? Like, recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD. WIIIIIILD.”  He then continued about whether Netflix contacted them. “To answer the main question, no, they don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did. So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them. My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”


The victims' name

These are the names of the lives of the people who have fell victim to Jeffrey’s evil doing: Steven Hicks, Steven Tuomi, Jamie Doxtator, Richard Guerrero, Anthony Sears, Ricky Beeks, Eddie Smith, Ernest Miller, David Thomas, Curtis Straughter, Errol Lindsey, Anthony Hughes, Konerak Sinthasomphone, Matt Turner, Jeremiah Weinberger, Oliver Lacy, and Joseph Bradehoft.


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