YouTube Recently, a video surfaced online of former actress Maia Campbell appearing to go through a relapse or experiencing a mental health break. The video shows Campbell missing a tooth, wearing a black bra, pumping gas, and describing an alleged rape. According to the Huffington Post , Campbell has struggled with bipolar disorder for her entire career, but everything began falling apart when she stopped treatment in In , for example, Campbell was arrested for theft and sent to a mandatory mental health facility.
Afterward, she voluntarily lived in a residential treatment facility, with the goal of living by herself again. The intention of the taping was to have Vanzant help Campbell process guilt, shame, the relationship with her daughter, Elisha, and to move on to a healthier, more productive future. In a heartbreaking scene, Campbell opens up: A lot of issues with my mom.
And what did that result in? In , she was filmed by two unidentified men, while also seemingly on drugs. She is taken advantage of in her most vulnerable state; and these are turned into viral videos, tweets, and memes all for fodder with rarely, if ever, an intention of genuine assistance.
What I saw as pain many of those videotaping apparently saw as laughter. Men who made sexual references, showed her to the homies, referenced strippers, and continued to emotionally push her. Men like T-Hood, who recorded and shared the latest video. As a response to the backlash he received for not helping Campbell and contributing to her mental state , T-Hood posted a video defending his poor choice of exposing the vulnerable star.
She been on the block for years. Then, to claim that no one would care if she were white is laughable at best. White women, especially ones struggling with addiction garner more support and empathy than anyone. This is especially true of a person who has publicly opened up about drug addiction and struggling with bipolar. To be sure, we are already well aware of the taboo surrounding discussions of therapy and mental health in the Black community, and with viral videos where people pass along fake sympathy, we are dangerously perpetuating a problem that can quite literally cost lives.
Preston Mitchum is a Washington, DC-based writer, activist, and policy nerd. Follow him on Twitter here to see just how much he appreciates intersectionality.