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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

The Profit from Black Pain and Trauma

One of the Louisville police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor is writing a book. It will be published by Post Hill Press in Tennessee. Initially, Simon & Schuster was set to distribute it. But after the intense public backlash, they backed out of the distribution deal. It's disturbing that they considered it in the first place.

Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly is one of three police officers who performed the no-knock warrant at Breonna Taylor’s apartment in March 2020, firing more than two dozen bullets. He is the same man who sued Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, alleging Walker’s actions caused him “severe trauma, mental anguish and emotional distress.” This, after Walker witnessed his girlfriend bleed to death and then be taken away in handcuffs. Mattingly says, “We did the legal, moral, and ethical thing that night.”

Post Hill Press focuses on “Christian and conservative political books,” according to their website. They have published works by several right-wing authors with extreme views on politics and religion.

Mattingly is still an officer with the Louisville Police Department, and is now an author. Let that sink in for a moment.

The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy is nothing more than profiting from Black pain and tragedy. Make no mistake about this work. It is not an awareness project or a means to unite and heal the community. Rather, it is a process of extraction, sensationalism, and commodification. Period.

It’s no secret that Black culture is profitable, especially for those who aren’t Black. Mainstream media has repackaged Blackness and made our pain lucrative. It’s fueled by riots, racists, fear, and constant depictions of our deaths and brutalization. We are continually trolled and traumatized for profit.

Mattingly’s truth is rooted in what he feels was doing the “right thing.” This story is not benefiting Breonna Taylor’s family or obtaining any type of justice in this case. This book lacks integrity, and upholds white privilege instead of attempting to dismantle it. Mattingly’s work is disrespectful, and wrapped tightly in destruction. It’s the kind of work that only profits from Black pain.


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