Therapy for victims of racism should be tax deductible
What if the IRS treated therapy for black people the way it does for “emotional distress” lawsuits?
I deactivated my Twitter account — for about 3.5 hours. After Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase (and sink photo) were final, I worried about the nonsensical MAGA users who would go back to treating Twitter like they now do with Truth Social. Then it hit me. Leaving Twitter meant I lost a place for writing inspiration, a place that has become lucrative for Medium membership invites and pay-per-read posts, and my biggest priority — losing out on #BlackTwitter.
The latter is both a guilty pleasure and a digital hug for black folks. I can read offensive comments and heartwarming ones in this crew, sometimes within the same 60 seconds. It’s like going to a family reunion with my favorite cousin and my least favorite relative at the same time.
I reactivated my account and blocked Elon Musk. It didn’t make any sense to let one guy and his flock of followers control my day-to-day. Why would I leave a social media platform to avoid a boost in racist tweets (like someone comparing black women to gorillas) when I wasn’t anywhere near Twitter within the past week and ended up in a phone battle with a process server flippantly talking about “hanging black people”?
Twitter didn’t invent racism anymore than Donald Trump did. It just gave a large group of people a place to create anonymous accounts and share their cowardly, dark views with a larger public. Fuck that. I’m staying.
However, a recent freelancing assignment caught my attention and gave me an idea. The article I was assigned to edit discussed how the Internal Revenue Service handles “emotional distress” and anxiety when it comes to personal injury cases. A thought kept coming into my mind: If black people could go to therapy for free and have an outlet to openly discuss the harm that racism does to us, is that tax deduction a reasonable way to get reparations?