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But once these modern-day lynchings hit the web, they become a readily available spectacle, to live forever in infamy.

What is it about witnessing death that is so alluring to so many?

It took a photograph of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned alongside his family and washed ashore on the beaches of Turkey, to finally sound the alarm about the ongoing refugee crisis.

Healthcare providers noted Kodi was in “good condition” from his non-life-threatening wounds, but said nothing of the emotional wounds of witnessing his mother being murdered by the men in blue.

Nearly 12 years have passed and I’ve been active online ever since, from the clique-ish My Space profile to the regrettable fan-fic friendly Live Journal, live-blogging my first period, identifying a sexuality crisis, befriending like-minded people from around the world, and perhaps most conflicting: falling headfirst into a political awakening.

It was online that I first discovered the details about the death of Trayvon Martin.

Just the idea of a collective discourse about this subject matter and its traumatic effect on the general public is a foreign concept to an American girl like myself. Whereas many anti-lynching activists in the early 20th century tried to conceal photographs, postcards, and other memorabilia of lynchings, Du Bois decided to expose the barbarism of white supremacy through the same visual medium that helped promote it.

I wonder if there’s ever been a moment in recent American history where we actively critiqued the intake of photographic atrocities, specifically those against black bodies. Adapting images that were used to terrorize black people into a tool of protest has become the foundation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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