Yesterday, a grand jury decided not to indict Staten Island NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner, despite the fact that the death was ruled a homicide and the entire incident was caught on tape. (His final words: “I can’t breathe,” gasped over and over.) The outrage over this injustice was immediate and palpable, as people took to the streets to protest yet another white police officer killing an unarmed Black citizen without legal recourse. Meanwhile, on Twitter, the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite began trending, as white people primarily started sharing stories about getting away with illegal acts that, presumably, POC of color would not only not get away with, but potentially face terrible repercussions for. In other words, white people were tweeting examples of their own white privilege — and while I am always in favor of people recognizing their own privilege, I agree with those who thought this hashtag was distracting attention away from Eric Garner and the issue of POC being over-policed and under-served by those in uniform. At times, many of these tweets almost seemed like humblebrags about the various offenses White people had gotten away with. “Look at how good it is to be white!” Talk about missing the point. In response, @JamilahLemieux started another hashtag, #AliveWhileBlack, POC could share stories about their encounters with law enforcement. Read it. Really read it. And then read #CrimingWhileWhite too, if you’d like, if only because in combination, the two hashtags illustrate the stark difference in the way POC and White people, in general, have been treated by law enforcement. [#AliveWhileBlack/#CrimingWhileWhite]
Earlier this week during Sunday night football, five St. Louis Rams players came out of the tunnel to take the field ahead of the rest of the team, arms raised in “hands up, don’t shoot” posture, in honor of the Ferguson protesters angry with the lack of indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, four months after his shooting of Mike Brown. The gesture was powerful, especially coming from influential athletes from the St. Louis community. And what did they get in return? A whole bunch of belly aching from the St. Louis Police Department, who demanded an apology, rightfully didn’t get one, and then still chose to pretend they did. What a world! Keep reading »
“You fucking stupid bitch,” a man screamed followed by the slam of a car door. Feet thumped and the passenger door swung open. The incoherent pleas of a woman could be heard.
Then the loud sound of skin making contact with skin reverberated through the late night, down the empty street. My brother, sister and I rushed to our window to peak through the blinds to see what was happening. My fingers pulled the blinds down and I peeped out into the darkness; I could see a young, dark-skinned woman, crying and begging like a sinner seeking forgiveness at the feet of a Jesus statue for some unknown, unrighteous sin. Except, the man standing in front of her wasn’t frozen in stone. With all the force he could muster, he launched a kick that landed square in her stomach.
“Call the cops,” my brother ordered. Keep reading »
I am at odds with feminism and my conflict is a “race issue.”
For White women, defining oneself as feminist is pretty simple. The need to advance a female political agenda — while dismissing male oppression — makes sense in a world where White men maintain the highest position and power. I understand that.
However, as a Black woman, I do not share that same freedom or privilege to so easily align myself with gendered politics. I elaborated on that notion sometime ago in a piece that I wrote about intersectionality. In summary, my existence is plagued by both White patriarchy and racism. Neither of those plights outweigh the other, though both do have their own implications that are divisive and confusing. Therefore, I, as well as other women of color, am constantly at odds with the struggle against racism and patriarchy. It’s a predicament where I must constantly defend my position as a woman who cares about women’s issues to Black men– and the Black community– who claim that the main political focus of any Black individual should be tackling racism and White supremacy. And, similarly, I must constantly defend myself to White women who expect that women will readily adopt a White feminist agenda that does not account for the particular position that women of color occupy.
This is my statement to both of these demographics: I care not for your acceptance or approval. I stand upon the platform built for me by my foremothers, the Black women who understood the various struggles that plague women of color and the truth that advancement for us cannot be realized without the release of our community — and men — from the shackles of racism. I stand beside Alice Walker, bell hooks, Clenora Hudson-Weems and the myriad of women who understand my struggle and advocate for progress for the Black community. Keep reading »
I’m closing comments on this post and any other posts about Ferguson this week because, well, I CAN, and it’s Thanksgiving week and people are in pain and I don’t want any racist ass trolls on this site making it any worse.
Official diagnosis: contusion aka A BRUISE. [Gawker] Keep reading »
We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.
While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.
Our thoughts are with the family of Michael Brown tonight, who released the above statement after learning that there will be no indictment against Officer Darren Wilson in the death of their son. The St. Louis
defense attorney prosecutor Bob McCullough made the announcement shortly past 9 p.m. EST tonight, largely devoting his 20 minute statement to making Wilson‘s case and blaming everyone from witnesses to the media for the situation in Ferguson — except Darren Wilson and the St. Louis P.D. [NY Times]