Tag Archives: action alert

Why We Should Support CeCe McDonald

by Guest Contributor Jessica Annabelle

CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman, has been facing 2nd degree murder charges since being attacked last summer by a group of white adults.

CeCe and several friends, all black, were walking to the grocery store on June 5th, 2011 when white adults standing in the patio area of a South Minneapolis bar started screaming racist and transphobic slurs at the youth. CeCe, who is only 23 years old, approached the group and replied that she and her friends would not tolerate hate speech. In response, one of the white women said “I’ll take you bitches on” and smashed her glass into CeCe’s face. The broken glass sliced all the way through CeCe’s cheek. A fight ensued between the adults and the young people after this initial attack and one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz, was fatally stabbed.

As if it were not sufficiently tragic that a group of young people were subjected to such severe violence and that Dean Schmitz lost his life, police arriving at the scene arrested CeCe, denied her adequate medical treatment, interrogated her for hours, and placed her in solitary confinement. In the aftermath of being attacked, she was not treated with care, but launched into another nightmare. The only person arrested that night, she has since been charged with two counts of 2nd degree murder. Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman has the power to drop these charges, a choice he made in multiple other clear instances of self-defense this year, but he has not yet done so.

CeCe’s story is a portrait of the United States Criminal Justice System. Her story is what is meant when we are told that transgender people, especially transgender women of color, experience disproportionate rates of police harassment, profiling, and abuse. She is living one of the stories rolled into statistics like: trans people are ten to fifteen times more likely to be incarcerated than cisgender (not transgender) people, or nearly half of African American transgender people have spent time in jail or prison. Continue reading

BART Police Kill an Unarmed Man, Oscar Grant, on New Year’s Day

by Guest Contributor M. Dot, originally published at Model Minority

Oakland haunts me.

Last week, I started trying to convert my essays on the crack epidemic into a memoir and the above sentence came to mind.

As many of you know, on early New Year’s day , the BART police killed an unarmed man, Oscar Grant.

I felt my heart flip in my throat when I heard the woman say they just shot him.

Oakland haunts me.

I hate that moment. The moment in the hood where the violence sparks and we have no fucking idea of what is going happen next.

Richard at Fem-men-ist captures it when he writes about being at the riots,

    I head down 14th street towards Webster… and that’s as far as i get. A couple blocks further down, the crowd looms, and its a riot crowd. i can smell something burning, and Broadway is obscured with smoke that could be the source of the smell, or tear gas. A metal hulk slowly rolls out of a backlit cloud of smoke. it is a paramilitary tank with a mounted water cannon. Is this my neighborhood?

It is really easy to think of Oakland as the home of side shows, The Black Panthers, the spiritual seat of pimp mythology. It is easy to think of Oakland as San Francisco’s pathologized other. However, there is a very strong thread of Wild Wild West street justice that permeates the culture of Oakland. A shoot first and maybe ask questions later steelo that is both reflected in how the police and how the hood resorts to violence to deal with rage and retribution. Furthermore, there is a shoot first and ask questions later attitude associated with American foreign policy. Operation Iraqi Freedom anyone? Continue reading

muslim children gassed in ohio – but where’s the outrage?

by Special Correspondent Thea C. Lim, originally published at The Shameless Blog

From Daily Kos:

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

    On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers.

Recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about how the deaths and abuse of women and children of colour are not taken as seriously as the deaths and abuse of white women and children.

Why We Want Our Kids Back Too
From Racialicious:

    There were no crush of grief counselors when our 11 year olds got shot by strays or on purpose. There were no pundits filling column space and air time when our girls got raped or became pregnant too soon. And when our children came up missing… when our children came up missing…I saw enough missing and dead black kids coming up that it taught me something about black folks, or at least the way black folks are perceived:

    Black children are disposable expectations.

Continue reading

Help Us Keep Bitching

by Latoya Peterson

So, I’m currently reading an advance copy of Tricia Rose’s new book, The Hip-Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip-Hop – And Why It Matters. I’ve already flagged pages to post as part of the “Quoted” series, as well as planning a few arguments around Rose’s ideas to post as part of the Hip-Hop Feminist canon. I even have an interview scheduled for next Tuesday, where I planned to spend about an hour dissecting the book with the author.

But unfortunately, y’all might not ever read my interview, or the article that was supposed to spring from our discussion.

That’s because on the day I received my contract in the mail, Bitch Magazine posted a video by Andi Zeisler and Debbie Rasmussen saying that they may not be able to publish the next issue because they don’t have the money. Bitch is $40,000 short of what they need to publish next month’s issue. (That’s how much it costs to publish an issue, y’all.)

So, please help.

If you like the fact that there is a magazine dedicated to a feminist critique of pop culture, please help by subscribing or donating.

If you don’t know what Bitch is, please check out their website and their back issues.

If you have a small business, an Etsy store, whatever, please consider taking out an advertisement.

And if you like what I do, and you like how I write, please help as well. Bitch is one of the few publications that will actually publish a lot of the things I write about, without me worrying about what gets filtered out, or if they are going to edit the racial/gender analysis out of my pitch.

I know there are about 5,000 of you reading Racialicious each day. (I’m not sure on how many people visit Feministe, where I am going to cross post this, but I hope a lot.) If half of you take the time to donate $5.00, we’ve raised $12,500.00 and we would be a quarter of the way there.

I already gave you a head start – I donated $10.

Here’s the video from Andi & Debbie:

In Defense of Community Organizers

by Guest Contributor Tariq Nelson, originally published at TariqNelson.com

Presidential Vice-Presidential Candidate Governor Palin and former Presidential candidate Rudolph Guiliani lampooned community organizers and the important work they do in their communities. Are they so out of touch that they do not realize that teachers, PTA members, football coaches and non-profit volunteers also have “actual responsibilities” too? Do they not realize – in their desire to smear – that these people have families as well? These people have love for their communities and strive to improve their own lives by improving the lives of others.

Well, community organizers across the country are upset at these snide attacks on them and their work and some have written on this issue. The Palin Campaign can continue to attack community volunteers and organizers at their own peril.

Community organizers across America, taken aback by a series of attacks from Republican leaders at the GOP convention in St. Paul, came together today to defend their work organizing Americans who have been left behind by unemployment, lack of health insurance and the national housing crisis. The organizers demanded an apology from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her statement that community organizers have no “actual responsibilities” and launched a web site to defend themselves against Republican attacks.

Community organizers work in neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by the failing economy,” said John Raskin, founder of Community Organizers of America and a community organizer on the West Side of Manhattan. “The last thing we need is for Republican officials to mock us on television when we’re trying to rebuild the neighborhoods they have destroyed. Maybe if everyone had more houses than they can count, we wouldn’t need community organizers. But I work with people who are getting evicted from their only home. If John McCain and the Republicans understood that, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to make fun of community organizers like me.”

Though many people are unfamiliar with community organizing, the job is both straightforward and vital: community organizers work with families who are struggling–because of low wages, poor health coverage, unaffordable housing, and other community problems–so that collectively, they can fix those problems and make government respond to their day-to-day concerns. Organizers knock on doors, attend community meetings, visit churches and synagogues and mosques, and work with unions and civic groups and block associations to help ordinary people build power and counter the influence of self-interested insiders and highly paid lobbyists at all levels of government.

Continue reading

Action Alert: Incite! Needs Help Evacuating Women in New Orleans

Renee dropped me an email to forward this message from Incite! Women of Color Against Violence:

Dear INCITE! friends and supporters,

On the eve of the 3 year anniversary of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and subsequent government criminal negligence and assaults on the low income people of color on the Gulf Coast, our sisters from INCITE! projects in New Orleans (including the local chapter, the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative, and the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic) are bracing for the potential landfall of Hurricane Gustav, which is currently projected to hit the Louisiana coast on Monday or Tuesday at a category 4 or 5. Voluntary evacuation of New Orleans has already begun, and mandatory evacuation could be declared as early as today. INCITE! organizers in New Orleans have made over 700 phone calls to women of color and their families that make up the constituency of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic, working to prepare and implement evacuation and safety plans.

Your assistance is urgently needed to help the low-income women of color and their families evacuate safely if need be, stay safe for the duration of the evacuation, and return to the city as soon as possible so as not to fall prey to the pushout that has kept so many folks from being able to return to New Orleans since Katrina. Local organizers are using whatever resources and funds at their disposal to help women and their families evacuate, bond people being held in Orleans Parish Prison out, and support those who make the choice to stay in whatever way they can.

Your support is urgently needed: financial donations of any size are needed and would be greatly appreciated.

Donations online are preferred because we can more quickly send the funds to our folks in New Orleans .
You can send your donation to INCITE online by going to this website:

http://incite-national.org/index.php?s=137
Click the Donation button
Put New Orleans in the “Purpose” line

Or you can write a check directly to WHJI and send it to:
PO Box 51325
New Orleans , LA 70151

This money will go directly to supporting the hundreds of low income women of color that are the constituency of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic.

Once again, the particular vulnerability of low-income women of color and single female-headed households (including folks with disabilities, seniors, undocumented immigrant women, and incarcerated women) has been erased in the face of disaster and overlooked in the days leading up to the storm. With few resources, facing challenges and concerns for their families of their own, INCITE! New Orleans and WHJI have stepped in to fill the gap. Please send all your support, solidarity, sisterhood and strength their way, and join us in hoping for the safety and well-bein g of the people who are already suffering from Gustav in Cuba , Jamaica , and Haiti , and willing the storm to subside or veer off safely before it strikes the Gulf Coast .

We will keep you posted as things develop.

peace,
INCITE!

Related Posts:

WoC, PHD – The Original Announcement

The Unapologetic Mexican – Change in the Weather

Brownfemipower – A Question of Who Really Needs Help