But our failure did not begin the day Florida decided to prosecute you for standing your ground; we did not fall short in the aftermath of a sham of a trial and the horror of a 20-year sentence. We, and by we here I am specifically talking about men, failed you long before you said enough to abuse. We have failed to create a culture that repels violence against women, which shuns and denounces every instance of domestic violence. We failed you in 2009 when your husband was arrested for abuse. The system has failed you over again. And we have failed in not holding that system accountable, in demanding a system that actual works to create a environment. In 2010, your husband said, “I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one. The way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know they never knew what I was thinking or what I might do. Hit them, push them.” Reading this hurts me because it is further evidence of our failure. We rear men who think this is ok, who are empowered to abuse. Where were we then? Where was the criminal justice system that is so concerned about protection and safety? We have failed you and for that I am sorry. Read more…
By Arturo R. García
It did not take long for business interests and other unsavory elements to pop up in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Beyond the professional ghouls, bloviators and racial profiling apologists to Zimmerman’s brother acting as a media surrogate to, perhaps even more disturbingly, one of the six jurors attempting to cash in on her brush with “fame.”
But thankfully, there are already people, online and off, in the streets marching and working from their homes, and even from behind bars, pushing back against this odious tide.
By Guest Contributor Whitney Peoples, cross-posted from The Crunk Feminist Collective
Let’s begin with a confession: I was born and raised in the great state of Texas and, prior to two weeks ago, I had never fired a gun. That will certainly be surprising to some folks as Texas often invokes images of shotguns, six shooters, and gun-toting cowboys. For me, however, Texas is about home, family, the State Fair, and where my own brand of quirky country makes perfect sense. While, like the rest of the country, I grew up in a pervasive gun culture, there was not one in my immediate family.
I didn’t grow up around hunting trips, shotguns, rifles, and pistols. My experience with guns was not linked to family or individual recreation–as it is for some–but to fear, intimidation, and violence. I remember having to run, duck, and hide more than my fair share because somebody at a football game or an after-party decided to flex and start shooting in a crowd. I know the sting of losing friends and classmates to shootings and self-inflicted gunshot wounds. I remember how I felt being pushed inside a vault as three men armed with guns robbed my partner and me. So, while I had never shot a gun before, I knew all too well its power and effects.