Clutch Magazine’s Britni Danielle released a powerful article the other day called, “Where’s the Collective Outrage on Behalf of Black women?” In the essay she states:
As Black folks in America, we’ve become good at mobilizing behind a cause, particularly when it deals when fighting racism. At this very moment, the NAACP in North Carolina and Georgia is waging a fierce battle against voter suppression with the Moral Monday movement, and just recently, the collective outrage of prominent basketball stars and celebrities toward Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling led to his ouster from the league. And when Travyon Martin and Jordan Davis and Oscar Grant and Sean Bell and many others were murdered—by vigilantes and cops alike—the community once again protested and rallied and threatened boycotts until their cases were heard.
But when the issue of the day involves Black women, especially when they’ve been harmed at the hands of Black men, the silence is far more deafening.
In the article, she lists important issues that have impacted Black women that the mainstream media seems to just not really care too much about. So, I’m going to make a list of *some* important issues and events that have specifically impacted Black women. These are issues that we should all be upset about. Since everyone was so quick to mobilize against Don Sterling, I’m hoping that these issues receive even more attention. These are some topics that you should care about if you’re committed to social justice:
1) This particular event has given birth to the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Anne Perkins for the Guardian states:
Every morning for a week the news has been dominated by the South Korean ferry tragedy. The terrible grief of the parents, the shocking response of the crew to the unfolding disaster, and the inexorably rising body count.
Two days before the South Korean students boarded their ferry for a study trip to the nearby island of Jeju, terrorists broke into a girls’ school in Chibok, in the remote state of Borno, in north-eastern Nigeria. They shot guards and abducted about 200 students, who were loaded into trucks and, it seems, taken off into the forest. Two groups of the girls, perhaps 30 in all, managed to escape. The rest have simply disappeared.
This story has slowly been circulating in social media circles, but it’s still not as wide-spread as the “missing plane” in Malaysia, or the crisis in Ukraine. For some reason, certain international stories are highlighted over others. The girls are believed to have been kidnapped by Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group. Deborah Sanya along with two other friends escaped as they were being kidnapped.
The men were initially dressed in Nigerian military uniforms and told the girls they were going to take them to safety. The men took supplies from the school and then set the building on fire. They herded the girls onto trucks and motocrycles and starting shooting into the air yelling, “Allahu Akbar.”
They took the girls to a camp and forced them to cook. Sanya then escaped with two friends and is currently worried about her friends who are still missing.
2) Rekia Boyd was killed weeks after Trayvon Martin. She was shot by an off duty police officer. The off-duty police officer allegedly told police that he was telling a group of people to quiet down and said someone pulled a gun on him and he shot into the crowd and hit Boyd in the head. The crowd stated that they didn’t see anyone pull a gun on the cop. The cop was charged with a misdemeanor.
3) 19 year old Renisha McBride was murdered last year by Theodore Wafer. She was in a car accident after midnight on November 2 and went to get help in the local suburb. She went on Wafer’s porch and he shot her in the face through his screen door. Wafer was charged with murder only after community pressure led by activists. A trial date has finally been set. Wafer is claiming self-defense despite the fact that McBride didn’t have a weapon on her. [oh gosh…you know Wafer…Black skin doesn’t count as a weapon!]
4) CeCe McDonald [a transgender woman] and four of her friends were walking past Schooner Tavern in Minneapolis on June 5, 2011 [she was 23] when a group of at least 4 white people began harassing McDonald and her friends. They were called “niggers” and “faggots.” One of the men, Dean Schmitz said, “look at that boy dressed like a girl tucking her dick in.”
Schmitz’ ex-girlfriend Molly Flaherty hit McDonald in the face with a glass of alcohol and sliced open her cheek, which would require stitches to fix. The group started fighting and as McDonald tried to walk away, Schmitz followed. McDonald pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed him in the chest and he ended up dying.
McDonald was arrested that night and charged with second-degree murder, despite the fact that she was acting in self-defense. The judge for the case was horrible. He wouldn’t allow proof in the court to support that Schmitz was racist, evidenced through a swastika tattoo that he had on his body. Also, the judge wouldn’t allow the defense to call expert witnesses who would testify to transgender people’s experiences with violence in their daily lives. “In 2009, trans women accounted for 50 percent of LGBTQH hate-crime murder victims. A transgender woman named Brandy Martell was shot in her car in Oakland, California, on April 29, in what is being called a possible hate crime, and on April 16, a Chicago transgender woan named Paige Clay was found murdered in an alley.”
After serving 19 months in prison, Cece was released. Thanks to actress Laverne Cox, this issue was given some more visibility in the media.
The list of Black women and girls who are victimized goes on and on and on:
I think it’s important that we remember Black women when we discuss racism and sexism. All too often, this country is quick to rally behind Black men who experience racism, and white women who experience sexism, but when it comes to Black women, we are still rendered invisible. Many of us are quite surprised to see how quick the nation mobilized against Don Sterling when he spoke negatively about black people [namely black men], but many of us are wondering why this same time type of attention isn’t given to Black women who have been victimized.