Eric Garner was killed by the people who should have helped him, but those representing his murderer are blaming his fatness. This essay contains discussions of racialized state violence, Black death, scientific racism, and fatphobia It's been almost five years
Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago makes a staunch commitment to the values of her predecessor: the destruction of Black and Brown communities and the hoarding of wealth for Chicago’s 1%. By Gloria Oladipo I wish I were happier about the historic moment of Chicago’s
What happened to Chikesia Clemons shows how dangerous it is to be a Black woman doing anything at all.I haven’t watched the video of two white police officers assaulting 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons at a Waffle House in Alabama; part of my self-care practice is not subjecting myself to images of violence against people who look like me. Let white people who don’t believe in institutional racism watch it and get an education—I don’t need to see it to know it happened. However, the video illustrates the misogynoir that exists in the country and how dangerous it really is to be a Black woman doing anything at all. When Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks, the outrage was immediate, and the company announced that they would be closing on 29 May for a company-wide racial bias training. When video emerged of Clemons’ attack, Waffle House said they agreed with the police action taken, and that was that. Even with video depicting the violence that she endured, the reaction elicited a pathetic “meh.” There was no justice. No immediate interviews. Just a video of a Black woman being brutalized and circled around the internet for the voyeuristic pleasure of others who consume the brutalization of Black bodies and the abuse of Black women. This is common history though. The bodies and lives of Black women have always been something that was considered up for consumption by any and everyone. From Sarah Baartman, the so-called “Hottentot Venus”, to Aunt Jemima smiling back from boxes of pancake mix, the pain and service of Black female bodies is expected and goes without comment. In the culture of white supremacy, we are seen, automatically, as unruly. We are not women in the same sense that white women are seen as women. We are seen, perhaps better explained, as female, a sexual object at times but more so as a receptacle of white supremacist culture’s fetishes. We exist to receive and serve so when we step outside of that role, as Clemons did, as Sandra Bland, Korryn Gaines, and Amia Tyae Berryman did, we are brutalized, we are killed. And the problem isn’t just police officers, it’s the society we live in.
For those in the queer community or any other marginalized group that believe that their siding with white supremacy will save them: it will not.It's no secret that true equality for marginalized groups is still long from being accomplished in full. Intersectionality and it co-option has led to further division from its original purpose – to uplift and center the experiences of Black women and femmes. But how far do we have to go when the queer community, in particular, shows that the valuing of Black lives within the queer community is still, largely, not accepted. Lavender Magazine is Minnesota's most notable LGBT biweekly paper. Bringing a mix of news, culture, and nightlife writing, Lavender Magazine is one of the few spaces that allows queer culture to exist front and center. So last month, the biweekly got in hot water with readers after choosing to put two white police officers on the cover of their Pride Issue. This came shortly after the news of Philando Castile's murderer being acquitted. [caption id="attachment_47308" align="aligncenter" width="308"] Lavender Mag 2017 Pride Cover[/caption] The choice to put cops on the cover of the Pride Issue is not just a choice done in bad taste, but one that firmly roots Lavender Magazine with a clear stance: Black lives, even queer ones, do not trump white supremacy within the LGBT+ community. This isn't the first time that Lavender Magazine was called out for being problematic, last year readers launched a petition to demand an apology from the magazine for their consistent whitewashing and anti-Islam bias. For QPOC, this comes as no surprise – we have long known that queerness has always been synonymous with whiteness, and any expression to push that definition beyond that is met with racism and dismay.
Black transgender women like Eyricka King are disproportionately the victims of physical and sexual abuse by police officers. [TW- Transmisogyny, homophobia, assault and abuse.] Earlier this week, a trans woman named Eyricka King alerted her mother, Kelly Harrison, that she was being