My greatest fear is dying by the hands of white supremacists and just becoming a hashtag that eventually loses steam. But, I frequently do want to die. TW: This essay discusses suicidality, mentions of Black death, inpatient stays, madness, abuse, police
At every turn in her life, Oluwatoyin was failed by all the people, all the places, and all the entities that were supposed to protect her. TW/CW: suicide ideation, murder, anti-Blackness, domestic/interpersonal violence, and sexual assault. I should not be here. This, of
t’s ludicrous for Bombshell to position any of these women as champions against workplace sexual harassment when their racism simply shifts that violence against Black and brown women. CW: Discussions of workplace sexual violence I knew exactly what I was in
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.
The police shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards reveals that we haven't made any real progress since Rodney King and the L.A. Riots. Editor's Update: A previous version of this article stated that the L.A. Riots took place 20 years ago. The actual