Thursday, June 4, 2015

Black Women's Lives Matter

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, POLICE BRUTALITY, HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSMISOGYNY, RACISM]

I've mentioned the Say Her Name campaign I think briefly on a bad day, but did you know that the people behind the campaign have put out a full report on the issues facing black women specifically when it comes to police brutality?

Though black men have a higher chance of being killed by police than black women, there are specific issues that black women face when it comes to police brutality that black men don't.

Some of the gender-specific instances cited by the report include the use of excessive force against mothers and their children, gender and sexuality policing of queer, trans and gender nonconforming black women, criminalizing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault committed by police officers. That's in addition to already known issues such as death while in custody and killings as "collateral damage."

I have noticed a lot of reported instances of pregnant (even visibly pregnant) black women being forced on their stomachs and ignored when they try to tell the cops that they're pregnant and obviously shouldn't be lying face down on a hard surface or at all. The cops never seem to give a fuck, but I bet you they'd give all the fucks if a white woman they were arresting said she was pregnant.

Police violence against black women is 100% a feminist issue. We white feminists need to recognize that black women and other women of color are more vulnerable than we are and need to be uplifted in the same way that we demand men work to uplift us. And by "uplift" I mean listen to them and give them platforms to speak, then do what they tell us because they know what they need.

Start by reading this report and meditating on your white privilege.

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