Reblogging myself (via baddominicana) because I don’t want this line getting lost in the shuffle.
When racism and sexism collide, feminists call it the theory of intersectionality – where multiple identities combine to increase oppression – but for black women it’s just known as reality. I collect statistical evidence of injustice against black women in the same way others collect football facts: in 2002, minority women made up less than 8% of the total female population, but 29% of the female prison population; despite often high academic achievements, we are twice as likely to be unemployed as white women; we make up over 1% of the population, but under 0.5% of MPs (just three black women). If parliament were representative there’d be 55-60 BME MPs. Let’s assume half of those were women, and if just half of those were black, we’d still have more than three times the black women MPs we currently have. Why does this matter? Because decisions are taken in the corridors of power that affect all our lives, so why shouldn’t we be represented at the table?
And then there’s the seemingly frivolous stuff: told by mad scientists that we are less attractive, and by the rest of the world that we are highly sexed exotic creatures is it any wonder we’re miffed? The fashion world really should get some sort of award for its dedication to constantly letting us know that it finds our hair type, skin colour and bodies to be the least desirable.
Despite all this, I’ve spent my life fighting the label angry black woman because it’s a handy way to put a black woman down, modern-day shorthand for telling her not to have ideas above her station. The truth is, black women are no angrier than white women; if anything we could do with being a lot angrier. But we get labelled because deep down everyone knows we’ve got a right to be mad as hell.” —
Hannah Pool on ‘angry black woman’ label (via pengaling)
reading this was like looking into a mirror. esp the first paragraph.
Oh God, this is me.
I’ve been wanting to write about the Trayvon Martin since the case first made the news and I couldn’t do it. My stomach knotted up so tightly I started getting cramps. I got tears in my eyes that wouldn’t stop flowing. And nothing I could do got them to stop.
Because in that little boy’s face, thatchild’s,face I saw my little brother.
I saw my little brother who started a jazz band with his friends in high school. My little brother who curls up on the couch and watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with me. My little brother the scholar, able of arguing both sides of a moral issue with the practiced easy of a philosopher. My little brother who curses up a storm when he can’t get away from the dragons in Skyrim. My little brother who meets his friends in the park twice a week for pick up games of soccer, basketball and, even though he barely breaks 120lbs, rugby. My little brother who cried when he admitted he was scared of life post-college that he didn’t feel prepared for. My little brother always armed with an appropriate, smart ass remark or clever comeback to anyone’s foolish statement. My little brother who wants to be a political commentator asking for advice on how to start his own blog or youtube channel with his friends.
Murdered. In cold blood.
In our “safe” neighborhood.
By our neighbor.
For daring to walk home from the convenience store with skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea.
And no one, outside a collection of activists, doing anything about it.
No one with the power to find his killer doing anything. His killer walking free and getting on with his perfectly, normal, happy life. While my family had to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives.
I thought about Trayvon’s mother and suddenly understood why my mother called me asking if I had been in touch with him when she hadn’t heard from him for a few days. Or a few weeks. Because Trayvon could have been him. Trayvon could have been him.
Trayvon could have been all of our brothers, fathers, sons and siblings. Trayvon might already be someone we know and love. He could have been any of us. He is any of us.
So I ask you, to please sign the petition. Listen to the 911 call. Watch the news. Call your senators. Call the police department. Tell everyone you know about this case. Get everyone around you angry. Make them care.
Because we shouldn’t have to add more names to the death toll. Because this list has been steadily growing and needs to stop. Now.
On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman remains free.
1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]
2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:
Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”
3. Prior to the release of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “[a]t no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.” [Sun Sentinel]
4. Zimmerman was carrying a a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]
5. Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando Sentinel; WDBO]
6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” [Orlando Sentinel]
7. Martin had no criminal record. [New York Times]
8. Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” [Huffington Post]
9. Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011. [Miami Herald]
10. According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” [Miami Herald]
11. Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics” [Huffington Post]
12. A police officer “corrected” a key witness. “The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.” [ABC News]
13. Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.” [Miami Herald]
14. The officer in charge of the crime scene also received criticism in 2010 when he initially failed to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was videotaped attacking a homeless black man. [New York Times]
15. The police did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. A law enforcement expert told ABC that Zimmerman sounds intoxicated on the 911 tapes. Drug and alcohol testing is “standard procedure in most homicide investigations.” [ABC News]
The Martin case had been turned over to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office. Martin’s family has asked for the FBI to investigate.