Criminal Justice · Feminism · Police Violence · Racism · Sexism · Writing

Women of Color Speak on Police Violence

Ravishly has a series on the invisibility of police violence against women of color, particularly Black women. I am honored to be among the contributors. 

Why aren’t we more outraged when police kill Black women? 

“These tragedies should be creating uproars in many movements and communities. They should trigger conversations that build bridges between racial justice and anti-violence organizing both locally and nationwide. We need to extend our conversations and movements against violence against women to include violence committed by police.”

Police Violence: As Real as can Be

“Each day, I fear that I or my family may one day be one of the black men, women, and children who are murdered by police or vigilantes every 28 hours in our country. My Mama said, “it’s as real as real can be.” I don’t want to have to have this conversation with my kids, but unless we work to create a culture where black lives matter, I have to.”

If Black Lives Matter, Trans Lives Must Matter Too

“If we truly mean it when we say that black lives matter, then we have to include the lives of all black women and girls, including the trans women and trans girls. Don’t erase us from conversations that we are so intimately experienced with. Too many black trans women and girls have died, been raped, or been beaten for peoplewhether they are people of color or white peopleto erase us from this conversation.”

We Must Life Up the Names of Black Girls and Women

“In our protest chants and songs, on our posters and signs, and in our articles and op-eds, we must continue to lift up the names of Black women and girls, alongside Black men and boys, who are murdered or in other ways violently victimized by police violence.”

When the Marginalized are Safe, We’re all Safer

“The result is that women of color, particularly Black women, low-income women, and trans women of color, are disproportionately represented in criminalized economies and disproportionately homeless. When the strategies low-income women of color use to survive are criminalized, and broken windows policing criminalizes everyday behaviors homeless people must do in public—sleeping, eating, urinating—this puts them at higher risk for police contact and abuse.”

Black Women’s Lives Matter: A Chant Less Often Heard

“Saying #BlackWomensLivesMatter means remembering that perceptions of Black women rooted in slavery—animalistic, promiscuous, superhuman, violent and inviolable—are invisible in our conversations about profiling and targeting of Black men, but highly visible to officers enforcing racialized lines of gender and sexuality in police interactions, such that no matter how young, old, frail, or pregnant, Black women are often met with violence at the hands of police. ”

 

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