Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWPOINT My Black lesbian body is a target for police brutality
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2017-12-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The reality of unarmed African-American women—LBTQ, gender nonconforming and straight—being beaten, profiled, sexually violated and murdered by law enforcement officials with alarming regularity is too often ignored, especially with the focus of police brutality on our males.

Like so many African-American women, Sandra Bland's death in 2015, resulting from police brutality was not new news. The national attention it received was, however.

Recently, Northeastern University conducted a panel to discuss the topic titled "Invisible No More: Black Women and Police Violence" that looked at criminalization of African-American women, Indigenous women, and women of color like Two-Spirit, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Middle Eastern women, to name a few, and mass incarceration and police violence that sometimes resulted with deadly consequences.

The panel of experts included:

—Andrea Ritchie is an African-American lesbian and a police misconduct attorney and organizer. She's the author of Invisible No More: Racial Profiling and Police Brutality Against Women of Color that has recently come out, and the co-author of Say Her Name: Resisting Police Violence Against Black Women as well as Queer ( In )Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States.

—Simone John is a Boston-based poet, educator and facilitator. She's the author of Testify, her first full-length book of poems about African-Americans impacted by state-sanctioned violence.

—Monica James is a Black trans woman activist. She is the national organizer for Black and Pink, and a collective member of Transformative Justice Law Project. Because of maltreatment in jail, in 2014 James become a delegate to testify before the Committee Against Torture ( CAT ) at Geneva Switzerland. Her work towards the advancement of trans justice, transformative justice, and prison abolition has made her national spokeswoman.

Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist author, grassroots community organizer and independent scholar based in Montreal. She's the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present.

The panel discussed the context around the historical and present-day patterns and paradigms of policing and punishment that stems from centuries of colonialism, slavery, segregation, and immigration. The over-policing of women of color is due to gang violence, the war on drugs, war on terrorism, Islamophobia, poverty, sex trade, domestic violence and mental health, to name a few.

Transmisogyny and racism put transgender women of color, in particular, at a high risk of police violence. Less than half of trans women of color report discriminatory policing such as "stop and frisk" and "walking while trans." Trans women of color who have participated in underground economies have experienced excessive police violence—i.e., 34 percent of Latinx and 53 percent of Blacks.

For example, in 2007 James was subjected to excessive police violence. She was viciously attacked by an off-duty police officer in Chicago, arrested, and charged with attempted murder for defending herself. While in prison, James, like many trans women, was misgendered by correctional officers and inmates, sexually assaulted repeatedly and denied access to gender-affirming healthcare.

Shockingly, too, gender-based forms of police violence, such as sexual assault, are wildly pervasive, gravely ignored and deliberately underreported. While the nation learned of the rapes of more than a dozen African-American women at the hand of now-convicted Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, most incidents like this one enjoy impunity.

The reason many sexual assaults go unaccounted for is that half of the 35 top 50 police departments in the United States have no policies prohibiting police sexual violence against the public. According to a 2016 investigation by the Buffalo News, a police officer, on average, is caught in the act of sexual misconduct every five days. Ritchie stated, "Those are just the ones who are caught, representing, by all accounts, just the tip of the iceberg of this pervasive yet invisible form of police violence."

For example, to avoid being assaulted during "stop-and-frisk" many women of color have been forced into sexual acts to stave off arrest. Too often an officer will "turn off the microphone on his body camera and later claim it malfunctioned, and then lie about the gender of drivers he pulled over to cover up the numbers of women he targeted," Ritchie stated.

Bland has come "to stand for every Black woman who has ever changed lanes without using a turn signal or expressed frustration at getting a traffic ticket."

However, the perceptions and stereotypes of African-American women—combative, mouthy, not deferential enough and "angry Black woman"—can sadly turn into deadly action as we see with Bland. Bland's crime is what's depicted as "contempt of cop." She wasn't obsequious or subservient enough when the officer asked her to extinguish her cigarette. And for something as minor as a traffic signal violation, the incident escalated out of control. But when the dominant culture doesn't see and hear African-American voices about our pains, fears, vulnerabilities our humanity is distorted and made invisible through a prism of racist and sexist stereotypes. So, too, is our suffering.

The campaign "Say Her Name" addresses the lack of reporting, documenting, and accounting for the violations and death of African-American women and girls at the hand of law enforcement officials.

Every day when my spouse or I leave home, I pray we return to each other.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Looking back at 2017's top ten news events 2017-12-17 - 2017 was the year the 1960s tried to make a comeback. There was the resurgence in white nationalist activity, widespread sexual harassment, and ...


Gay News

Uganda Police Raid Queer Kampala Film Festival, Blocking LGBT Cultural Event 2017-12-15 - ( Nairobi, December 15, 2017 ) — Ugandan police raided and forcibly closed the Queer Kampala International Film Festival on December 9, 2017, ...


Gay News

HRC: Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello Must Veto Anti-LGBTQ Bill 2017-12-15 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo RossellÃ" to veto a bill passed by ...


Gay News

A Different World: Why We Owe the Cosby Accusers an Apology 2017-12-15 - "The sins of the fathers. They just fucked it all up. We had the best family. We had it all. We had it ...


Gay News

AG Madigan to appeal FCC vote to eliminate net neutrality rules 2017-12-14 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she, along with other state attorneys general, will appeal the Federal Communications Commission's ( ...


Gay News

LGBTQ-focused oSTEM holds seventh annual conference 2017-12-14 - Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Inc. ( oSTEM ) held its seventh annual conference, "Finding Unity in Community," Nov. 16-19 at ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project launches to build community power 2017-12-14 - The Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project ( BLMP ) [ https://transgenderlawcenter.org/programs/blmp ] , a first-of-its-kind program housed at Transgender Law Center and made possible ...


Gay News

HRC: Five Years After Sandy Hook, Time for Gun Safety Reform 2017-12-14 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement from President Chad Griffin on the fifth anniversary of the horrific mass ...


Gay News

Misinformation Nation, The Threat to America's Federal Data and Civil Rights in new report 2017-12-14 - WASHINGTON — The federal government's collection, reporting, and protection of accurate, comprehensive data is central to implementing, monitoring, and evaluating civil rights laws ...


Gay News

Nomination of Mateer withdrawn, right-wing leaning Willett confirmed 2017-12-13 - From HRC: Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee will Not Be Confirmed WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.