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thepeoplesrecord:

Injury & Insult: Trayvon Martin, racism in the system & a revolution amongst us by CeCe McDonald
August 5, 2013

As I sit and watch Michelle Alexander and Chris Hayes have a conversation about race, as well as all of the nation in light of the George Zimmerman acquittal, it can’t be any clearer that the injustice system has failed us once again. So with that it’s obvious to know how I feel at this time. Not just for myself but for all the “minorities” who have been affected by this faulty judicial system that treat us as second class citizens, even less than that. To be looked down upon and to add injury to insult, laugh in our faces, throw salt on our wounds, and even piss on our graves. Rapper Lil’ Wayne said it best, and I quote, “God bless Amerika, this ol’ godless Amerika… sweet land of kill ‘em all and let ‘em die.”

Highlighting on the injury to insult, many right-winged conservative foot-mouthed assholes, which include Zimmerman’s defense team, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly, who have tried to justify Trayvon Martin’s killing by demonizing Trayvon by saying “he was wearing what most criminals wear,” referring to his hoodie or that his toxicology report came back with positive test results of marijuana so “he was up to ‘no good’.” So I guess that means that wearing hoodies and smoking pot, going to the store and walking home talking to a friend on the phone is deemed “suspicious” and therefore someone can follow you and kill you and because you seemed suspicious, your death will be overlooked. But we all know that this was more than hoodies and marijuana–it was about racial profiling and the (implicit) racism that still exist in what’s supposed to be a post-racial “color-blind” society.

I’m watching a news show when they did a segment on Rush Limbaugh doing his “angry white man” rant where he went on record to say that white people don’t have to feel guilty about slavery, that in fact they should be the last people to feel guilty about it, that a white man (referring to Abraham Lincoln) saved blacks from slavery and how the nation went to war just for that. But here’s a fact: Lincoln said that if he could save the union without ending slavery he would. So that goes to show that he didn’t care for blacks, or for that much wasn’t racist.

With that he continues to make ignorant and offensive comments about blacks, and then he says that Pres. Obama was “selfish” and “inconsiderate” for a comment the Pres. made at a press conference calling for mature conversations and discussions about race after the Zimmerman verdict where he said that “Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago.” Tell me, how can a white man make any comment about a situation or an experience that he would have never dealt with (racism or discrimination) in his life, EVER? And how can someone be so oblivious and ignorant about race relations in this country? And why isn’t he, and others like him, being called out on their disconnect from reality with ignorance and deliberate disregard to the sensitive issues surrounding race and the inequality for minorities in this country.

Then there is Bill O’Reilly, who made the most outlandish comments about African Americans starting with something he said about black people who were dining at Sylvia’s–a soul food restaurant where he too was dining. He said that “there wasn’t one person yelling “I need more iced tea, m-f’ers.” It was like being in an Italian restaurant in a white suburban area. The tone of his voice made me think that he was sincerely surprised that he didn’t walk into some stereotypical idea of an African American establishment and of African Americans as people. As an if he were going to come upon a group of uncouth Neanderthals who have yet to discover how to use eating utensils and speak with proper grammar. But that was only one of the many insults aimed at the African American community. This very same man said that “to take on black crime, black culture needs to change,” the root of black crime is because of the disintegration of black families, and that “young black women need to be stopped from having babies out of wedlock.”… Really? See, it’s that kind of ignorant thinking that halts the progression of equality and perpetuates stereotypical ideas and racial profiling that stigmatizes the minorities who are nothing like the ideas others associate with our cultural backgrounds. These men, and many other people like them, are the pioneers of prejudice, and as long as they’re not being called out on their bullshit, they’re going to continue,

After the Zimmerman trial, many activists and organizations rallied and demonstrated for Florida’s Governor Rick Scott to call for a special session to reform or reject the “Stand Your Ground” law.” As of late Phillip Agnew with the Dream Defenders have been occupying the capitol building there in Florida until FL Gov. Rick Scott calls that special session. He stands with the SYG law, and feels that it needs no reform. Now… this law that has let a man get away with murder, has caused a Florida woman to spend 20 years in prison! Marissa Alexander, a 30-year-old African American mother, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after she was charged for firing a gun as a warning shot at her then-abusive husband who admitted to the allegations. She never shot anyone, in fact no one was even injured–well, except her at the hands of her husband, and a man who shot a teenage boy in claims of self-defense. In the case of Marissa, she was denied the right to use SYG–not killing anyone–and sentenced to two decades in prison. Can someone please explain to me how an injustice such as this not make one question the biased laws and the discrimination that still exist in the “justice system.” And people wonder why the prison percentages between whites and non-whites are so disproportionate. More importantly when are people going to ACT on these injustices and fight for the equality of each person in this country, both free and in the “system.”

It’s hard for me having to watch the trial and seeing everything unfold. Where all of us speculating knowing that this whole situation, from the incident itself to the trial, is all based on race–racial profiling and racism spewing from it all, regardless of what anyone say or think. I know that people have been comparing my case to Zimmerman’s, and yes it’s obvious that laws are biased. But even I can say I came out blessed knowing that (a) the system was against me to begin with, and that (b) looking at other cases similar to mines, I didn’t have to spent extensive time–even decades–in prison. People don’t understand that I actually feel a guilt for that. I know that nothing beyond the incident and getting arrested was in my control, as it is for anyone who is a victim of the system. But for me it hurts–a lot. My heart aches for the Patreese Johnsons, the Marissa Alexanders, and the Chrishaun McDonalds. But no pain can bring back the Trayvon Martins, the Oscar Grants, the Matthew Shepards, the James Birds, the Gwen Araujos, and all of our brothers and sisters who were victims of hate in this world. I can say that survivor’s guilt is real. That I’m still, to this day, dealing with the fear and sadness of my experience with hate and discrimination. How blessed am I to have so much love and support from my family, and I say family which extends to all my friends and supporters around the world.

My love and support is with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin as they go through this journey of leaving a positive legacy for Trayvon. I couldn’t help but to cry after hearing Sybrina tell an audience at the National Urban League to “wrap their minds around that there is no prom for Trayvon. There is not high school graduation for Trayvon. There is no college for Trayvon. There aren’t any grandchildren from Trayvon” all because of George Zimmerman. When I went through my own incident, that was something that harbored on my mind constantly–how would my death have affected my family and friends, and how different would things have been if it were the other way around? That question was rhetorical. We know what the outcome would have been, just like we know what the outcome would’ve been if Zimmerman was black and Trayvon Martin was white. Or even if Zimmerman was black and it was just a black-on-black crime. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin are catalyst for not just their own son’s death, but for all those who have been victims of hate and violence. They are heroes in my eyes. Strong and brave, creating a voice that has been long overdue to be heard, and they deserve the acknowledgment and respect that some, not all, have given them. I love them as if they were my own mom and dad, and we should understand that their struggle is our struggle.

Aside from the attention surrounding the Zimmerman trial, issues of racism and discrimination extend beyond that. The debates about immigration reform and the Voting Rights Act have pulled back the veil of intolerance of equality and acceptance in this country. The insults aimed at the African-American and Latino communities are disrespectful, dehumanizing, ignorant, unintelligent, and very hurtful nonetheless. Indeed it’s a blessing that the SCOTUS recognize the rights for gays and lesbians to get married legally in and have the same federal rights as hetero-marriages, but I don’t want people to lose sight of the other issues that will affect us all in the long run. Their deliberate efforts to minimize the minority by restricting voters rights is a slap in the face of the civil rights movements of the past and present that fought so hard for the rights of minorities to vote. And the idea that sending all the immigrants back and building large fences will solve all of America’s issues. But it seems that this policy only apply to black and brown people, and knowing all of this is the attempt of Republicans and right-wing conservatives to win elections that they’re obviously losing. So I’m guessing that insulting and stereotyping us will bring them those votes they need? These people need to get a serious grasp of reality, like really soon…. Not that I care for them to ever take office. Actually, I just don’t care for them at all, but I do believe we all deserve respect as humans, regardless of our race, gender, or social status.

I really want people to start thinking on how we can help minorities and the poor to help us all grow as a community and united front. Can we challenge ourselves to unite all races of this nation by taking an initiative to end our own preconceptions of each other? I know that I was extremely upset after having a visit from a close friend, and he told me that people have been criticizing him and my other non-Black friends for being in pictures that they post online. That divisive attitude is why I ask for a mend in race relations. Have these people ever thought how it feel for them, and myself, to have to deal with me being in prison. It’s always easy for someone to conjure up negative thoughts and reactions to my “white” friends who’ve gained popularity from their “black” friend in prison. First of let me say that there is nothing glamorous or “popular” about being in prison. And why can’t there be support for those who have went through this struggle with me instead of backlash. I love these people. They have been here for me since day one, and regardless of what others say, they will be my support and my family and at this point you’re either with us or against us and none of us have time for hate or divisive attitudes or ideas, especially at critical times like now. And that’s not just directed at those who are commenting about me, my case, and my fam–but for all people across the nation and around the world.

I feel a revolution is amongst us, and I know that there is no better time than now. I wish that I could march with the many of people who will be marching across Washington this August (8/25-26) in honor of the 50th year anniversary for the Civil Rights March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent figures of the Civil Rights Movement of that era. I encourage everyone to join the march and the experience of unity amongst all people–races, genders, sexualities, social statuses, and cultural backgrounds. Even if you can’t make it to the march still get active and get involved however that may be.

Before I go, I just want to say that I love you all more than ever now. I couldn’t be more conscious of the love and support you all give me–my family, and that’s kin and chosen, and of course I have chosen all of you. You’re all my family and I will love and cherish and appreciate you all until there’s no more of me. We are the future, we are the revolution!

The quote of the month is given to us by author Ashley Smith:

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumblebee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Until next time my loves keep fighting, stay strong, and live out loud. Do you, cause no one can do it better!

xo

CeCe

(via ethiopienne)

I went back and watched some of the footage of Jeantel’s testimony. I could see why some observers might be disturbed that the teen wasn’t able to express herself more clearly. At times she was barely audible, she didn’t always use standard English and she sometimes didn’t seem to understand what the lawyer was asking her. It can be painful for us to see inarticulate black folks propped up on a national stage, speaking to a mixed audience with an unpolished tongue—particularly when words like “creepy-ass cracker” and “nigga” are freely tossed into the mix, words that Jeantel told the jury that Trayvon used to describe Zimmerman to her.

It reminds me of the way my parents described their pain and cringing embarrassment whenever boxing great Joe Louis was being interviewed on television and he would give the English language a vicious beating. We have a desperate need to want to always put our best selves forward. If you are in a position representing the whole of black America—and let’s face it, any black person being covered on a national stage still represents each of us, as much as it hurts us to admit it in 2013—every syllable you utter is going to be vigorously scrutinized. With social media, the scrutiny is going to be magnified like an electron microscope. [Exhibits A, B and C: Charles Ramsey, Sweet Brown and Antoine Dodson]

I understand all of that. But let’s not take this thing too far.

Rachel Jeantel is a teenager, a 19-year-old girl who told the world what she heard that fateful February night on the phone with her longtime friend Trayvon. From the news reports produced by the mainstream media, you got the impression that Jeantel was genuine and believable. Of course reporters from outlets like the New York Times, Miami Herald and the AP are not going to feel the need to describe Rachel’s attitude or overuse of black English vernacular, but they will feel compelled to describe the effectiveness of her testimony. And I saw them use words like “transfixed” to describe the all-female, nearly all-white jury’s reaction to what Jeantel was saying. Perhaps if the prosecutors had done too much coaching of their star witness, her genuineness would not have shone through.

I also saw incredibly mean things said about her looks on social media, even seeing her described as “Precious”—referring to the movie character brought to life by Gabby Sidibe, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the troubled overweight teen. Disturbingly, this has become the go-to moniker for overweight, dark-skinned girls—aided by rapper Kanye West, who leveled that scarily ignorant line in his song “Mercy.”

Plus my b*tch, make your b*tch look like Precious

Jeantel had to live through a close friend being murdered, watching his killer walk free for far too long, then sitting in front of the world and recounting the painful night with an intimidating older white man directing questions at her while she’s clearly scared out of her mind.

Now, on top of all that, she has to endure some assholes critiquing her looks?

Really, people? Grow the hell up.

Nine months after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a White man has killed another Florida teen under troubling circumstances.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that on Friday night, 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis and a group of friends were sitting in an SUV in the parking lot of a Jacksonville convenience store when they were approached by another vehicle. Michael David Dunn, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, asked the teens to turn down their music.

According to Lt. Rob Schoonover of the Jacksonville Sherrif’s Office, Davis and Dunn exchanged words. Allegedly, the 45-year-old then drew a gun and fired into the SUV eight or nine times, striking the young boy twice. He then drove off, but a witness inside the store wrote down his license plate number.

The following morning, the couple learned that one of the passengers of the car had died via a news report. They then returned home to Brevard County, where Dunn was arrested later that day and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Jordan Russell Davis was a student at Samuel W. Wolfson High School, a magnet school. He worked at the local Wynn Dixie grocery store. Frankly, I would not care if he was a member of Three Six Mafia who had stopped at the convenience store to re-up on blunts and 40 ounces. If a group of people is sitting in a car listening to loud music, it is not the job of a private citizen to demand that they turn it down. Furthermore, there is nothing justifiable or excusable about Dunn drawing a gun on a group of people whom he had accosted.

Michael David Dunn, likely high off the excitement of his son’s wedding, perhaps a few too many gin and tonics at the reception and certainly the feeling one gets from being White, male and armed, felt it was his place to approach these young people aggressively over the volume of their music.

And this gun wielding person, who allegedly APPROACHED THE CAR without provocation (much like George Zimmerman hunted down Trayvon Martin without provocation), felt threatened by the presence of teenagers in a car with whom he started an argument because HE THOUGHT THEIR MUSIC WAS TOO LOUD.

White privilege is just so, so real.

Zimmerman Made Disparaging Remarks About Mexicans on MySpace
A MySpace page has surfaced that shows Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman made disparaging remarks about Mexicans and boasted about escaping from legal problems. While the page is dated from 2005 and has not been used for some time, lawyers on both sides say the social media page could become a factor in the case against Zimmerman, who is accused of shooting the unarmed African-American teenager in Sanford, Florida, on February 26. The page, titled “only to be a king again,” shows Zimmerman sounding off against Mexicans and celebrating his evasion of charges after a fight with a law enforcement officer. In a possible reference to an alleged 2005 domestic violence incident, Zimmerman also uses a disparaging slang word for prostitute against his former girlfriend. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s family, says the page shows Zimmerman has a history of racial profiling.

Democracy Now! | Democracy Now! Headlines for May 03, 2012

it gets more complicated.

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Anyone else notice the number of times the murderer’s name is said verses Trayvon’s?

Notice how Trayvon Martin’s name is used as a prefix for his killer?

Notice how he’s not framed as an individual with a name, a history, an existence worth mentioning?

Notice how Trayvon then becomes another faceless statistic i.e. unarmed African-American teenager?

This is how even news seeming in Trayvon’s favor erases Trayvon Martin.

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reblogging for the commentary

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Let me get this straight. Millions of outraged Americans are just credulous amateurs fooled by a cynical left wing ploy to stir up racial division? A man murders a kid. The police botch the investigation. Race appears to play a crucial role in both outcomes. Then a bunch of people find out about it and are outraged. And we’re the ones stirring up racial discord? This is the absurdity that the modern ideology of colorblindness will bring you to. Colorblindness has nothing to do with eradicating racism. It is about denying its existence and power. And so when faced with actual racism in such stark form, the colorblindness zealots must cast blame on those drawing attention to the racism. There is a significant segment of white opinion that continues to find efforts to combat racism more objectionable than the racism itself.

Jesse Curtis (via azspot)

Today’s sermon.

The doors of the church are now open…

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An Open Letter in response to: “To Be Anti-Racist Is To Be Feminist: The Hoodie and The Hijab Are Not Equals”

On Friday, April 13, 2012, The Feminist Wire, of which I am a member of its Editorial Collective, published “To Be Anti-Racist Is To Be Feminist: The Hoodie and The Hijab Are Not Equals,” by Adele Wilde-Blavatsky, who is also a U.K. -based member of the Editorial Collective. A link to the Adele’s article was also posted on The Feminist Wire’s facebook page. The article created a firestorm of pain, anger, and betrayal on the part of many Muslim Feminist women and their allies. In the comments section on both The Feminist Wire site and The Feminist Wire facebook page, following the posting of the article was very heated to say the least. I first heard about the article and the anger and pain, via@brownisthecolor on Friday night. TFW Founder Tamura A. Lomax, pulbished a statement on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in response to all of the views expressed about Adele’s article. On Sunday, April 15, 2012, Concerned Members of the Editorial Collective posted, “ A Collective Response To: To Be Anti-Racist Is To Be Feminist: The Hoodie and The Hijab Are Not Equals.” 

I have been vocal behind the scenes but I have been intentionally silent publicly. However, this morning, I felt a need to write a letter to Adele, which she received along with a few others. After much thought, however, I decided to make my letter public because it was and is important for me to share my thoughts as a Muslim raised, Buddhist practicing, Feminist Queer person of African descent. While I am a member of the Editorial Collective, I’m post this is an individual who is speaking and writing for herself. ~ Aishah Shahidah Simmons 

****

April 16, 2012 (via email)

Good morning/afternoon Adele,

We’ve never virtually met. My name is Aishah. I’ve expressed my concerns to others but I have not expressed them to you. In the spirit of transparency, I believe I have a responsibility to share with you my thoughts with you as a member of The Feminist Wire (TFW) collective. 

Foremost, I was raised Sufi Muslim by a radical Black feminist mother (Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons) who is an Islamic scholar-activist and practicing Muslim for over 45-years. With the exception of going to the mosque for prayers or praying at home, I have never ever covered my head. My mother has never worn hijab in the US. I know she has worn it in Saudi Arabia, when making Umrah. I believe she’s also worn it (due to cultural norms), at times, when she lived in Morocco and Jordan. However, I know for an absolute fact that she is not a proponent of wearing the hijab. At the same time, she supports the rights of those women who have the choice to wear it.  Simultaneously, however, she fights against any laws and cultural norms that advocate for the torture and/or murder women and girls for not wearing it.
Her work specifically focuses on women’s rights under Islamic law. Amongst her many published articles, her “Are We Up To The Challenge: The Need for the Radical Re-ordering of the Islamic Discourse On Women,” piece is featured in Progressive Islam: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism (Omid Safi). In her article, she challenges patriarchal, misogynist, sexist interpretations of the Sacred Text and practices amongst so many within Islam. She writes as a Black feminist woman who grew up in the (era of) segregation who was on the frontlines of Civil Rights & Black Power movements. She used her lived experiences, before she converted to Islam as the foundation upon which she stands to challenge gender oppression in the religion she has been a part of for almost 45 years. Yes, she has caught and catches hell for her stance, but not because she’s a White woman with (perceived, unchecked) privilege. It is, as you know, hard for (some) Muslim feminists, regardless of if they were born in or converted to the religion to tackle these issues… But they’ve done and will continue to do it. In fact, it’s hard for all feminists to tackle issues of patriarchy, gender oppression, and violence against women in every single sector of almost all societies across the globe.

While I didn’t agree with the lens from which you wrote, I heard your points. And, for the record, I don’t believe I have to agree with every single article posted on TFW. My huge problem and challenge with your article is what I perceive to be an inability to challenge your location as a British feminist who is not a person of color. I interpreted the article in question and your “‘Nobody’s nigger’ but somebody’s bitch?” article to essentially say,” (I)t’s not fair that race is the elephant in the room in ways that gender is not.” If my interpretation is correct, then I hear you and agree with you completely. The huge difference is that as a non-person of color, I firmly believe you can’t just say/write that without also saying/writing about the ways in which racism, white supremacy, colonialism (especially as someone who is British), and xenophobia within the white feminist movements and beyond have horrifically impacted women (and men) of color. Painfully my perception of your inability and unwillingness to do this work in those two articles; and your comments in defense of the latest article, makes it damn near impossible for me as a feminist lesbian of African descent to find any common ground or solidarity with you…

I struggle within my own non-monolithic cultural and racial communities with the painful reality that often I don’t believe my life is valued as a woman, regardless of my identifying as a feminist or not, and as a lesbian/queer person of African descent. I believe that a huge part of my cultural work is to play a role, carry the baton, be the chorus that says ending racism alone will not end oppression in our cultural/racial communities…over half of us would still NOT be safe if racism ended… I do this, however, as a person from within this community… And, conversely, I am a part of the feminist and LGBTQ people of color chorus that says ending sexism, gender oppression, and patriarchy doesn’t mean that straight women and LGBTQ people of color will be safe.  If we don’t eradicate all forms of injustices, none of us, in the human race, will be safe.

In your responses that I read in the threads both on the TFW website and FB page, you did not take an anti-racist stance at all… This is most problematic and disturbing for me in a world, to quote or paraphrase Audre Lorde, “(I’m a Black woman living in a world) that defines everything as white and male, for starters.”

As a 10-year practitioner of the teachings of Buddha (like you), I wholeheartedly believe that at the fundamental level we’re all one. However at the apparent, day-to-day experiential level, our similarities as human, are colored and gendered and classed. Those of us who do not benefit from White, Male, and/or Heterosexual privilege are consistently marginalized and disenfranchised. The fact that my perception is that in your comments, you consistently stayed away from addressing racism; and then you spoke on behalf of women of color who have articulated your position on the hijab and burqa is, in my mind’s eye, a white supremacist and racist act.

I believe we all make mistakes and cause harm, even with the best of intentions not to make mistakes and/or cause harm. The question and challenge is what happens when this is pointed out to us. For me, the article is one thing, but your responses to the response to your article were very disturbing to me.

I’m sure we all know what it’s like to feel under attack. Speaking from my lived experiences, it’s wretched and egregious, especially when I believe that my intention is not the outcome at all. I get that you felt a visceral need to defend yourself. I really understand that. However, the fact that you felt the need to retaliate in your and your family’s defense, in the name of TFW FB handle is honestly not okay. Why didn’t you switch from TFW to use your own name when responding? Why didn’t you reach out to Monica, or Tamura or other members of TFW that you know. I’m not talking about seeking permission per se, but to seek collective guidance about how to respond, most especially since you consistently used the TFW FB handle and not your name.

I also reflect upon Buddha’s words when he said “Don’t speak, unless it improves upon the silence (or noise, my words)…” This is 1,000,000 times easier said, read, than done.

It’s true that race and religion are huge elephants in the US. I’m not European, but I have a lot of radical feminist friends who are both white and of color who live in England and France. While some of them wholeheartedly support the ban of the hijab in France, I know they would take issue with your article and more importantly your responses to the critiques of it. Additionally, my father (Michael Simmons), who’s an international human right activist has worked in Eastern Europe since the mid-80s; and since 2003, has called Budapest, Hungary his home. I share this to say, that through his lens, I’ve come to really understand the stark differences with how race/ethnicity is addressed in Europe in comparison to in the US. This is most apparent with the Roma (aka Gypsy) communities.

The question for me is what is the goal with our articles and responses to critiques of our articles? Is the goal to be right …to win the debate and/or arguments? Or, is the goal to play a role in encouraging people to think and act differently?

Towards Understanding and In Peace,
Aishah

Post Script: Adele wrote a response to my email. I have asked her permission to reprint her response this evening eastern standard time. However, there is a time difference as she is based in the UK…

My sistahlove for the great brain and soul that is Aishah Shahidah Simmons just deepened with this incredible response to Adele Wilde Blavatsky’s white-female-privilege-soaked post on the Hoodie and Hijab Protests.
On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.

George Zimmerman • Speaking on his Web site, therealgeorgezimmerman.com. Zimmerman, the gunman in the Trayvon Martin incident, says that he needs legal help and funding on the site. The site features photos in support of Zimmerman, including a vandalization incident that took place at a black cultural center in Ohio. The site, which is having connection troubles at the moment, is confirmed as real according to Zimmerman’s attorneys, MSNBC reports. (via shortformblog)

omg this makes me want to blow my groceries

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Huh, I didn’t know “altering” and “ending” were synonyms.

…oh, wait, he meant his life?

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I am almost positive that this is a troll site. Simply because of the wording as well as the cry for funding. I think this is fake. Genius. Because people WILL donate but still, I call bullshit.

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His lawyers say it’s legit.

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(via strugglingtobeheard)

I have been taken aback by the degree to which this case has touched the nation. With more than 2,000, 000 signatures on the Change.org petition and many public figures donning hoodies on his behalf, Trayvon’s murder has the potential to galvanize national conversations about racial profiling, the criminalization of Black male bodies, and the unequal way that arrests, conviction, and sentencing are applied to Black v. non-Black persons.

But as I sat home the next day and reflected on how simple a decision it was for me to attend the March and how glad I was that I went, I thought about my more ambivalent stance toward another movement that is also central to my political commitments.

SlutWalk.

It occurred to me that there was a central point of connection between the organizing principle of the Hoodie Marches and of SlutWalk, namely that each movement has sought to dramatize the intrinsic illogic of suggesting that one’s clothing choices invite–and more to the point– justify violent treatment. Not two days after the NYC hoodie march and one day after more than 30,000 people showed up in Sanford, Fl on Trayvon’s behalf, Geraldo Rivera said on Fox News that in fact Trayvon’s hoodie has as much to do with his murder as Zimmerman’s gun.

As if.

But then all of a sudden, dudes understood. I saw FB status after FB status saying, “a hoodie is no more to blame for Trayvon’s murder than a woman’s clothing choices are to blame for rape.” I might have cheered.

But really, what I had was a larger question. Why had I, an ardent (CRUNK) feminist refused to support SlutWalk? My primary reason as I’ve said before was about the inherent white privilege signaled by a movement that wanted to “reclaim” the word “slut.” Moreover, I felt like there was simply much more at stake to ask a woman of color to come and actively identify as a slut, than was at stake for the white women who readily jumped on the bandwagon. Also, as Trayvon’s case has demonstrated, the larger issue within SlutWalk was policing. I told organizers months ago in a dialogue in our comments section, that a critique of policing would invite all kinds of folks to come to the table. Because what has become abundantly clear is that both gender and racial ideologies are deployed to constrict the rights of women and men, Black and Brown to take up public space. So my choice not to participate was an active assertion of the principle that I don’t want to be a part of any feminism that fails to actively critique racism.

Yet, I know that contemporary Black feminism emerged not just as a critique of white women’s racism, but also as a critique of Black men’s strident sexism.

In a zero-sum universe where resources are finite, and we have to pick our battles, rape/beating/harassment is (apparently) no match for state violence and murder. Within Black communities, high rates of Black male-on-Black male homicide matter more than the numbers of Black women killed at the hands of their Black male partners.

Feminist or not, it remains clear that Black women’s collective racial love affair with Black men is still going strong.

As a feminist, I personally struggle with what it means that on any given day, racism still seems to matter more to me than sexism.

I marched for Trayvon almost without a second thought; with SlutWalk, its shortcomings were enough to keep me away.

Brittney Cooper, “Why I Supported The Hoodie March And Not Slutwalk,” Crunk Feminist Collective, 4/2/12