Almost every marginalized group that cites evidence of violence, especially police violence and abuse, is actually citing statistics against African-American members of that group.
1. Police assault a gay man. It is reported and framed as an “anti-gay” attack. White gay people say “look at the terrible violence we face!”
He is a black man.
2. Feminists decry the horrific new developments in regard to the criminalization of pregnancy, i.e. people with uteri who are prosecuted and/or sent to prison for refusing a c-section, having a miscarriage or stillbirth, having a mental illness, being perceived as “irresponsible”, et cetera.
White women: “this is happening to women!!!” News stories invariably show the pregnant bellies of white women. The stories are written by white women, and are addressed to white women. Which is also cissexist.
First, we describe characteristics of the women and the cases, finding that low-income women and women of color, especially African American women, are overrepresented among those who have been arrested or subjected to equivalent deprivations of liberty.
who are poor, and often living in the South, with its rich history of forced sterilizations and eugenics. South Carolina especially showed preference for sterilizing African American women.
From the report:
For example, in South Carolina thirty-four of ninety-three cases came from the contiguous counties of Charleston and Berkeley.
3. A white Autistic person writes the line, “Being mentally ill means that I am more likely to be shot by police”, and explains why hiding a mental illness can be a survival tool.
Unfortunately, here in reality, those Autistic people who are shot to death by police can’t hide the immediate, visual fact that they are Black men.
Stephon Watts, 15
Ernest Vassell, 57
Stephen Eugene Washington, 27
Roger Parker Jr., 9
4. The face of LGBT activism is white gay men writing about police violence toward white gay people. Pepper spray at a Pride Parade is big news. In fact, many articles defend a white gay man who assaulted a Black woman and told her to “go back to Africa”. White gay men love to write about how subject to violence they are.
and almost all of those (44 percent of overall) are against the “t” in LGBT
and nearly all of those crimes are against Trans* women of color
Also, trans* women of color are sent to prison for surviving a vicious attack. After a trial in which evidence of the attacker’s racism, swastika tattoos, and criminal history is suppressed.
5. Disability advocacy organization in Washington decries disabled children being criminalized, arrested, and prosecuted for minor or nonexistent infractions. News sites report that Mississippi School-To-Prison Pipeline “targets African American AND disabled children”, and uses this image:
all of them “children of color,” says Jody Owens, with the Southern Poverty Law Center–were routinely arrested at Meridian schools allegedly on the say-so of teachers or administrators, handcuffed and taken to jail where they were held for days on end without benefit of a hearing, a lawyer, or understanding their Miranda rights.
Meridian county is 55% African-American, and about 70% of schoolchildren are African American.
Disabled children of color face torture, imprisonment, vicious beatings perpetrated by teachers, and are African American children with or without disabilities are 3 1/2 times more likely to receive “disciplinary action” against them in school than white students.
6. There is a huge outcry against the NRA’s suggestion of armed guards at Elementary schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
A bare footnote or completely lost in this outcry is the fact that an overwhelming proportion of children of color, especially Black and Latino children, already go to schools with armed guards and police presence on the campus.
The notorious and unapologetic racist sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, has sent out more than 3,000 untrained “posse” volunteers to “police” schools under his purview. This is when his “trained” deputies already torture, abuse, beat, and murder people of color in Maricopa County on a terrifyingly regular basis.
To come full circle, the student shot dead by police in the link above also had a mental illness.
Almost every marginalized group that cites evidence of overwhelming discrimination and violence, especially police violence and abuse, is actually citing statistics against African-American members of that group.
The point of all this is that journalism repeatedly fails to accurately report that people of color suffer the overwhelming majority of police violence. The racism built into the very foundations of American society and culture ensures that this violence continues, is under-reported, misrepresented as evidence of criminality, when it fact it is evidence of the criminalization of people of color, especially Black Americans.
If you are a white person, and you experience a particular axis of marginalization and want to give statistics on the violence you face as an oppressed person, especially in regards to police violence, you should consider checking whether these statistics accurately reflect the violence against white members of the marginalized group you belong to.
And also of note: police violence is the measure of which overtly sanctioned violence perpetrated by U.S. government and society is glaring gateway into overall violence and discrimination is perpetrated again people of color, especially Black Americans. It permeates the education system, the medical and mental health systems, the social security and welfare systems, the legal system, the higher education systems, the banking systems, the commercial and entrepreneurial systems, and every single institution.
An Open Letter to David Karp
To David Karp and all of those who work under the Support Staff:
You are all misogynist, racist, homophobic trash—every single one of you. And David? Yeah, you, David Karp. You need to make some changes.
1.) You and your support team allow people to racially harass people of color. You do the same to queer people. And you especially do this to Queer People of Color. People send us racial slurs, rape threats, death threats because we are not white, because we are not straight, or both; they stalk us, they stalk our families, they continually harass us. Even when said harassers are reported, your response is that you need proof. And after you get proof, your response is: “Freedom of speech. If you don’t like it, don’t look.” Nevermind the fact that these racists come to us and harass us in ways which we have to see until we have blocked them.
2.) When people of color get pushed far enough and dare to stand up to those who are harassing them, you and your support team contact the victim and threaten to delete their blog because “Hate speech isn’t in our policy.” WITHOUT PROOF. You look through our blogs, decide you don’t like what we have to say about our own oppression, and then try to shut us down for defending ourselves.
3.) After all of this, you, a white man have the nerve to ask, “It’s okay if I say the n word, right?” (Spoiler alert: NO IT ISN’T, because it’s a fucking racial slur, you racist fuckface.)
Let’s take a minute to think about that one. David Karp thinks people using racial slurs at people of color is acceptable, thinks people of color responding with justified anger is hate speech, and then has the nerve to ask if he can use one of said slurs himself.
4. You have slut shamed.
5. You have mocked your users.
You’ve done nothing but show how much you care about the base that keeps your business afloat: NOT AT ALL. You don’t care one fucking bit.
How dare you, David Karp. How. Fucking. Dare. You. How dare you think it is perfectly acceptable to take advantage of people the way that you do. How dare you ignore our cries for help, perpetuate problems that affect us in very real ways, and then expect us to be here, to trust you, to be your patrons.
David, you seem to forget who we are. So let me remind you.
We—the users of this website, the people who you see fit to trample over every day—feed your pay check.
WE are the ones who got this Tumblr business off of the ground. Not you. Without us, the users, Tumblr would be an empty, failed site. It is because of US that you have thrived.
WE are your supporters.
WE are your investors.
WE are the gears that keep your machine running.
WE are the beams that hold your fucking website up.
And we are here and lift this site (and by proxy, you) by choice, not because we have to be.
And WE can let it fall just as quickly.
You have shown time and time again that you don’t give a damn about us. You don’t care about victimizing people who make up the fucking majority of the global population. You don’t care about hurting the users who make up over fifty percent of your userbase. But we’ve seen what you do care about. You don’t care that your users get harassed for not being white. You don’t care that your users get harassed for being female. You don’t care that your users get harassed because they’re queer. You don’t care about doing anything to protect us.
And you apparently don’t care about keeping us, either, given your refusal to revise your security issues.
All you care about is your site running your way, everyone else be damned, included the people who keep it afloat and keep you sitting comfy and rich in the first place. You care about nothing but yourself and the money you make off of this website.
But you need to listen to us, David Karp. You need to start caring about us.. You may have made the concept for Tumblr, but we’re the ones running this machine. And we can bring it all to a screeching halt just as quickly. Things need to change. You need to take action against the real hate speech. You need to listen to your users who get hurt on this site every day. You need to reform your safety policy. You need to start making changes to this website to accommodate what the users want. You need to start worrying about our safety because when our lives are put in danger because of your lack of security options on this site, your website is a cause of whatever happens to us.
You need to listen to us.
If you’re not going to do that, then fine. You can have your site. You can have it your way. And you can have it all by your fucking self, because I am not going to keep my gear in this machine turning if you’re going to continually shit on me every day.
Keep making an ass of yourself and acting like this website, this castle that you’ve built, is built on the most solid of rocks, but don’t you dare forget that you built it on us, people who will let you go and let you fall if you shit on us enough.
You may be The Creator, but we are The People.
And we are not happy.
Signed with the utmost sincerity,
[Please feel free to sign your name if you want]
Signed and passed along.
Signed and boosted