American Dream wrote:Defend CeCe McDonald!
Self-Defense is Not a Crime!
Stand up Against Racism and Transphobia!
An important case demands our support. Crishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a young Black transgender woman faces two counts of second degree murder for defending her friends and herself from physical attacks by a group shouting ugly racist and homophobic insults.
Please contact the Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and demand he drop the charges against CeCe:
612-348-5540 fax * 612-348-2042 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring this case before local GLBTQ groups, Black Community organizations, Unions and community groups, Occupy assemblies and anywhere people are struggling for freedom and justice. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
According to the Support CeCe website http://supportcece.wordpress.com:
“Around 12:30 am on June 5, CeCe and four of her friends (all of them black) were on their way to Cub Foods to get some food. As they walked past the Schooner Tavern in South Minneapolis, a man and two women (all of them white) began to yell epithets at them. They called CeCe and her friends ‘faggots,’ ‘niggers,’ and ‘chicks with dicks,’ and suggested that CeCe was ‘dressed as a woman’ in order to ‘rape’ Dean Schmitz, one of the attackers.”
“As they were shouting, one of the women smashed her drink into the side of CeCe’s face, slicing her cheek open, lacerating her salivary gland, and stinging her eyes with liquor. A fight ensued, with more people joining in. What happened during the fight is unclear, but within a few minutes Dean Schmitz had been fatally stabbed. CeCe was later arrested, and is now falsely accused of murder.”
The coroners report showed Schmitz had a large nazi swastika tattoo.
CeCe now faces a Justice system that is anything but. African-Americans are imprisoned in Minnesota and the U.S. at rates far disproportionate to the population. Black defendants incur greater rates of conviction and harsher sentences than whites, especially when the alleged victim is white. In fact the CeCe Support Committee has documented four separate recent instances when the local Hennepin County Attorney has declined to press charges when a white person killed an alleged attacker.
Likewise the Criminal Justice system is grossly discriminatory against transgender defendents. Trans people are routinely placed in isolation and/or subjected to increased sexual violence, harassment, and abuse at the hands of prisoners and corrections facility staff. Cece herself “was kept in solitary confinement “for her own protection”; she had no say in this matter. Finally, she was transferred to a psychiatric unit in the Public Safety Facility. It was nearly two months before she was taken back to a doctor to check up on the wound on her face, which by then had turned into a painful, golf ball-sized lump”, according to the CeCe Support Group website.
The Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, is the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party politician responsible for prosecuting CeCe. Previously Freeman unsuccessfully prosecuted an Anti-Racist Action activist for defending himself from a neo-nazi at an anti-fascist demonstration in 1993. Freeman’s office also led the racist railroading of the young African-American men known as the “Minnesosta 8″ for the shooting of a police officer in 1992.
CeCe had every right to defend herself and her friends from this assault. Black folks, queer folks, and trans people deal with enough insult and abuse from bosses, the police, school, and other official institutions without having to worry about physical attacks just for being who they are. Racist and transphobic violence cannot be tolerated. Silence and inaction will only aid the perpetuation of white supremacy, sexism, homophobia and transphobia inherent in the structure of this oppressive and exploitive system. The necessary unity to defeat this system requires the solidarity of all of us – not just lowest common-denominator unity that favors the most privileged – but defense of the most oppressed and exploited. As the social crisis sharpens, the need for self-defense from both individual bigots and from a system built on white supremacy and patriarchy will only increase.
A strong support group, based among young transgender activists and including anarchists, has come together to defend CeCe. First of May Anarchist Alliance pledges our solidarity as well. We will work to make this case well known among working class activists and organizers and help to raise the costs for the prosecutor and the system he represents for carrying out this injustice.
First of May Anarchist Alliance
Haunani-Kay Trask has defined imperialism as a total system of foreign power wherein another culture, people and way of life penetrate, transform and come to define the colonised society. The primary function of imperialism is exploitation; exploitation not only of the land and resources of the colonised country, but also of its peoples. Thus imperialism is the defining characteristic of colonialism in both its past and present forms. Some might ask what still remains to exploit now that colonisation has done its worst - has raped the land of its minerals, the seabeds of their fishes, the soil of its biodiversity, the peoples of their language and DNA, and long since reduced them to a state of dependence on their colonisers? The answer of course is the exploitation of indigenousness itself, the exploitation, nay even theft of cultural identity, the misappropriation of the essence of indigenous being. In recent decades, the imperialist practices of global capitalism carried out by certain non-indigenous interest groups not only continue to assert the relative social and economic supremacy of non-indigenous and peasant peoples through market-driven policies and the reification of notions of `economic man’ but also appropriate and commodify for their own economic gain indigenous knowledge, sacred sites and traditional practices.
Throughout the world, indigenous peoples whose lands, whose resources, whose ways of life has been destroyed by capitalism and greed, who since the beginning of colonisation have been constructed as an inferior `Other’ somewhat less than human, are engaged in a struggle to retain control over the last remaining vestiges of what makes them unique; their traditional spiritual beliefs, practices and knowledge. For too many indigenous peoples, it is already too late. Imperialism which throughout the 18th and 19th centuries legitimated its rape and pillage of both peoples and lands through liberal ideologies of difference which saw civilised man as godly, indigenous peoples as primitive and different and idleness as belonging to the devil, has reclaimed `difference’ as a commodifiable asset and appropriated ‘indigenousness’ for economic gain.
One of the cool things about the internet, and about tumblr especially, is the way that it allows for the quick propagation of all sorts of antiracist, antisexist, antihomophobic, etc., ideas. The appearance of sites like Color Lines, Jezebel, Racialicious, Feministe (sites which vary greatly in quality and ideological orientation), among others, have all been really important in popularizing antioppression ideas in general, and in producing a class of people able to problematize and critique oppressive discourses, especially those that can be found in popular culture.
One of the not so cool things about the internet is that it has helped to produce a class of people who are, relatively speaking, quite comfortable in their general anti-oppression stance. Anti-oppression discourse, nowadays, isn’t even about a politics (i.e. working collectively to change the world you inhabit) as much as it is about style—about speaking the right language, using the right terms, expressing outrage at the right moment, etc. Unlike previous generations of people discussing anti-oppression ideas, we who are members of this class don’t need to go to long, drawn-out meetings or to join activist groups in order to satisfy our desire to be against oppression. The discussion, in many ways, comes to us—just follow the right people, read the right blogs, etc. Anti-oppression, that is, arrives to us with the slick, polished ease of a commodity.
Without even talking about the billions of people who cannot access this kind of discourse precisely because the very late capitalism that provides us with cheap-ish computers and internet access needs to keep their wages incredibly low in order to do so, I’ll end by saying this: I believe that there’s a difference between producing evidence of oppression, explaining oppression, and fighting oppression. One can produce evidence of oppression without being able to explain why oppression happens. My problem with the Jezebels and Racialiciouses of the world, as well as with a lot of stuff I see around here, is that they glorify their own capacity to produce evidence about oppression without explaining it. Or if they do explain it, the explanation tells us very little: it relies on the fact that we know oppression is bad and the fact that it feels good to know that. This, I think, is why sarcasm works so well on Jezebel and various other liberal feminist blogs—it allows its reader to ignore the lack of analytical depth by allowing her to substitute the feeling of Knowing Better Than Someone Else Does.
You might think that people who analyze oppression professionally would at least think about the question of who benefits from oppression, a question that necessitates at least a critical view onto capitalism. The problem is, of course, that those who produce evidence of oppression professionally have a class interest in not explaining or learning to explain who benefits from oppression. Folks like (Racialicious founder) Carmen Van Kerckhove have found creative ways to make a living off of talking about race (and talking about talking about race) without explaining much at all save the fact that racism exists, a fact that we seem not to be able to be reminded of enough.
But the fact that an entire industry has emerged to produce evidence about oppression without doing much at all to fight it should tell us something about where we’re at in terms of capitalism. Anti-oppression has become a commodity, too, and “we” are part of the machine by and through which that commodity is made and consumed. I’m not trying to trivialize or downplay the existence of oppression—oppression exists, and exists on a scale any in ways I am not even in a position to know or speak about. But I am trying to begin to understand how capitalism has enabled people—especially upwardly mobile, college educated people like me—to generate an anti-oppression discourse that allows many of us to feel as if we are doing much more to fight it than we actually are.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest