For Caucasian Girls who have considered co-opting culture when their own is not enough. Appropriation is not appreciation. Girl, bye.
It’s International Women’s Day, a day of celebrating the many advances of women across cultural, economic, social, and political avenues. For Black women, our celebrations are often short-lived, as we are the most disrespected, unprotected, and neglected group in the United States. Netflix must quietly agree with that sentiment because their actions are beginning to speak louder than their words. We all know Mo’Nique deserved better and that Tiffany Haddish deserved more than $800k for her series, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Rachel Dolezal got a seat at the table. Ms. Dolezal, known for disguising her fetish for Black culture as a racial identity crisis, allowed herself and her family to be exploited for two years in what seems to be an attempt to repair her public image. Much to her eldest son’s chagrin, she continues to cry foul as she paints herself a martyr for a culture she’s co-opted. If this trailer is a warning of what is to come, I suggest you spare yourself the disappointment.
It’s called ‘rebuilding’
Black women are doing an amazing job at reclaiming what is ours. We’re the most educated demographic in the U.S., we’re advancing in more male-dominated fields, and we’re representing ourselves in the media to script our narrative of empowerment…but not without the likes of Rachel Dolezal and people that share her beliefs to ride our coattails to success yet again. After being ousted from her position as the president of the NAACP chapter of Spokane for living a white lie, Dolezal continues to struggle. She failed to patch her web of deception and repackage herself as something she could profit from despite changing her name. Remember Nkechi? Me either. Anyway, she still lacks the conscience to see herself for what she is, just another thieving culture vulture.Familiarity with a culture, no matter how immersed one lives, does not give them the right to claim it as their own. You are a spectator. Have a seat. Click To Tweet
The Rachel Divide
The reach of her delusion is not only affecting her own income and self-esteem, her children are met with the wrath of the wronged as well. Although her children are biracial, I imagine they faced an identity crisis due to their mother’s racial passing. Like Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life, Rachel exists in a perpetual sense of dysmorphic double-consciousness. She sees herself through the eyes of Black society and measures herself according to what she thinks she knows about us, constantly striving for something that is unattainable. It’s a sad thing to have no love for yourself or your family, but my pity ends where her lies begin.
To be honest, it’s exhausting that we are still framing our conversations about race and equality around the misdeeds of people who abuse our culture under the guise of appreciation. It’s disappointing that Netflix is providing Rachel with a platform when there are other, more interesting, more talented women of color who deserve the chance to shine…but I guess that’s Rachel’s M.O., isn’t it?
Will you be watching this blackface abomination on April 27th? Are you boycotting Netflix now? Do you feel bad for her sons? Let’s talk about this in the comments.
Seven Year Old Dies in Border Patrol Custody
In a devastating development, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl has died in the care of Border Patrol. Until autopsy results confirm her cause of death, Americans are left with more questions than answers.
A group of 163 migrants attempted to cross the border illegally and were then apprehended in New Mexico. Among them were the victim and her father. Shortly after their detainment, the group was transported to a facility in El Paso, Texas. It was there that the 7-year-old began having seizures within hours of being in Border Patrol custody. Claiming “Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life”, the CBP is now under investigation.
Initially reported by The Washington Post, emergency responders measured her temperature at 105.7 Fahrenheit, just two degrees shy of incurring brain damage. A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency statement indicated the child “had not eaten or consumer water for several days”. Needing further care, emergency responders called for a helicopter transport to Providence Children’s Hospital, where the child went into cardiac arrest. She was “revived” but ultimately could not recover, passing at the hospital less than 24 hours after arriving for treatment.
Facing blame from the ACLU, CBP has been called out for a “lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty.” Offering nothing but their “sincerest condolences”, CBP will continue to draw the scrutiny of the public as this is the second death of a child in their care. A toddler passed six weeks after being released from an ICE facility. Having contracted a respiratory infection from receiving poor medical care, the toddler’s mother is not suing for the loss of her child.
Government officials have since spoken out about the tragedy. Beto O’Rourke has called for full transparency in the investigation of the child’s death. Congressman Joaquin Castro also asked for a full investigation by the Inspector General and Congress. Without autopsy results that could take weeks to receive, the country is talking about ways we can do better as a nation. As a country, we’re holding out hope we can rise from this humanitarian crisis.
Where is Justice for Cyntoia?
Time and time again we have seen the justice system fail Black people in America. This week, its victim is Cyntoia Brown.
Where Black or brown women & girls who are victims of sex trafficking get 51 years in prison for defending themselves against sexual predators….
… but white men who are sexual predators go to the US Congress, the Supreme Court & the White House.#CyntoiaBrown
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) December 8, 2018
The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that Cyntoia Brown must remain in prison for 51 years before she is eligible for release. This news comes as a response to a lawsuit that states Brown’s life sentence is unconstitutional. Violating the U.S. Constitution, a mandatory life sentence without parole is still what Cyntoia faces with judgment requiring imprisonment until the age of 69.
Having run away from home, Cyntoia, 16, was living with a pimp named “Kut Throat,” who abused her and forced her into the life. He was 24 at the time. After days of being drugged and sexually assaulted by various men, Cyntoia was passed off yet again. Purchased by Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old child predator, Cyntoia found her limit. She killed her abuser but has not received the same justice many women in her position have found.
Justice only comes in one color
As children, we grew up hearing stories about women like Francine Hughes, famous for the Burning Bed. A battered housewife, Francine set her husband on fire as he slept, freeing herself and her children from his tyranny. The prosecution and the defense agreed her plight was sympathetic. She was found not guilty.
In June 2016, a woman killed her husband in an argument over another woman. As punishment, she will serve one year in jail and 9 years on community corrections. In his judgment, Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street said:
“The lack of remorse in this case concerns me so much that I think Ms. Delaney needs to be reminded of what she has done, what she has taken from her children and from the victim’s family. I’m ordering her to serve 30 days in jail every June beginning June 1 through June 30 for the entire 10-year sentence.”
The modification of her judgment came out of concern for her high-risk pregnancy. What a luxury! Just Friday, new broke that New York City police officers forced a 27-year-old woman to give birth shackled to a hospital bed, in full violation of state law. The privilege of justice in this country only comes in one shade.
At this moment, there is a petition urging the judge hearing Cyntoia’s case to grant her clemency. It currently has 500,000 signatures but needs 1.1 million. I encourage everyone touched by her story and seeking justice for her to sign.
Charlottesville Driver Could Face 419 Years
Charlottesville driver, James Alex Fields Jr., could face life in prison plus 419 years. The sentence was recommended by jurors this afternoon.
Fields stands convicted of killing Heather Heyer, who was in a group of counterprotesters during the 2017 rally. Mowing through the crows, Fields has racked up five malicious wounding charges and one charge of leaving the scene of the accident. Jurors made their recommendation after listening to statements from Heather’s mother as well as those who were injured.
Deliberations took roughly four hours over two days, the jurors presented the judge with their decision. However, the judge will not formally sentence the driver until March 2019. On top of the 419-year sentence, the jurors also recommended $480,000 in fines.
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