Cause and Effect

Kimberlé Crenshaw on the Say Her Name movement and her fight for gender-inclusive racial justice.

by Lauren Savage Published Spring 2016
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Photograph by Mia Fermindoza

Not Forgotten

Stories of Police Brutality Against Black Women From the Say Her Name Report

Shereese Francis:
Suffocated to death on March 15, 2012, at her home in Queens, New York, as police officers were subduing her during a mental-health crisis ▪ Rekia Boyd: Killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer on March 21, 2012 ▪ Sharmel Edwards: Killed by police in Las Vegas on April 21, 2012, while being followed on the suspicion that she was driving a stolen car ▪ Shantel Davis: Killed by a plainclothes detective in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, on June 14, 2012, while unarmed ▪ Malissa Williams: Killed by police in Cleveland on November 29, 2012, after the driver of the car she was riding in refused to pull over ▪ Shelly Frey: Killed by an off-duty sheriff and minister in Houston on December 6, 2012 ▪ Kayla Moore: Killed by police in Berkeley, California, on February 12, 2013 ▪ Kyam Livingston: Died from a seizure on July 24, 2013, when NYPD officers allegedly left her in a holding cell despite complaints that she was in pain ▪ Miriam Carey: Killed by federal agents in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2013, while with her one-year-old baby ▪ Yvette Smith: Killed by police responding to a domestic-disturbance complaint in Bastrop, Texas, on February 16, 2014 ▪ Gabriella Nevarez: Killed by police in Sacramento on March 2, 2014 ▪ Pearlie Golden: Killed by police in Hearne, Texas, on May 7, 2014 ▪ Michelle Cusseaux: Killed by police in Phoenix on August 13, 2014 ▪ Sheneque Proctor: Died in her cell in Bessemer, Alabama, on November 1, 2014, after police allegedly ignored complaints that she was ill ▪ Aura Rosser: Killed by police responding to a domestic-dispute call in Ann Arbor on November 9, 2014 ▪ Tanisha Anderson: Died in Cleveland on November 13, 2014, as police were subduing her at her home during a mental-health crisis ▪ Natasha McKenna: Died in Fairfax County, Virginia, on February 8, 2015, after police tased her four times while she was handcuffed and in leg shackles ▪ Janisha Fonville: Killed by police responding to a domestic dispute in Charlotte, North Carolina, on February 18, 2015 ▪ Meagan Hockday: Killed by police in her home in Oxnard, California, on March 28, 2015 ▪ Mya Hall: Killed by National Security Agency police in Baltimore on March 30, 2015 ▪ Alexia Christian: Killed by police investigating a stolen-vehicle complaint in Atlanta on April 30, 2015 ▪ Sandra Bland: Found dead in her cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015, after having been originally pulled over by police for failure to signal a lane change

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The premise that White police officers target and kill Black men and women for no cause is absurd. With a Black President, we could have hoped for Reverend King's plea to put color aside and strive to uplift all men but what we got was charges of racism, sexism, xenophobia and every other ism used to divide and enrage the country for radical purposes.

But let's look at the statistics. Based on 2013 FBI numbers, 2491 Blacks were murdered, the offenders were 189 White and 2245 Black. Black offenders made up 39% of all offenders while only representing 13% of the population. http://www.aim.org/special-report/black-criminals-white-victims-and-whit...

As a fighter for Social Justice, perhaps Prof. Crenshaw should begin to concentrate on the disintegration of the Black family unit. When the War on Poverty started in the 60's, about 25% of Black children were raised by single parent families. Today, that number is 70%. Psychologists and economists will tell you that children raised by single parents are much more likely to have psychological and emotional issues, difficulty in school, and are much more likely to end up in the lowest economic strata. The probability that Federal programs have created incentives for single parent households cannot be overlooked. Where is the outcry?

Let us stop blaming the police for trying to maintain law and order. Let us stop accepting excuses for the over representation of the Black community as crime offenders, much of that black on black crime. Until Black opinion leaders have the guts to address this (like Steven A. Smith on ESPN), the problem will only get worse.

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