Saturday, June 17, 2017

Why the Philando Castile Verdict is a Feminist Issue

Jeronimo Yanez has been found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile at a traffic stop in St. Paul last July. This decision, one of many in which police officers have been acquitted for killing black men, rings out as an example of the failures of a political and judicial system that upholds whiteness and minimizes police accountability.

And Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, know it. “The system continues to fail black people,” she declared in a press conference today, “and it will continue to fail you all.”

In addition to emphasizing our societal responsibility to fight anti-blackness and racial profiling in America, Yanez’s acquittal, and the acquittals of many others, reminds us that police violence is a feminist issue—one which hurts and marginalizes women.

The killings of young black men not only hurt black women and mothers—women themselves are also assaulted and killed by police officers, cases which often go unreported. According to The Washington Post, 11 black women were shot and killed by police in 2016. Since 1999, 20 percent of unarmed people killed by police were black women. When it comes to black women being killed at the hands of police brutality, many are not given the attention and outrage they deserve.

But even outside of these cases of direct violence, police brutality also limits black women’s reproductive rights. Ensuring that women are not afraid that their children will be killed is a fundamental factor in reproductive justice—and one that cannot be promised to black mothers.

Castile’s mother, Valerie, has been vocal about the injustice of the ruling and how it is symptomatic of the systemic racism that leaves so many black people without justice. And although this case is unique in that Yanez is a Latino man of color, and the attorney who decided to charge Yanez, John Choi, is a Korean-American, the prevalence of ultimately acquitted white police officers undergoing trials with white prosecutors and judges leaves all police officers as beneficiaries in an unjust system of power. In Yanez’s case, the jury that acquitted him was comprised of two black people and 10 white people.

Girlfriends, wives and children inevitably become entwined in these killings as well. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, filmed the incident through Facebook Live after Castile was shot five times, and the video played a crucial role in inciting immediate outrage and in the trial itself. Reynolds’s four-year-old daughter was sitting in the back seat. Last August, Korryn Gaines was killed and her five-year-old son was shot by police raiding her apartment on an outstanding traffic charge. In 2010, seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was shot to death by police raiding her home searching for her aunt’s boyfriend, murder suspect Chauncey Owens.

Reproductive justice, threatened motherhood and violence against women and children all come into play in the complex aftermath of racial profiling and police brutality, and these injustices are only exacerbated by how little coverage and dialogue these issues receive. And it is exactly these systemic failures—past, present and future—that should stir us to examine these intersections and support black women when the system will not.

>> The article above was written by Madeline King, and is reprinted from Ms Magazine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This article is scientific evidence that liberalism is a mental disorder.

This article is pseudo-intellectualism at it's finest.

Women have always ruled. Just ask any married man. Marxists generally don't associate with married people so their perception of reality is based solely upon their Marxist dogma.

America and capitalism has uplifted and enriched the lives of more women and more diverse ethnicities than any other country and economic system on earth. It's absolutely irrefutable. It is seen with our own eyes everyday. The poor in the United States live like the rich and they eat like the rich too.

Obviously in this case you don't get to cry about systemic racism, however, I don't doubt your ability to use creativity to imagine up some kind of connection on how a minority could perpetuate the false narrative of systemic racism. That's not brilliance. It's just wasting your time.

Philando was not pulled over for a broken tail light. Whether the tail light was actually broke or not is neither here nor there. Philando was told his light was broke because the officer could not tell him the real reason which was in regards to a recent robbery and the associated description of the robbers.

In the video his girlfriend is so relatively relaxed about the whole ordeal that it seems surreal. This is because she was high. They were both high. In fact Philando was so ripped that he got himself killed by not handling himself properly. He was not abiding by the law by disclosing that he had a gun. Nowhere in the laws does it say that one needs to disclose to an officer that they are carrying as it doesn't pertain to the situation. It only confused the situation and was totally unnecessary. So think of that dynamic - the officer is under the suspicion that he could be dealing with dangerous criminals but Philando doesn't know that and so then you have Philando saying he has a gun in a situation where there is no reason to disclose that other than the fact that he is stoned out of his gourd.

It's nothing more than a sad unfortunate situation.

Shooting someone is the last thing an officer wants to do and the officers reaction after the shooting reflects that. Any reasonable person would agree that the officer appeared way more upset about the ordeal than the girlfriend! In fact the officers response was far more human and seemingly genuine than that of the girlfriend who was high out of her gourd.

There never was a case. The officer was only prosecuted for political reasons. Power hungry liberals look to get reelected by doing these political stunts.

Your rhetoric is infantile. Your plight is only imaginary.

I'd suggest trying in Venezuela or Argentina. Maybe you'll get a statue.