Blog Post 6

A topic within sociology that always seems especially interesting to me personally is postmodernism. There has certainly been a trend in the film industry and production of television shows. Series and movies questioning the theories of Western philosophy have existed for a while considering classic shows like The Twilight Zone, but within the last decade I have noticed another wave that pushes postmodernist theories cinematically. One of my favorite shows is the Netflix series Black Mirror. The show has four seasons, with a fifth releasing at the end of December, and each episode has a different plot and cast as well. Science-fiction, dystopian, and utopian stories are all graced with an element of satirical comic relief that makes these episodes all too relatable and plausible for the future of society. For this blog post, I’d like to walk through one of my favorite episodes with a sociological lens.  

*Spoiler Alert* 

One episode from season three is titled Men Against Fire. The protagonist is followed through a military based setting, and his first couple of days post training are depicted. He, as well as every other soldier, are implanted with an implant that is supposed to enhance their performance. As he enters the battlegrounds with his crew, a few members of the group pump themselves up for what is about to take place. Their targets are what they call “roaches.” Notorious for being ruthless, sickly mutations of former humans, roaches deserve no mercy, and killing even one on the first day is highly honorable amongst the crew members. Roaches live in abandoned homes, which is where the military group heads to in order to take out their enemies. Throughout this initial battle, the main character experiences his first interaction with the roaches and at first is reluctant to kill them as he’s been vigorously trained to do. Eventually shots fire, and one of the roaches holds up a contraption which starts to have effects on the soldier over the next few days. The end of that combat ended in the soldier brutally stabbing a roach to death. He smells no blood, barely hears any screaming, and is operating as one with technology.  As the story progresses and combat continues, he begins to feel “out of it” and starts seeing things differently. At first, he seeks the help of medical on the base, but after a quick evaluation they send him back with the rest of the soldiers. The next instance of combat is when things change. The main character no longer sees the unsightly roaches that he saw the first time, but instead he sees regular people fearing for their lives. He begins talking with a woman who explains how the government outcasted her ethnic group until eventually, all of society saw them as these “roaches.” The military was using an implant that affected the soldier’s vision, smell, hearing, and overall mental capacity. The soldiers were literal killing machines. After this the main character begins fighting for the people that his team is assonating. 

This episode spoke volumes to me, because it first addresses the postmodern aspect of technology and ethical conversation of what is too much when paired with human skill. The overall message made a huge impact on me, because it reminded me of the way stigmas are attached to certain races which can result in seeing people as subhuman. Language is so powerful, and using discriminatory language respectively has a larger impact on us that most realize. Black Mirror allows me to put lessons like these into perspective and wonder about what the future holds for a society that is right at the cusp of making some of these episodes a reality. Cultural production is largely affected by different forms of media, so I think it is important for shows like this one to continually be available to the public.   

My senior seminar group project allowed us to study every day individuals who considered themselves to be wiccans, or study alternative faith practices. In the beginning of our course, I along with the other members of my group thought that we might find young, Caucasian, women as a majority of our respondents who were willing to talk about their alternate faith. At first, I thought that this might have been because my friend who I wrote a separate blog post in reference to this topic fits this description, but throughout preliminary research it revealed itself to be a common expectation for us all. The photo above is the demographic chart from our final presentation of this research. Evidently, we were able to talk with a variety of people, and the diversity was admittedly unexpected. Aside from being raised Christian as a child, our sample pool didn’t generate any other demographic trends at a high level.  

When deciding which direction to take our literature-based research, I initially wanted to focus on Fascism. Many neo-pagan spiritualties and communities are based in Fascism, and this can be seen all throughout history. A lot of white supremacy and surrounding ideologies manifest in neo-pagan spaces, but this simply is not what we found in our interviews. Some respondents were specifically asked if they recognized the cultural practices of other ethnicities, and most if not all, said that they did not practice any spiritual rituals that they could not authenticate themselves. Now it did seem as though some practitioners were aware of the issue but found a way to talk around the topic all together, but most did acknowledge that they have seen the spaces and actively tried to refrain from becoming a part of those communities.  

Our entire project allowed us to see how nuanced spiritualty and the individuals who practice neo-paganism truly are. We realized that our respondents were not interested in alternative faith rooted in fascism, but rather to practice something that they felt answered all their questions unlike Christianity. Growing up, the adults in their lives would punish them or give answers that didn’t make sense when they asked about certain things pertaining to their Abrahamic religion. Wiccans have comfort in understanding nature as a source from which they regain spiritual power and feel whole within themselves. In fact, the physical element of the practice mostly dealt with nature. Being able to see various phases of the moon, see the seasons change, and understand the physical meaning of those phases allowed individuals, regardless or background or age, to have proof in what they were believing and practicing every day.  

Blog Post – SOCY 402

 

Reflecting on the people that I have met over my college experience I see a lot of similarities in the roommates that I had my first year at VCU, and the ones that I have now over three years later. The similarities lie in the fact that my roommates have an understanding of their culture and are aware of their ethnic background. I feel like simply knowing where you come from can be a cultural motivation, and this sense of appreciation is evident when my roommates both former and prior talk about their heritage. Becoming a student at VCU instantly diversified my friend group, and unlike the usual roommate pairing I was lucky enough to be given two roommates during my freshman year. One could imagine I was extremely thrilled (quite the contrary) when given the news that I would have to share my living space with not only one but two new ladies in my life. After time that initial feeling of annoyance wore off, because I realized I was given the opportunity to learn about two new cultures. Their ethnic backgrounds were Jamaican and Irish. Unfortunately, being African American has led me to have little information about my ethnic background as my roommates had, but the three of us still had dozens of personal stories to share from our cultural points of view.   

While I did enjoy my first two years at college, personally I have recognized more and more that the counter-culture of college is what actually makes the most sense to me, especially in the financial aspect. It is a blessing to be given the opportunity to attend college, especially given the history of blacks and education in this country, but the institutionalization of it all becomes draining when you have to work and juggle school at the same time. Essentially, I decided to go to college more so to live in a different city than the one I grew up in and have new experiences. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I may have considered other options but then I wouldn’t be where I am today. As we know the pressure to be successful is everything in nearly almost all cultures. As my original two roommates and I have grown and matured we realize that our decisions may not have been as innately determined as we thought, and as I move into the workforce post-graduation, I will aim to keep the sources of my cultural production authentic. Currently, my roommates are of Caribbean and African decent and we often talk about the differences in expectations from our parents. The expectations that they feel from their family are stronger and larger than what I’ve felt from my family, and they often feel suffocated by the conversations surrounding their current and future achievements. Looking from the outside in it can be easy to become envious of others culture as someone with little information on their own, but I do believe that the space that my parents give me to figure out what works best will ultimately lead me to self-discovery and success.  

 

 

Blog Post -SOCY 402

Spoilers Alert! This past weekend I went to see “Widows” directed by the critically acclaimed Steve McQueen. The general plot consisted of the widows of high caliber criminals organizing their own crime in order to repay the debts left behind by their husbands, as well as regain the financial stability they once lived with as their wives. Many themes can be derived from the plot of this movie, but I would like to specifically focus on the concept of meritocracy in order to analyze the film. As we have learned in our course, meritocracy refers to the idea of everyone in society having the chance to succeed on their own merits regardless of background. While the three widows of the plot have a higher likelihood of succeeding given their prior affiliations, the community that they live in does not have the same chances of succeeding in society. A sub plot of the film is about the race for governor between a lower level, locally renown drug pin. He is competing against a governor who fits the role more typically and has the family legacy as his dad was the former governor of the ward. Throughout the film, each party is lobbying different communities within the ward such as the church community, and it quickly becomes evident that the idea of meritocracy is being pitched in order to make each candidate more appealing to the public in question.  

The governor who is following in his father’s footsteps wanted to seem as if he was giving opportunities to lower income members, and in one of his campaign speeches he invited several African American women to the stage. He boasted about the opportunities that he gave these women to start their own businesses which created more money within the community. This pitch during his campaign seems a little off tune, but also it appeals to people who wanted to see change before they elect anyone as the governor of their ward. The film later reveals the reality of the situation. The women who this governor brought onto stage were given the chance to start their own business, but of course it came at a price. The loans that these women accepted acquired large debts that they were often threatened about by the governor’s security. Debts that even with a successful business would be difficult for anyone to pay off fully. At the end of the day, the governor knew that these members of the community did not have the willpower to fight back if they were being harassed about their debts. To him, it most likely seemed like a low risk factor that would hopefully win over some votes and propel him to a victorious finish. Ending nepotism in business and government would of course be ideal, but it was evident that this governor in particular had the power of his father’s former political endeavors. I think that this movie represented some of the ways that communities can be taken advantage of in lieu of being presented with favorable circumstances.  

Week 15 – Brooke Washington

Chapter 10:

 

Chapter 10 provides an overview of the circumstances African American families live with in the United States. As a result of the outcomes of slavery, government effort and initiatives, policy reform, socialization, education systems and many more African Americans are marginalized at higher rates than their counterparts of other races in America. These terms and situations can be understood as attributes of systemic racism. The prison system, education, and discrimination within the hiring process are more than enough to set blacks back economically, but unfortunately the chapter reminds us of many more variables within the state of our country. What can be done now is to better educate other races on the state of the situation. Even though many privileged people understand the issue their everyday lives are not affected in the same way so it’s much harder to initiate change by the people who are in positions of power. This is what it takes to help marginalized people escape their tribulations on a systemic level. An example of this working in the media recently is when white actresses refuse to be a part of films unless their black costars receive the pay that they deserve.

 

Exam Prep: 

1.The New Jim Crow refers to the “get-tough” sentencing policies, war on drugs, and concepts involving mass         incarceration in America. True/False?

-True

2. What percentage of black immigrants arrived in the U.S. in 2000 or later?

a. 31%

b. 24%

c.45%

d. 67%

-C.

3.  When deciding on bond amounts ICE does not have full discretion to set the amount based on facts such as a                    person’s fight risk, community ties, and criminal history. True/False

-False

4. Which character is used as an approachable model for understanding the social construction of gender, based on              the input of thousands of voices over several decades?

a. The Easter Bunny

b.The Orientation Orangutan

c.The Spectrum Snake

d.The Genderbread Person

-D.

5. Black women disproportionately experience violence at home, at school, on the job, and in their neighborhoods.             True/False?

-True

 

Course Evaluation:

  1. I like the awareness that this course brings to people who may not understand all the areas that systemic racism lives. Media has turned off many people from addressing social issues where it does not affect them, so this course is a good way to educationally inform without the bias of popular media.
  2. I honestly believe that the course is formatted well as an online course.
  3. Each week I enjoyed reading the articles for the blog posts, but it could feel redundant at times when writing about these topics and some of the themes overlap.
  4.  I wish I could have learned more about black individuals in politics and areas of government.
  5. I really enjoyed the supplemental materials on RamPages. Text books can be out of touch sometimes, so having the materials to base writings off helps a lot.
  6. Learning about black immigrants felt the most important to me personally, because the topic is so nuanced it can be easy to generalize even as an African American who is not from an immigrated family. I will especially remember the viewpoints and stories of the black people who shared their stories about being a part of the LGBTQ community, and the experiences of black women and mothers.
  7. Thank you so much for allowing students of all backgrounds the opportunity to become educated about marginalization. I think that an online course similar to this one should be offered for various families of ethnic backgrounds since VCU is so diverse.

Theory 402 Blog Post

 

About a month ago, I visited the University of Howard in D.C. for their homecoming with my two closest friends. During their homecoming concert I noticed this sign among all the various club and organizational banners that were spread throughout the field of the concert. At first, the sign made me laugh a little for some reason, but then I started to think about what my college career might have been like had I attended a historically black college like Howard. There is a common debate on social media platforms about predominantly white institutions versus historically black institutions. The debate is so common that it has a name: PWI versus HBCU. People often get worked up when debating this issue given the history of black people and education in this country, and seeing this poster reminded me of the whole ordeal.  

As someone who greatly enjoys diversity and being around various types of people, my school seemed like a perfect fit for me when I was fresh out of high school. Even though I do not regret choosing to attend the school I do wish I had given more thought to attending a HBCU, since I pretty much wrote off the whole idea all together for myself. The concept of racial segregation of any sort was anything but appealing to me when applying to colleges. As I have grown and entered my senior year of college, I realize even more the benefits of learning in an environment where people understand you and see the world through a similar lens or at least try. While I have had many great professors, it was not until I changed my major to Sociology that I began to encounter teachers who even acknowledged some of the issues that black students have within the university. The three years prior to the change consisted of classes where I was still one of a few black people, and there was very little diversity among my professors who were mostly white men. Now, I’m not saying that someone must look like me in order to be a great teacher, but I do believe that if a school advertises diversity that it should follow through for their staff as well.   

Friends of mine who attend the school as well have had major issues, especially in certain schools of the university like the art school. I have had peers who pay just as much as everyone else in tuition describe discriminatory practices from their professors, and in other schools within the university I know of some teachers who were blatantly assigning lower grades to African American students. It was also in the news recently that a professor called the police on a black woman who was sitting in his office and had been working as his teaching assistant for several months. According the news report she was not causing any danger or disruption to herself or others. I use all these examples not to discredit the professors who do a great job, but to bring light to the fact that black people do need spaces where they are among their own due to negative instances like the ones mentioned. Prior to college I really didn’t understand the HBCU versus PWI debate, but if I ever have children, I want them to acknowledge the circumstances and then decide for themselves rather than writing off the issue all together like myself. I believe that sometimes it can be easier even for minorities to pretend that discrimination doesn’t exist in certain spaces, but it is definitely a conversation worth having especially when it comes to education.  

 

Weel 11

Background: 

My knowledge of black immigrants is substantial when comparing generally, but as an African American who is uncertain of their ethnic background, I’ve derived most of my knowledge from friends who are first generation immigrants of either the Caribbean or Africa. I do understand how diverse black American backgrounds are, and when talking to other black Americans or Americans of other races it can be obvious that there is a lack of knowledge about all the places black people live and immigrant from. There is always more to learn, but I like to think that I am about seventy percent there since I don’t have many first-hand interactions with black immigrant culture. Similar to any other group of immigrants, most leave their home counties in order to pursue opportunities that may not be tangible where they lived prior to immigrating.   

 

Overview: 

According the Pew Research Center, the black immigrant population has increased five-fold since 1980. The transatlantic slave trade caused there to be a large population of black immigrants involuntarily, but since the 16th century black migration had rapidly increased due to voluntary relocation as well. “Between 2000 and 2016, the black African immigrant population more than doubled, from 574,000 to 1.6 million. Africans now make up 39% of the overall foreign-born black population, up from 24% in 2000.” In 2016, 8% of blacks were second-generation Americans – meaning they were born in the U.S. but have at least one foreign-born parent, according to the Center’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey. In total, black immigrants and their children make up roughly one-fifth (18%) of the overall black population in the U.S. 

 

 

Anti-Blackness in Immigration: 

Anti-Black rhetoric and policies within immigration discourse can be seen in the language that is used by natural citizens throughout history. Treating immigrants like the “other” translates into a similar attitude within the policies that are passed through the American government. For example, Western preferences for ‘white’ immigrant’s construct ‘whites’’ position at the top of two intersecting hierarchical systems: one a racial system, and the other a hierarchy of nations that some refer to as the world system. Whiteness is not shaped in isolation, for the processes that construct the top construct a hierarchies’ bottom (Bashi 1998, Winant 2001) Cultural and biological arguments have been used in America’s history in order to make blackness seem inadequate, and as other groups of immigrants such as Asians no longer were a priority of discrimination black immigrants shifted to the primary focus. The language of national quotas did not specifically deny black entry in the 1920s, but scientific racism was used to deny entry to all ‘inferior races’ on grounds that ‘immigrants’ poor performance [was attributable] to Negroid strains inherent in their biological character’ (Wang 1975, p. 61).  

 

Vilna Bashi (2004) Globalized anti-blackness: Transnationalizing Western immigration law, policy, and practice, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27:4, 584-606, DOI: 10.1080/01491987042000216726 

 

Final Thoughts: 

The mission statement of the UndocuBlack Network claims a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources and contributes to transforming the realities of our people, so we are thriving and living our fullest lives. Immigrant rights and racial justice for African American and black immigrants is the focus of BAJI, which stands for The Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Alliances such as these two help communities of black immigrants organize their goals and educate themselves on policy.  

 

From this week I gained a better knowledge about the numbers of black immigrants that live in the United States. The rate of immigration in recent years stood out to me compared to prior decades. I also enjoyed learning about unions of blacks who are fighting for their rights as both immigrants and people of color.  

Week 10

Top Ten Facts

  1. 71 percent of African-Americans in same-sex couples are employed compared to 68 percent of their counterparts in different-sex couples
  1. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, support for marriage equality increased from 23 percent to 38 percent among Black Protestants between 2013 and 2014.
  1. Approximately 3.7 percent of all African Americans identify as LGBT, with 84,000 African Americans living in same-sex couples and roughly a third of those couples raising children.
  1. It is more likely that a member of an African American same-sex couple will have a college degree than a member of a heterosexual African American couple — 41 percent versus 33 percent
  1. African American females in same-sex couples are three times more likely to enter the military than non-LGBT counterparts — nine percent versus only three.
  1. Between 2 million and 3.7 million children under age 18 have an LGBTQ parent, and approximately 200,000 of them are being raised by a same-sex couple. Many of these children are being raised by a single LGBTQ parent or by a different-sex couple where one parent is bisexual.
  1. Nearly 1.1 million LGBTQ people in the U.S. are married to someone of the same-sex. That means, there are more than 547,000 married same-sex couples nationwide.
  1. LGBTQ people and same-sex couples are more likely to foster and adopt than their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Same-sex couples are six times more likely to foster children, and at least 4 times more likely to adopt
  1. More than a third of same-sex couples raising children are racial or ethnic minorities – approximately 12% are African American and 15% Latinx.
  1. Nearly one in five children being raised by same-sex couples (24%) live in poverty compared to 14% of children being raised by different-sex couples.

 

Racism/Homophobia

Intersectional oppressions exist for African American members of LGBTQ community widely. Classism commonly intersects with other oppressions faced within the community. Studies show overall higher unemployment rates (15 percent v. 12 percent) and lower proportions with a college degree (23 percent v. 26 percent) among LGBT African-Americans, when compared to their non-LGBT counterparts. Transphobia is also an area where intersectional oppression thrives. Attitudes towards transgender people from both queer and “cishet” people are reflected in the lack of transgender elected officials. Unlike gay and lesbian officials which have little but some representation in our government, transgendered people have not been given the opportunity to break those barriers.

 

History

1.Audre Lorde graduated from Hunter college in 1959 and began exploring her lesbian identity son thereafter. As the feminist movement of the 1960s gained speed she soon became a leader who advocated for the rights of black women whose concerns were often disregarded among common feminist discussions. Lorde went on to write nine novels of poetry and feminist writings.

2. James Baldwin is celebrated as a member of American LGBT history. He had a passion for writing, and his most famous novels include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, Tell Me How Long the Train Has Been Gone and Another Country. The latter two deal with homosexual and bisexual characters in their plots.

LGBTQ Love

Shanice and Angelita Howard were featured on the Huffington Post as one of six queer couples who defined black love in their own way. What we learn from this couple is that an individual who may not identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community can still form meaningful, romantic relationships with members of the same-sex. These two women were not initially attracted to one another, but as time went on, they realized that they complement one another. They defined black love as “an unconditional, patient, supportive, spiritual, unstoppable love that can weather any storm.”

Transgender Youth

In reflecting on the video about black parents raising a transgender son I enjoyed the mother discussing her initial thoughts in terms of what her sons statement meant to her. She explained how she had to shift her mindset in order to be more open to what her child was going through.

 

Reflections/Application

The intersectional oppression that occurs within the LGBTQ community is what struck me the most throughout this week’s readings. It is unfortunate to learn that marginalized groups of people commit the same oppressions against those are oppressed by transphobia, ableism, and more. Those of us who have family structures that are within the 60 percent should make life easier for one another and try to unlearn practices and attitudes that are damaging to families that we can learn from.

Week 9

“They were fathers, vulnerable and present, and their lives were full and important. None of this fullness, however, was reflected in mainstream media or the broader culture. These men, in the context of fatherhood, were almost invisible.” The author of “Fathers”, Robyn Price Pierre, states her personal experiences and memories of black men in comparison the image spread by the media, or lack thereof in this case. For many people the stereotype of the invisible black father is something they cannot relate to their personal lives. Similar to Robyn, lots of mothers and children have great relationships with their fathers, and even though this is true the behaviors from the general public when they see a black family engaging with a present father reveal the true attitudes that exist.  

“The divorce rate is 49% in the US, buts it’s only black dads that are painted as deadbeats. We have allowed society to say that we are absentee fathers, when in fact, we are just as dedicated to our children as white fathers.” The 100 Black Dads project features similar quotes like this one from a man named Tim that describe what it’s like to be a black father. Statistics prove modern myths false all the time, but it is hard to bring the truth to light when there is much effort put in by the media and systemic racism to cripple black fathers and claim them as less than fathers of other races.  

Structural racism in relation to black fathers can be seen in the disproportional sentencing of black men to prisons compared to other men.” Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison[4].” The Southern Coalition website gives many statistics like this one that prove black men are serving more time for the same offences. Convictions that result in prison time cause so much harm to the family structure, and the results of this statistic have a huge effect on the number of black women that are single parents as well.  Despite all of this hard evidence, the myth continues because on average members of society are consuming more non-scholarly media than content that can be proven true. For people who hold racist stereotypes as truthful, the media makes it very easy to keep those harmful ideas alive, and so they persist. Systemic racism also thrives within law enforcement and various sectors of government, so with that people in powerful positions are allows to judge and affect black families based on the stereotypes and myth that they believe to be true.  

As an American, and especially African American, it is important to never forget the policies and ethics that this country was built on and constantly works to keep lawful. The legacy of slavery has disrupted the black family in so many ways, and even though they are not always as blatant as the separation of families during slavery, they work now in a manner that is easier to overlook and because of this lots of people will still negate facts about loving and involved black fathers. In the readings from this week, there were common themes of what black fathers found necessary to tell their young children as they live their lives. The talk is not only necessary in times of extreme police brutality, but many men discussed teaching their kids how to behave in front of authority figures and when in public. Large media never really talks about this side of black families until something tragic has happened, but it is important to start showing the effects of racism so that myths can be debunked. Essentially, the news serves only those in power anyways, so it is important as a citizen to understand this and do research that is truthful.  

 

Week 8

1. Kimberle Crenshaw was the first sociologist to coin the term intersectionality and bring light to the particular discriminations that black women face compared to other minorities. The awareness of police brutality was sparked by encounters between black men and law enforcement. While this awareness by the public and social activists is necessary, many people used these injustices of black men to spark rage and concern while completely masking the wrongful encounters that black women have with the police. Crenshaw is in favor of the SayHerName movement and believes that it sheds a light on the untold narratives of women experiencing civil unrest in their lives.

Tarana Burke sparked the Me Too movement and found the inspiration ten years before she was able to create resources that helped victims. In order to help sexual assault and harassment victims she created a nonprofit organization that eventually sparked the widespread hashtag which brought awareness to the issue. Throughout promotion of the Me Too movement, black and Latina women critiqued white feminism that left out the voices and concerns of black women among others. This movement initiated by Burke gave black women a chance to be a part of something traditional feminism kept them out of.

2. IPV stands for intimate partner violence. Within black families and relationships, it is extremely prevalent, and seen at higher levels compared to other races. The race, gender, and class paradigm exists largely in matters of IPV in which women of African descent are involved. In studies of IPV with women, it has been found that black, lower class, females are disproportionally victims. Whether the abuse be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological it is a form of degradation by partners.

 

3. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the annual murder rate for Americans ages 15 to 34 is about one in 12,000. But an investigation by the news organization Mic found that for black transgender women in the same age group, the rate was one in 2,600.

44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women

2 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women

Among people of color, American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) respondents of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey were most likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.

46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians

 

4. The story of Malissa Williams is just as devastating as the other wrongful instances of police brutality in the United States. I chose her story, because of the gruesome manner that she and a man faced in Cleveland during 2012. A police officer thought that he heard gunshots coming from the car that she was a passenger of and insisted on following her and her friend for 25 minutes, according to local news. Not only did this officer’s thoughts result in a high-speed chase involving over a dozen other police cars. WIlliams was corned and over 137 bullets were fired at their car killing both herself and the driver. This instance in particular deserves a highlight, because it shows the way that officers treat minorities as sub-human. Neither one of the passengers of her vehicle were armed, and yet they were shot at more times than when white offenders actually threaten law enforcement. This case is one of the extremely rare instances of an officer receiving a manslaughter charge, which still cannot impose enough justice on the situation for the loss of a life that was taken wrongfully.

 

5. Though as a black woman I will never forget the way people who look like me are treated by officers, this week’s readings reminded me to never forget the humans whose lives were taken too soon and often without reconciliation. It is easy to forget the wrongs that our society masks daily when we are all living our lives and focusing on matters that we find personal but taking a few moments to at the very least acknowledge issues within our country such as these would serve everyone better. Taking a course on violence against women taught me about the lessons we learned in our IPV readings this week. Those lessons help me understand the context of the race, gender, and class paradigm more efficiently. Seeing the numbers of all the black women who die without acknowledgment or justice always strikes me, especially when statistics reveal the true size of the problem.