#SayHerName

A Note on Domestic Terrorism

#resist

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA): "The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of 'many sides.' It is racists and white supremacists." [via Twitter, 12 August 2017]

So … yeah. Any questions on this one?

We might call these people “alt-right”, but they are the American hardline right wing, and they’ve been here the whole time. In recent decades, Republicans have pandered to them in hopes of cultivating a permanent conservative majority. What happened in Charlottesville is not an accident. Nor was the conservative effort to take it this far.

Many prominent Republicans have stepped forward to say what needs to be said in the vital minutes and hours following the terror attack, and then President Trump’s attempt to spread the blame. We need not ask where Republicans were before this happened: They were busy stirring supremacists against people of color, women, homosexuals, and non-Christians.

Heather Heyer died yesterday. May her family and friends find peace, and may she please find justice. We shall carry her name until then, and, you know how it goes, we probably won’t ever want to put it down.

And we need to recognize that she will not be the last.

____________________

@MarkHerringVA. “The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of ‘many sides.’ It is racists and white supremacists.” Twitter. 12 August 2017.

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The Twenty-First Transgender Female Murdered in 2015

Please #SayHerName.

Zella Ziona was twenty-one years old when she was shot to death in Montgomery County, Maryland, 15 October 2015.

A witness who wished to remain anonymous told Washington, D.C. TV station WJLA he saw the gunfire around 5:50 p.m. Thursday.

“I only saw one gun. It just happened so fast, and kind of scary,” said the witness, who claimed to have seen Ziona surrounded by four or five teenagers.

In the midst of an argument, he says one of the teens pulled out a gun and shot Ziona in the head. He said he heard the gunman fire four or five rounds.

”They argued and things happened so fast. I don’t know what they argued for,” the witness told WJLA.

Ziona died at an area hospital around 8:12 p.m. Thursday, said police, who at first identified her as a male and by her birth name, but corrected that report after speaking to her friends and family.

(Ennis)

Ms. Ziona is the twenty-first transgender female known to be murdered in 2015. It would be my deepest honor if we could make it at least until TDOR without adding another name to this most terrible, horrifying list.

For those of you who are not murderers, though, it would be my honor if you would please #SayHerName. Zella Ziona. Twenty-one years old. Dead.

____________________

Ennis, Dawn. “Victim Number 21: Trans Woman Murdered in Maryland”. The Advocate. 16 October 2015.

The Twentieth Known Transgender Female Murdered in 2015

Kiesha Jenkins, 22, murdered 6 October 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.

Her name was Kiesha Jenkins. She spent all of twenty-two years among us before being beaten and shot to death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015:

Police say Pedro Redding, 22, of Hunting Park is under arrest for robbery and murder are closing in on his three alleged cohorts.

The charges stem from the robbery and killing of 22-year-old Kiesha Jenkins described by police as a transgender prostitute who was murdered last Tuesday at 13th and Wingohocking in the Hunting Park section.

Redding has told police he engaged in beating Jenkins, but someone else, he claims, shot her twice in the head during a struggle.

“The suspect gave a full statement to detectives that himself and three of his friends attempted to rob Kiesha and, during this robbery, one of the males pulled out a gun shooting and killing her,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark said.

Police say there is no evidence at this point that Jenkins was targeted because she was transgender, but rather because she was a known prostitute in that 13th and Wingohocking area and widely believed to be carrying plenty of cash.

“Our information is Pedro Redding and his associates live in the area and they know what goes on in that area. There are a lot of transgender individuals that frequent that area, so yes, they did know,” Clark said.

(WPVI)

It should also be noted that the transgender are apparently preferred targets of the suspect, whose record includes a prior robbery of a transgender victim.

Kiesha Jenkins is the nineteenth twentieth known transgender female murder victim this year. Please #SayHerName.

Update 17 October 2015: A note on the title ― This is one of those things I really should already know better; Kiesha Jenkins is the twentieth transgender female known to be murdered in 2015; the title of this post had previously counted her as the nineteenth. The confusion arises if we pause to consider whether or not to include Bri Golec in the count; despite Ms. Golic being transgendered, and this fact being at the heart of why her father is accused of murder, neither family nor local authorities will properly acknowledge the point. Given my own disagreement with this refusal, I really ought to know better. Ms. Jenkins was number twenty; number twenty-one, we learned last night, was named Zella Ziona, age 21, shot to death in Montgomery County, Maryland, on 15 October 2015. #SayHerName, please. Recite them all.

____________________

Image note: Kiesha Jenkins, 22, murdered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015.

Action News. “1 charged, 3 more sought in murder of Kiesha Jenkins”. WPVI. 12 October 2015.

Our Sadness

TG-logo-dark

It occurs to me that, while winter-season holiday shopping and promotions often start sometime during the summer, September has arrived and I haven’t done a thing for TDOR.

Neither, I am betting, have you. The list:

• Zella Ziona, 21, Montgomery County, Maryland, 15 October 2015.

• Kiesha Jenkins, 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015

• Tamara Dominiguez, 36, Kansas City, Missouri, 15 August 2015

• Elisha Walker, 20, Smithfield, North Carolina, 13 August 2015

• Kandis Capri, 35, Phoenix, Arizona, 11 August 2015

• Shade Schuler, 22, Dallas Texas, 29 July 2015

• Amber Monroe, 20, Detroit, Michigan, 8 August 2015

• K. C. Haggard, 66, Fresno, California, 23 July 2015

• India Clarke, 25, Tampa, Florida, 21 July 2015

• Ashton O’Hara, 25, Detroit, Michigan, 14 July 2015

• Jasmine Collins, 32, Kansas City, Missouri, 23 June 2015

• Keyshia Blige, 33, Aurora, Illinois, 7 March 2015

• Mercedes Williamson, 17, Rock Creek, Alabama, 30 May 2015

• London Chanel, 21, North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 18 May 2015

• Kristina Gomez Reinwald, 46, Miami, Florida, 16 February 2015

• Bri Golec, 22, Akron, Ohio, 13 February 2015

• Penny Proud, 21, New Orleans, Louisiana, 10 February 2015

• Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, 36, San Francisco, California, 1 February 2015

• Yasmin Vash Payne, 33, Los Angeles, California, 31 January 2015

• Ty Underwood, 24, Tyler, Texas, 26 January 2015

• Lamia Beard, 30, Norfolk, Virginia, 17 January 2015

• Papi Edwards, 20, Louisville, Kentucky, 9 January 2015

These are the murders. We’re still counting the suicides.

Please say their names, every one of them.

And Heaven help us, let it stop here and now.

____________________

Our thanks to Mitch Kellaway and Sunnivie Brydum at The Advocate; this is a harrowing list compiled from grim duty, and we really should be keeping our own tally. Meanwhile, at least someone has. Please … #SayHerName.

Kellaway, Mitch and Sunnivie Brydum. “These Are the U.S. Trans Women Killed in 2015”. The Advocate. 27 July 2015.

A Frightening Vista

Shagasyia Diamond, 37, who is transgender, was arrested in 2014 during a domestic dispute in the Bronx. She said she was put in a cell with men and was subjected to slurs by police officers. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

“I felt totally voiceless. Like I wasn’t even human. Like my safety didn’t even matter.”

Shagasyia Diamond

Well, to the one, this is your New York Police Department. To the other, that doesn’t really help. Noah Remnick of the New York Times explains:

Although the New York Police Department amended its patrol guide in 2012 to require respectful treatment of transgender people, Ms. Diamond, who is a transgender woman, said she was subjected to a strip search by a male officer. Two other officers watched from a few feet away, gawking as she spread her legs. Officers then placed Ms. Diamond in a cell for men, she said, where she cowered in the corner as other inmates heckled her and used the exposed toilet in her presence. When she expressed her discomfort to an officer, he replied, “You know you like it in there with all the men.”

Officers snickered at Ms. Diamond throughout the process, she said, calling her a “he-she,” “tranny” and “it.”

“I felt totally voiceless,” Ms. Diamond, who is 37 and now divorced, said recently through tears. “Like I wasn’t even human. Like my safety didn’t even matter.”

When the patrol guide reforms were issued, advocates for transgender people lauded the changes as groundbreaking, if overdue. Officers now were required, among other provisions, to refer to people by their preferred names and gender pronouns, to allow people to be searched by an officer of their requested gender, and to refrain from “discourteous or disrespectful remarks” regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.

But in interviews with more than 20 transgender and gender nonconforming New Yorkers who have been arrested or had other contact with the police, as well as activists and lawyers representing them, they charge that three years since the regulations were adopted, police officers regularly flout them. Even as transgender visibility surges in the news media and in popular culture, and government agencies develop more sensitive policies, many transgender people continue to report that they are mocked in the most degrading terms by officers, searched roughly and inappropriately and placed in holding cells that do not correspond with their gender identity, all violations of the reforms enacted to address those very indignities.

There are at least a couple of ways to look at the situation. But here is the problem: Congratulations, my transgendered neighbors, you are regarded by NYPD as worthy of personally-tailored bigotry. You’re now equal to every other mistreated class out there.

And, no, that sarcasm doesn’t help. It’s kind of like the old joke about feminists. All they wanted, went the complaint, was everything. And what they got, said the complainers, though we know our sisters haven’t even received this basic respect of indignity, is the right to be treated like excrement just the same as anyone else.

In the first place, NYPD is determined to establish itself as a scourge to humanity.

To the second, though, we might take the moment to wonder if this is like the bit they go through with black people, where they go through a reform process every few years because the situation comes to an impassable conflict, and then go right back to being the sleaze the NYPD has worked so hard to make its distinctive quality.

And let’s throw in a ski-boxer’s third: Dearest friends and neighbors, no, you do not get to write this one off as just another bit of noise. We’re losing people right now because they are afraid to go to the police. This is a disaster.

Look, I’ve watched politics closely for decades, and I have never seen anyone in my quarter as frightened and verging on panic as the veteran hands in transgender advocacy and services in Middle America and the South.

Never.

My sisters are dying. And they’re scared. And, goddamnit, we know this is NYPD we’re talking about here, but come on.

This is what Hell looks like.

____________________

Image note: Shagasyia Diamond, 37, who is transgender, was arrested in 2014 during a domestic dispute in the Bronx. She said she was put in a cell with men and was subjected to slurs by police officers. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Remnick, Noah. “Activists Say Police Abuse of Transgender People Persists Despite Reforms”. The New York Times. 7 September 2015.

Mey. “Amber Monroe Becomes the 12th TWOC Murdered in the US This Year, We Must #SayHerName”. AutoStraddle. 8 August 2015.

Something

India Clarke, murdered 21 July 2015, in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Clarke's death is recorded as the tenth murder of a transgendered person in 2015. On 29 July 2015 the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff's Office arrested a suspect, Keith Lamayne Gaillard, and charged him with First Degree Murder with a Firearm.

It’s … something.

The St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new transgender sensitivity training program.

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman’s murder, and law enforcement’s handling of it, captured national attention.

After 25-year-old India Clarke’s body was found in a Tampa park July 21, law enforcement identified her by the name and gender she was born with even though she had identified as female for years. Backlash from across the country followed, surfacing a discussion about how law enforcement handle the identities of transgender people.

(Associated Press)

We can’t have our friends and neighbors back. But, at the very least, we can have this little shard of decency, that we might wish the true selves of those we leave behind some manner of dignity in rest.

And we’ll take it, because that’s all we have left.

Her name was India Clarke. Please say it. Please, say her name.

____________________

Image note: India Clarke, murdered 21 July 2015, in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Clarke’s death is recorded as the tenth murder of a transgendered person in 2015. On 29 July 2015 the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff’s Office arrested a suspect, Keith Lamayne Gaillard, and charged him with First Degree Murder with a Firearm.

Associated Press. “St. Pete Officers to be Trained on Transgender Issues”. WTVJ. 7 September 2015.

Holden, Dominic. “Transgender Woman Of Color Killed In Tampa, Florida”. BuzzFeed. 22 July 2015.