Monday
Jul202015

Sandra Bland Should Not Be Dead

Elected officials from both parties attended a memorial for for Sandra Bland and was briefed by DPS. They also met with the family.

Sandra Bland should not be dead.

Whether or not foul play was involved in Bland's death, police have not explained why she would have been pulled out of her car over a traffic stop that should have only led to a simple citation in the first place. Millions of people use the roads every day, and it shouldn't be strange, or something police can't handle, that some of these people might be upset when they're pulled over for an alleged infraction that's going to cost them money. Police officers should have thick enough skin to deal with some "combativeness" when they're essentially shaking people down on the roads. The question of when police should be allowed to order drivers they've pulled over to exit their cars is an important one to consider in the efforts to limit police brutality.Ed Krayewski, Reason.com

How did a routine traffic stop escalate to a driver being asked to exit their vehicle and ultimately a road side body slam? Combativeness is not a crime - and as I have not heard the audio from the trooper's camera, I don't know whether she was combative at all.

The people who run the Waller County Jail have a DUTY to protect those in custody. One way or another, they failed.

Arresting agencies have a responsibility to protect those in custody.

They didn’t. The official account is that she took her own life with  “a trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the ceiling, which was used to give inmates privacy,” according to Elton Mathis, Waller County district attorney.

Maybe Bland followed the survival rules of a traffic stop, or maybe her “depression” escalated the original interaction. But I can’t believe that a department can’t protect a young woman alone in cell. And when the complete truth surrounding this incident becomes public, it most likely will be quite ugly. Jim, Mitchell, Dallas Morning News.

 

Sandra's family has ordered an independent autopsy.

Wednesday
Jul152015

National Defend A Black Girl Day: Black People Rally Around Amandla Stenberg

Like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and the Super Moon, every once in a while, the Earth aligns with Pluto. The tides rise. Fish walk. And Black people rally to defend a Black girl in public spaces. It is such a rare event, that it is worth noting with some kind of monument, perhaps a placard or a certificate. I hereby  declare today National Defend a Black Girl Day.

On today we honor every grown Black person who rallied behind young Black actress Amandla Stenberg when she was attacked by the BRAVO network for comments she made to Kylie Jenner after Kylie sported cornrows and tagged her post #WhiteGirlsDoItBetter (*eyeroll*).  Andy Cohen, a fully grown man and BRAVO host,  called Amandla the "Jackhole of the Day" while two grown Black people, Andre Leon Tally and Laverne Cox giggled and joined in.

I'm no idealist. I know that this rare act of publicly circling the wagons in support of a young Black girl is due in part to

- a dislike of anything Kardashian
-a dislike of Andy Cohen
-a dislike of Laverne Cox
-a dislike of BRAVO
- a dislike of Andre Leon Tally

But I'll take it.

I was once an outspoken teenaged Black girl. Outspoken women, Black, White or otherwise tend to pay a heavy price for their boldness so it is refreshing to see a hedge of protection temporarily being placed around Amandla.

So mark this day on your calendars and let's hope it rolls around again before Halley's comet returns.

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