The trial of Theodore Wafer, the Dearborn Heights man who shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face when she knocked on his door for help after a car accident, started last week. He faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after he responded to McBride’s knocking by opening his front door and shooting her through the screen door....read more
Marissa Alexander appeared in court Friday morning to request a new Stand Your Ground immunity hearing, hoping for a chance to demonstrate that the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband justified her use of a warning shot to defend herself. To support her legal defense, Prison Culture will be selling No Selves to Defend: A Legacy of Criminalizing Women of Color for Self Defense, an anthology of stories, poetry, and original art about women of color who have been imprisoned for defending themselves....read more
Alexis Okeowo in The New Yorker: Nigeria’s stolen girls.
If this were happening anywhere else in the world, there would have been non-stop mass media coverage of the burnt school and the grieving families and relentless questioning of the relevant officials as to the inadequacy of the search and rescue operations....read more
[Strong, strong trigger warning for rape]
In the March 10 episode of his podcast, David Choe recounted in lurid and self-satisfied detail his activities of the night before, in which he raped his masseuse at a massage parlor. On Friday, shortly after the story came out on Gawker and xojane, he insisted on his blog that he was totally joking, that he hates rapists, that his art is controversial, and that all he’s guilty of is bad storytelling. Call me a humorless feminist, but I’m not laughing....read more
Today is always a good day to re-read not just the I Have a Dream speech, but King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Today is also a day when lots of great writing on race and equality tends to get published, so link what you’re reading in the comments....read more
Ani DiFranco’s “Righteous Retreat” songwriting camp was originally scheduled for next June at Nottaway Plantation in White Castle, Louisiana. It’s a charming, verdant resort with luxurious rooms, fine dining, and expansive event facilities, all built on the back of a “wiling workforce” (per the resort’s website) of hundreds of slaves used as physical labor and, on occasion, currency....read more
Many of you will have already read about Orlando student Vanessa VanDyke being threatened with expulsion from her private Christian school for wearing her hair exactly as it grows out of her head. There is the predictable pushback in online forums about how the school’s way of (not) dealing with racist bullying in their student body by body-policing the natural features of an African-American girl is not really any sort of racially discriminatory double standard – please use this thread to expound upon exactly how insulting that nonsense is....read more
The ACLU released a report on life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the shocking numbers of inmates who are incarcerated for the rest of their lives with no hope of getting out — for committing non-violent crimes, usually drug-related. There are money interests in keeping people incarcerated, but there are also cultural and psychological ones. Long sentences are entrenched in the law through mandatory minimums, but they’re also seeded in our national psyche as “normal”:...read more
On Saturday, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman, was in a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a wealthy, majority-white city adjacent to Detroit. She was injured, she was disoriented, her cell phone was dead, and she knocked on the wrong door looking for help....read more
Today’s must-read by Tressie MC (if you aren’t reading her blog regularly, get to it) is about the logic of poor people buying designer clothing and expensive goods. A bit:...read more
Oh Andre Perry. Oh Andre. Let me just say straight up that as a white kid from a tiny town in New Jersey, I’m, like, supremely unqualified to talk about issues in the black community. But even I can tell this is a bunch of impractical horseshit.
GOOD, PLEASE STOP publishing “pragmatic” articles that sound like they were written by a Young Republican. If you’re going to tackle the complex issues that affect black and low-income communities, the least you could do is come up with some solid bullet points that don’t make it sound like you hate poor people....read more
How does a person achieve redemption after a series of serious offenses? At what point is the process deemed to be complete? What does a person have to do to be judged appropriately sorry and allowed to stop atoning? What should we feel about a person while they’re pursuing the process? What does it say about us when we can’t or won’t let it go?
(Short answer: Don’t care.)...read more