The report, titled “Don’t Shoot to Kill,”…found that between Jan. 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014, law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County used lethal force resulting in the deaths of at least 589 people. That’s almost one death a week, for nearly 14 years.…since 2007, as overall homicide rates have trended downward — there were 941 total killings in 2007, but only 595 in 2013 — law enforcement use of deadly force resulting in homicide “doubled to between 4 and 8 percent” of the total, the report reads.The report found that of the 314 people killed between 2007 and 2014, 97 percent were male, a combined 82 percent were black or Latino and 52 percent were under age 30.
"We know personally that police violence isn’t only the bullets that pierce our dome, but the police baton that breaks our bones, and the battering ram that breaks our homes," the YJC report concludes, quoting from a statement authored by the group that was originally read at Ford’s burial in August.
"It’s the war on drugs and the war on gangs that gentrifies our communities and fills our prisons," the report continues. "It’s the separation of families through gang injunctions, incarceration and deportation that leaves us orphaned. It’s California’s addiction to police and prison spending that bankrupts our schools and shuts down positive resources in our communities –- jobs, youth centers, libraries, health and mental health clinics, parks and playgrounds. It’s these programs that Ezell needed and all of us need -– not the police lock-down of our neighborhoods."
"Demand a city, a state and a nation where Ezell Ford and Deandre Brunston, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Suzie Peña, and Devin Brown would be in college and not in the ground."
the bolded. we need to organize against ALL issues of oppression, because it’s NOT only the police. we must attack and eliminate the 3-headed-beast ROOT cause, which is white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism.
AND. AND. a black person is killed by U.S. law enforcement almost every day (every 28 hours) according to this 2012 report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
I was honored when undocuqueer artivist Julio Salgado emailed me about wanting to collaborate on a project about my biggest influences. He drew portraits of me embracing my heroes, and I provided words about their significance in my life.
These images moved me to tears, and I am grateful to Julio for creating them with me.
Audre Lorde was the first black lesbian feminist writer I was exposed to in college, and she blew my world up. Her body of work, from her poetry to her prose, pushed me to transform silence and define myself.
I first read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in the 10th grade, and Maya Angelou pushed me to make freedom my lifelong quest. She wrote about being a black girl who was touched without permission and protection, and it emboldened me to share my most uncomfortable truths.
Our elders are our greatest untapped resource, and Sylvia is my blueprint. Without the work and legacies of my foremothers (including Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy!) I could not and would not be able to thrive as a young trans woman writer of color.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Without Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” there would be no “Redefining Realness.” Zora was a revolutionary woman and writer. She centered a black woman’s quest for identity and love, making Janie Crawford my No. 1 heroine. This book is a lifemap!
I adore no man more than James Baldwin. I’ve devoured all his writings and find myself seeking his guidance by watching footage of his interviews. There is no better orator and thinker than Baldwin. He slays, all day, every day.
They are so amazing and speak so many truths - when I have my own clinic I’m going to put all of them up on the walls. So beautiful!
Artwork by artist and writer, Cristy C. Road.
Courtesy of Road’s official website, art as it appears above clockwise order:
- Raza Encendida. Ink, Marker, Fluid Acrylic, 6x11. 2009
- Another weekend . Ink, Marker, Fluid Acrylic, 9x12. 2009
- SIN VERGUENZA. Ink, Marker. 2014
Road, a queer Latina of Cuban descent, creates art based on social justice, queer counterculture, and punk rock. Aside from drawing and painting, Road is a performer with the all-queer spoken word road-show, SISTER SPIT: The Next Generation.
above picture of Road courtesy of Third Woman Press.
To learn more about Road and her work visit her official website.