Tag Archives: black women

Marissa Alexander’s Plight; State Attorney’s Egregious Agenda

17 Oct

marissa alexanderFirstly, I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to blog about the plight of Marissa Alexander, but I hope you are following this case. It is, sadly, yet another shameful “WTF?!” moment of institutionalized racial bias in the Florida criminal justice system–my home state.

This time, the victim isn’t a young black male shot dead by a prejudice cop, but rather a victim of domestic violence who’d recently given birth. A black mother who fired a warning shot in an effort to get her abusive husband out of their home. Had she killed him, she’d likely have gotten off thanks to the controversial Stand Your Ground law (read: all too convenient loophole for bigots acting out their ethnic cleansing fantasies). However, her intention was not to kill, but to save a life—her own and/or her husbands.

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey isn’t about that life though. After Alexander refused to accept a guilty plea bargain, maintaining her innocence, Corey successfully prosecuted the victim, and slapped her in the face with a 20-year prison sentence. For black people in Florida reading behind the lines, her message to them appears to be clearly “kill or be killed— or waste away in a prison.” National outcry and protests helped overturn Alexander’s 2012 conviction in September of 2013, although it was officially reported as a case of “jury misinformation.” You’d think the overzealous State Attorney would drop the case after all the national backlash; after all, Alexander is a survivor of domestic violence who was defending herself and no one was hurt.  But nah. Now, a new trial is underway and Ms. Corey is pushing for a 60-year sentence! What’s her agenda here?

Daily Kos reported today that five women have stepped forward as witnesses and victims of Marissa Alexander’s husband’s history of domestic violence. Their show of support will hopefully be the nail in the coffin of this charade of justice, but we will have to stay tuned and stay vigilant.

I echo the thoughts of Daily Kos writer Leslie Salzillo here, and hope you follow her keen reporting on this trial as she’s been a diligent watchdog from the beginning:

“I also hope to see a renewed national discourse, not only about victims of domestic violence, but also about those who survive the abuse defending themselves, and are then prosecuted. Many victims of domestic abuse are taken from their children, incarcerated, and left to rot in prison.”

Read more details of this case here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/17/1337149/-5-More-Women-Accuse-Marissa-Alexander-s-Abusive-Husband-Of-Extreme-Brutality

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Black female soldiers say new grooming regulation is ‘racially biased’

2 Apr

Thousands of soldiers and others have signed a White House petition calling for the president to order the Army to reconsider just-released appearance and grooming regulations they contend are “racially biased” against black women.

The update to Army Regulation 670-1 was published Monday , and among the rules are clarifications for Army-appropriate hairstyles. For example, the Army does not allow twists or multiple braids that are bigger than a quarter of an inch in diameter. The reg also bans dreadlocks of any style, and cornrows must be uniform and no bigger than a quarter of an inch.

twists

Twists and dreadlocks have been prohibited since 2005, but the regulation at the time did not clearly define the specific hairstyles, Army spokesman Paul Prince said.

The new AR 670-1 clearly defines the different hairstyles and gives soldiers specific guidance on what’s allowed, he said. Leadership training released in mid-March, published before the reg was official, includes photos of a number of unauthorized hairstyles, several of which are popular natural hair styles among black women.

“I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” said Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard, who wears her hair in two twists.

Thanks for sharing Tiffani W. It’s important we contribute to this conversation. “Get a perm, or go home” attitudes have no place in the 21st century.

Read more here: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140331/news07/303310051/black-female-soldiers-say-new-grooming-reg-racially-biased-