How long before we #SayHerName?
It seems that with every passing week, another video of state violence explodes into the blogosphere. Another attack on a young person of color goes “viral”, while we sit on the other side of the screens, becoming increasingly desensitized to acts of violence enacted by the very force charged with protecting us.
The events in McKinney, Texas are no exception. In the wake of Ferguson, New York and most recently Baltimore, we’re becoming accustomed to hearing and seeing stories about systemic violence against young people of color, more specifically, young men.
There is an existing narrative stating young men of color are the primary targets of this violence, but where are the stories of young women? Have we forgotten the structural systems in place that prevent young women and girls, especially those of color, from remaining safe, healthy, and free from racially-charged violence? What about Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Jones, Shantel Davis? How many young women must be a casualty of the brutality before we say their names? How many young queer or trans* women must be slain before we proclaim that black girls matter too?
All young people have the right to lead healthy lives. We must acknowledge young women and girls specific needs and vulnerabilities, and that we have the responsibility to provide all young people a safe environment to grow up. We stand with Dajerria Becton, and the young people affected by the events in McKinney.
For more, please visit Dream Defenders’ #BlackGirlsMIA project.