Thursday, May 31, 2012


There is a beautiful Sara Bareilles song that has a lyric that says, "I'm gonna love you and maybe it's gonna last this time, but I am gonna love you, you never have to ask, 'Till you start looking back, I wouldn't need a second chance."

This is how I live my life. This is how I love my life. If I love you. Friend, lover, family, hope to be lover, lover of spirit, lover without admittance, complicated lover, this is my truth. This is my reality. THIS is my beautiful.

Love shouldn't be hard. Actually, love is NEVER hard.

Let me be clear. Hard and complicated aren't the same damn thing. Love is often complicated. Love is often hurtful. Love often comes at the wrong damn time in the wrong damn place. Sometimes it comes in the wrong damn body (note: Nicole Zajkowski nee Harris who I would have married at 18 but she was born in the right body for her, the right spirit for me, but her body and my desire didn't match). Love sometimes requires work. Love often requires bravery. Love is always laced with fear. As bell hooks once said, "To risk great love is to risk great hurt." Without risking being absolutely and completely ripped apart and devastated you can NEVER and will NEVER have that passionate, destructive, transformative, healing, and potentially deadly love that we all deserve. It's our fears that keep us from it not our capability.

I know what it means to run screaming from the possibility of happiness, from an inkling of love, from the hint that someone may actually give me what I DESERVE, what we all deserve.

God Bless the HIV virus. God Bless being a rape survivor. God bless being a child of intense and traumatic abuse. God Bless having grown up wondering if I would have dinner. God bless racism. God bless heterosexism. God bless addiction.  God bless any and every oppression that I have survived.

Because if I have survived to almost 35 in the skin, spirit, and body in which I live and the history that I carry, then motherfuck if I will ever run AWAY from happiness. If I have had the grace of God and begged, borrowed, and found the strength to beat that shit, then I WILL NEVER AGAIN RUN AWAY FROM LOVE.

In fact, I will risk everything for that passionate love that I believe is out there for all of us. I WILL risk devastating hurt, because I deserve earth shaking happiness and joy of the type promised in Heaven but DESERVED on Earth.

And so do all of you. Bravery isn't just about surviving the shit that comes with living, it is also required to reap the gifts, treasure and bounty that is ALSO your portion of life. Survive, but CHOOSE joy and be brave enough to risk pain in order to get it. That is what it means to truly live.

Go in.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Queers for Economic Justice and Black and Pink Announce Partnership

 Immediate Release
May 8, 2012
Brandon Lacy Campos –
Jason Lydon –

Queers for Economic Justice With Black and Pink Announce Partnership

(New York City and Boston, MA) Queers for Economic Justice, together with Black and Pink, are pleased to announce a budding partnership. In the wake of CeCe McDonald's prosecution and plea agreement, the connections between mass incarceration, LGBTQ communities of color, and economic disparities cannot be ignored. While CeCe is an outstanding individual, the circumstance of her arrest and prosecution are part of a systemic attack on LGBTQ peo ple, people of color, and poor people. Among the tragedies of CeCe's case is that it is but one of hundreds of thousands each year. 95% of all criminal convictions come from plea agreements, like CeCe's. This reality is one of many points in the criminal punishment system that leads to the warehousing of Black and Brown people behind concrete and steel. It is in the fight to end this system of violence that Queers for Economic Justice is welcoming Black and Pink as a fiscally sponsored organization.

Black and Pink's statement of purpose describes them as, “an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and free world allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.” Black and Pink was started by a formerly incarcerated white queer man who began with the intention of simply staying in touch with the people he was locked up with. It has since grown to reach 1,300 LGBTQ prisoners across the United States each month with a prisoner written newsletter. The programming of Black and Pink is continuously transforming as requests come in and resources become available. This partnership with Queers for Economic Justice will strengthen Black and Pink's capacity. This partnership will bring power and possibilities to both organizations and their missions.

It is thrilling to think of the potential this new relationship can give to both organizations,” Rev. Jason Lydon, founder of Black and Pink, said. “QEJ's commitment to eliminating poverty and highlighting the voices of LGBTQ poor folks is directly parallel to the work we do at Black and Pink,” he continued. “As the United States penal system thrives on the targeting of poor communities, we are delighted to partner with Black and Pink,” stated Brandon Lacy Campos, Co-Executive Director of QEJ. There are 2.4 million people in United States prisons/jails, 5 million more on probation and parole; LGBTQ and HIV+ people are disproportionately impacted by criminalization, convictions, and incarceration. This partnership between Black and Pink and Queers for Economic Justice will lay the groundwork for more LGBTQ prisoner organizing, stronger advocacy toward abolition, expanded community education, and transformative direct service.

Queers for EconomicJustice is a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. Our goal is to challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities, and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity. We are committed to the principle that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right, and we work to create social and economic equity through grassroots organizing, public education, advocacy and research.
We do this work because although poor queers have always been a part of both the gay rights and economic justice movements, they have been, and continue to be, largely invisible in both movements.
This work will always be informed by the lived experiences and expressed needs of queer people in poverty.

Black and Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and free world allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

CeCe McDonald and the Continuing Injustice

Let me begin by saying a huge and loud and raucous HAPPY BIRTHDAY CECE MCDONALD!  You are loved and celebrated today.

Yesterday, I received an email from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. This is the second time that I have received a letter from him/his office related to CeCe McDonald. Yesterday's email made me so angry that I started to cry. The basic gist of the letter (and I will post the whole damn thing at the end of this) was that even though Freeman charged CeCe with 2nd degree murder, wasn't he nice and gentle by allowing her to plea bargain down to a manslaughter charge, and instead of facing 27 years in prison, isn't it lovely that she will only spend JUST over two years in prison. And isn't it awesome that now the Washington County Attorney is charging one of her attackers with ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, and now justice will be served because one CeCe's attackers will also be rolled into the criminal justice system. And ain't it obvious that he is a friend of the LGBTQ community and will continue to be our friend?

It was at this point that I wanted to fly home to Minneapolis and cuss Mike Freeman out to his face.

Lezbehonest about a few things here.

1. CeCe McDonald killed a Nazi in defense of her own life. This is not a crime. It has now been explained to me that the defense of life only counts if you use the exact same weapon used to attack you, meaning, in this case, to defend herself, CeCe should have used only her fists. Since she didn't, and used what she had at her disposal, she attacked an unarmed man and therefore...murder. BULLSHIT! If you come at me with the intent to take my life or cause me bodily harm, I am going to do EXACTLY what my Mama told me to do when I was a kid and was being bullied, "Pick up a brick and bash his fucking head in." It is my right and CeCe's to do any and everything necessary to defend her life with whatever tools happen to be at hand.

2. The fact that the county attorney is doing his job in prosecuting one of CeCe's attackers, the fact remains that even if this person is convicted, it will not remove CeCe from jail. It won't undue the trauma that CeCe has faced, it won't undue the transphobia, and it won't bring justice to CeCe, the survivor, of a hate assault.

3. The fact that Shannon Flaherty IS being charged with assault with a deadly weapon is proof positive that CeCe was defending her life. Please see item #1. Defending your life is not a crime.

Fuck you Mike Freeman. You are no friend of mine and no ally to the LGBTQ community. I don't care how many sensitivity trainings your office does or if you eat out the pussy of every staff member at OutFront MN (God help them...many are my friends...I do not wish this horror on you).  YOU ARE NOT OUR ALLY, County Attorney Freeman.

Today is CeCe's birthday, and she will be spending it in jail for a crime that she did not commit. She is serving time for being black. She is serving time for being trans. She is serving time for living her life openly and with dignity. The law is not free from the obligation of incorporating the impact of injustice into its practice. So when Mike Freeman says that gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. can not be part of the consideration in whether or not to bring charges, I say to you BULLSHIT AGAIN. The Supreme Court declared our criminal justice system to be racist, especially towards black folks. It is fundamental to the system and its power structure and therefore to pretend that issues of identity and oppression are not factors in how and when and where to determine if a criminal act has taken place is an abrogation of duty and a willful practice of ignorance. It is injustice. It should be Mike Freeman behind bars.

Happy Birthday again, CeCe. We love you. See you soon.

Letter from Mike Freeman. Subject line was Crishaun McDonald case. I wrote back and said that her name is CeCe Mcdonald. USE IT.

Good afternoon,
Last month, I wrote to many of you because you had contacted our office about our handling of the Chrishaun McDonald case. I want to update you now on significant actions around that case.

Recently, the Washington County Attorney’s Office charged Molly Shannon Flaherty with one count of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and one count of third-degree assault-substantial bodily harm for attacking Ms. McDonald on June 5, 2011 outside the Schooner bar.

As I mentioned several times during the months leading up to Ms. McDonald’s trial, we immediately sent the case to Washington County because it would have been a conflict of interest if we had charged the case against Ms. Flaherty at the same time we had charged the homicide case against Ms. McDonald.  Washington County Attorney Peter Orput stated after the charges were filed May 11 that he would have filed the charges last summer, but he needed to talk to Ms. McDonald and get her medical records. Ms. McDonald’s lawyers were afraid that information could be used against her in the murder case and advised her not to cooperate with Mr. Orput, a position both we and Mr. Orput understand and respect. It is my understanding that Ms. McDonald’s attorneys no longer have this concern and Ms. McDonald is helping put together a strong case against Ms. Flaherty.

As you probably know, we entered into a plea agreement with Ms. McDonald that dropped the charge from second-degree murder to second-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of an unarmed victim. Instead of facing a possible sentence of 27 years in prison if convicted, Ms. McDonald will be sentenced to 41 months, and with time served and good behavior, she should be released in just over two years. We agreed to this negotiated resolution because we thought it served justice for the family of the stabbing victim, but also was appropriate for Ms. McDonald.

I want to reiterate, our role as prosecutors is to examine the facts provided by police investigators and determine if there is sufficient admissible evidence to bring a charge. It is our mission to serve justice and public safety. Gender, race, sexual orientation and class are not part of the decision-making process. That is how we handled Ms. McDonald’s case from beginning to end. That is how we try to serve in every case we review. We cannot, and do not, let popular opinion determine how we handle cases.

However, it is important that we fully serve all members of our community and, therefore, we do listen to the comments and concerns about the justice system. We understand that some in the LGBTQ community may continue to disagree with the way we handled the McDonald case and that is their right. However, I renew my pledge to continue to work with all our residents to make this office receptive to your concerns. We know Hennepin County has a large LGBTQ community and it is our duty to make sure your voice is heard so that safety and justice is achieved for all.

Mike Freeman
Hennepin County Attorney

Thursday, May 24, 2012



I live
because today
I looked in the mirror
and I didn't see a lie
I cried
for the first time
because I
that I love myself


And that is revolutionary
a story that I never thought
included me
not a happy ending
on my block
no ever afters
just laughter
I thought
was going on behind my back
it was only going on
between my ears
can't hear it anymore
because I live

I live
to give back the love given to me
it has freed me
from the chains forged
by my family
by my childhood
by society
but mostly
by me and the “truths” that I let control me
turned the Man in the Mirror
into a horror
turned this Christian soldier
into a Devil
but Devil backwards
is Lived
and I am moving forward

I live
because so many others died
so that I could be queer
and black
so that I could write this poem
knowing I won't be persecuted
for the things I believe
for the skin I wear
for the rage I swear
still howls from my broken heart
that has come a long way healing
this feeling is fucking beautiful
I could get used to feeling
hurt, angry, sad, lonely, happy, horny, tired, frustrated
because I am FEELING
not locked up
or locked down
or drowned out by powders ground
on mirrors
or lit up
in pipes

I live
with HIV
but that doesn't define me
doesn't limit me
doesn't confine me
to the margins
for your comfortability
it's a part of me
has given me
the dignity
to live openly
my truth
my absolute truth
with its cold edges
and hot centers
bold flavors
and risk factors
and the reality
that I am still as fine as Hell
finer than a Sharpie
marking this reality
with my complexity
because I live
in a world that loves boxes
and borders
loves to insist on rigidity
and conformity
not me
I live past your ridges
climb over your borders
straddle your fences
spread my legs wide across your limits
swallow your can't's
do your don'ts
defy your won'ts
and you love me for it
because I live
and I give you the space
to be more than the expectations you inherited
more than the limitations you've accepted
more than the ending you've written for yourself

I live
and I will keep on living
not even the grave
will stop me
because I live
and I love myself
and you.

-Brandon Lacy Campos
-New York, NY
-May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Black Folks, Gays, and an Amazing Black Church

There are plenty of white gays running around that swallowed, hook line and sinker, the initial exit poll data from the 2008 election which alleged that 70%+ of black voters in California that voted for Obama also voted for Prop 8. Those same white gays, ahem HRC, ran around screaming and yelling about how Blacks are homophobic and Blacks cost us marriage and Blacks are religious fundamentalists. Their raging, ignorant rhetoric made instantly invisible the millions of Black queer folks in the U.S., including the hundreds of thousands living in California, and then, a few weeks later, in a teeny tiny article in the San Francisco Chronicle, said oops...Black support wasn't actually 70%, it was 58% (check out the great quotation by my friend and loved one Jaime Grant), but it was too late. It was cemented in the minds of white mainstream gays that the Blacks (and Latinos) were out to get the gays.

Of course, it turns out later that this strategy was actually spearheaded by the actually super fundamentalist right wing group the National Organization for Marriage and in 2012 a judge in Maine ordered documents released from the National Organization for Marriage detailing how they willfully and intentionally drew a wedge between the queer community and black folks and have attempted to replicate that work nationally. Of course, the racism so often present within our own queer community helped the spin on that story, which, of course, probably has folks at the National Organization for Marriage clapping and dancing...if, of course, they were allowed to dance.

While there is homophobia and heterosexism present in all communities without a doubt, Blacks and Latinos are no more (or less) homophobic than their white counterparts. The number of whites voting for Prop 8 was 54%, which, ladies and gentleman, is just shy of and just outside the marriage of error of those 58% of Blacks that voted for Prop 8. But it's the sensational stories that thrive on propping up our systems of oppression that get all the attention, no matter how egregiously wrong they are. The stories that give lie to those racist beliefs that we so desperately want to believe in are ignored, marginalized, or relegated to "exception to the rule" status.

I call bullshit. I say that the liberation of queer (and I incude trans in the word queer as was intended by the movement that brought queer back into use in the 90s) folks and the liberation of people of color (and the liberation of queer people of color) is tied up together AND WE ALL KNOW IT!

Let me tell you a story about a man named Rev. Oliver White, pastor of the Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul, MN.  This straight black man stood up, in front of his congregation, and declared openly that HIS church would follow Christ's commandment to love thy neighbor as thine own. His church in a predominantly poor, people of color community in St. Paul, MN was made up largely of working class folks and elders, two categories that actually ARE correlated with higher incidences of resistance to queer liberation (and often for reasons appropriately related including lack of exposure and, frankly, coming from a significantly different time period). This amazing man, took on his own community and the heterosexism he did discover within it. His congregation shrank, and now his church is at risk of losing its building. This man marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he is marching with us.

We are so quick to condemn even the rumor of Black homophobia, but here now is a chance for us to rectify the rhetoric and create unity across communities. The Rev. Oliver White needs to raise $164,000 to save his church by June 9th. Already, the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas, which bills itself as the largest gay church in the US, has sent $15,000 to support Grace Community United Church. That is the type of bridge building we need to do. Let's show our allies what it means when they stand up to their own community, friends, and family and preach the REAL Gospel of Christ and the truth of liberation and fight for the right of all folks to be welcome, safe, and supported in community. Make a gift to Grace Community Church. Support our leaders that support us.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gay Marriage

In 2006, I was at the Creating Change Conference, the nation's largest LGBTQ conference, in Oakland, CA. At the time, I had met and eventually dated Pedro Julio Serrano. At the time, he was working from Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry.

Freedom to Marry held a workshop on marriage, and at one point, they panel was taking questions and comments from the audience. I walked up to the microphone, and I told the panel exactly why I was not on and would never join the marriage "movement." Since 1996, quite literally tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the gay marriage battle front by the LGBTQ community. At the same time, we saw a drastic decline in giving to any and all other fronts of the LGBTQ agenda except Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal.

Then, as now, I said that this massive diversion of resources was having a killer impact on people living with HIV, undocumented queer immigrants, anti-war efforts, poverty and class issues in the queer community, and a whole host of other more pressing and more life endangering issues than marriage.

Later, Pedro Julio told me that Evan Wolfson had gone to him and told him that, "your boyfriend better fall in line and get on the marriage bandwagon."

Excuse the FUCK out of me? I am now collegial with Evan, but that right there at that time cemented my opposition to the marriage movement. You don't tell me anything let alone what to think and feel politically. No m'am.

From that day to this, my feelings related to the massive resources diverted to marriage and fighting amendments and fighting to get the legal right to marry while not fighting for working class and poor queer and trans people of color and the issues that MOST impact our lives hasn't changed one damn iota.

Let's be clear. I am not opposed to gay marriage. I support the right of all folks to enter into the benefit laden institution of marriage in the way that best suits and represents their lives and life structures. It's the resource issue that drives me bonkers. I myself fully anticipate, one day, being married. Let's see who has the bad luck to shack up with me ;-).

Despite my political feelings related to the gay marriage movement, I have to say that yesterday I watched two friends openly declare their love for each other and have that love sanctioned by the state of New York. Don't get me started on the role of civil government in marriage, but nonetheless I was very happy that Yuri and Stephen could share a brilliant day with friend and family and have their relationship stand on equal footing with straight folks in New York.

It is an interesting and contradictory place to sit. I have deep gratitude to all those that made gay marriage possible in New York, yet I am livid over the resourcing they receive and continue to receive while QEJ, the organization where I am co-executive director, and an organization that has done more for working class, poor and adult homeless queers than any marriage organization has ever done for anyone, struggles to make ends meet. (You can help us with that by making a tax deductible donation to QEJ at

 I am happy that President Obama  and the NAACP have come out in favor of gay marriage, now come out in favor of jobs and job protection for trans and gender non conforming individuals. Come out to end homelessness for everyone and LGBTQ folks in particular. Come out for HIV/AIDS, the pandemic is so not over, but since it now impacts people of color and women in a way that it didn't, it is less important in the eyes of power. Or as a friend once said, once rich white men got their anti-retrovirals, they and their money left HIV. Come out end injustice in its deep and ugly and insidious forms. And put your money behind all of these excursions out of the closet.

It's time to get Beyond Marriage as a movement. If we are truly about justice, then we will center those most impacted and most marginalized first. And I can guarantee you that a homeless black lesbian mother would give you a prioritized list of needs and the right to marry wouldn't be one of them.

Marriage should be the right of all consenting adults, but let's keep the resources in line with the impacts and needs. Let's celebrate love and the victory of love but let's also remember and center the needs of those that  are often voiceless and penniless and thus unable to articulate what really matters to them and their lives. Before you can marry, you need a house, a job, healthcare, safety, and dignity. Let's start there...the rest will follow and actually mean so much more. Justice first, human needs first,  survival first. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I Will Be Voting for Barack Obama

On November 6, 2012, God willing, I will walk into a voting booth, most likely in New York, a good 3,000 miles from the last place I voted in a presidential election, and I will cast my ballot for President Barack Hussein Obama.

Because of health care reform. Because he ended the war in Iraq (though I use ended loosely). Because he is ending the war in Afghanistan (again, loooosely). Because of the consumer protection bureau. Because of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Because of Justice Elena Kagan. Because of his support black farmers. Because of nearly $1 billion in support for HBCUs. Because of the Fair Sentencing Act (Crack Cocaine Bill). Because he gave new life to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Because he supports the Dream Act. Because he has tried his damndest to undue a whole lot of the Hell that Bush created. Because I can still stand to hear his name. Because I still believe that he wants whats best and just for the people of the United States. Because the unemployment rate has dropped 2 points.  Because he HAS done more for the LGBTQ community than any other president has ever done. Ever. Because he has lent a new dignity back to the black community that I had never seen in my 30 some years when he took office. Because he actually loves his family and shows it. Because of so many other victories he has won for us, my community, my loved ones, and the hope I still feel. I will vote for Barack Obama on November 6, 2012.

But let me be clear. Obama has disappointed and sometimes greatly disappointed. I don't excuse his support of Israel. I don't forgive the lives on his head in the wars we fight both clandestine and overt. I don't approve or support his pro-capitalist policies. I don't support his willingness to compromise when at times it would have been better for him to put his foot in some Republican's ass.

I wrote an essay, published here as well as at, called The Responsibility of Hope.  In that essay I wrote:
Unfortunately, Obama, an avowed capitalist, seems to have a heart of gold and a mind that is still partially colonized. To judge him for being a product of the nation in which he was raised is not helpful. Recognizing it helps us all to see that the responsibility of hope also resides with each of us. There will come a time when President Obama disappoints us. That is why it is incumbent on us, people of African descent, to use this political and spiritual moment as a time to organize our communities both as a basis for our own localized change but also as a physical, spiritual, and political support for President Obama when he inevitably stumbles.The chains of the mind, even in as inspiring a man as Barack Obama, are deep, long, solid, and largely invisible.

Barack Obama has stumbled, at times he has almost fallen, but, I believe, his failures have only been in equal measure to our lack of support. When he took office, we acted like we had elected Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Krishna all combined into one. We learned, the hard way, as I warned four years ago, that without WE THE PEOPLE coming together with a fierce agenda that held Obama to his course AND GAVE HIM THE PEOPLE POWER TO DO THE WORK, that he would be forced to the center and act accordingly. He's a good man. He's also an ambitious mother that went from state senator to U.S. President in FOUR DAMN YEARS.

But we've learned. We've seen the overt, unvarnished racism. We know now that on Inauguration Day top Republicans were having a dinner to plot how to ensure Obama was a one term president. We have seen the Tea Party fascism. We've seen the OWS movement and that we too can respond by populist means. A second term, done right, with our folks actually doing OUR part of the work, could mean a future that breaks from these cycles of what has ultimately become ultimate corporate lunacy.

I will vote for Barack Obama, but I will continue to work, on the streets, in coalition, across borders, boundaries, communities, families, skin colors, gender identities, ages, sexual orientations, faiths, and continents to make sure that when 2016 comes, I can feel proud in whatever critique I have of the Obama Presidency because I DID my part, so he could have the real choice to do his.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Half Naked Brandon and the Launch of MLNY

A few weeks ago, I was convinced to take part in my first ever photo shoot. Anyone that has ever followed me and my discussions of body dysmorphism will know that getting me to go shirtless surrounded by a bunch of real life models was about as likely as getting me to stick my penis into the mouth of a great white shark.

Well, somebody call Jaws...because I sure enough did the photo shoot.

It was amazing. Max Loskutnikov is a visionary designer with bold ideas and even bolder clothing. He is committed to the LGBT community and is an all around amazing and stunning human being that I have had the pleasure of getting to know since the shoot.

Max is graduating this week with a master's degree from FIT, having a graduation party, and launching his clothing line MLNY! Check out the collection on his website

And you are invited to the party.

Join me and Max on Tuesday, May 22nd at the Calpyso Party at Club XVI.
Doors open at 9pm.
Open Bar at 10pm.
251 W. 48th Street in Manhattan.

RSVP on Facebook.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Top Ten Blog Posts By Readership

So, thanks to Google Analytics and, I have copious statistics about my blog. It is rare that a new blog enters into the top ten list, and a couple of have recently entered that list, and one of which is one of the two guest blogs that have been published here. I thought it would be fun to share with you all what you have found most compelling at My Feet Only Walk Forward in the last four years since I started publishing the blog and of the more than 540 blogs that have gone up here in that time.

1. Why Not To Boycott Target
2. Working Class and Working Class Queers
3. Osama Bin Laden Is Dead: Now What?
4. Why the Prop 8 Decision Really Matters
5. Interview with an Icon: Mike Ruiz
6. CeCe Mcdonald and Trayvon Martin
7. Citizens United and the Target Boycott
8. TransMisogny Isn't Cute: Rivers of Honey Community Responds
9. Transphobic and Racially Confused
10. Equality Sucks 

Check them out. You, my readers, are the ones that have determined that these are the best of the best of My Feet Only Walk have generously shared this to your networks, critiqued them, criticized them, and even shared them in your classrooms a time or two.

Thank you for reading. I still don't know why anyone would read the emotional vomiting that is my blog with the occasional fact or quote thrown in....but you do read...some 15-20,000 people a year....and I appreciate you sharing this part of my life journey with me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CeCe McDonald and Trayvon Martin

There are moments in my life, every day actually, when I see the justice that is inherent in the human spirit at work. Every time someone makes time to look a homeless person in the eye and SEE him or her and give them whatever help he or she can; the two times I've seen an elder fall, hurting themselves and bleeding, and folks rushing from all corners to assist them; stopping in on ANY floor in the Miss Major-Jay Toole Building for Social Justice (where QEJ is located along with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, FIERCE, and the Audre Lorde Project) and seeing the staff and volunteers of these organizations working their asses off to build the strength, power, resiliency, healing, and faith to keep moving, fighting, and living in a world where innocent folks, such as Travyon Martin and CeCe McDonald...are murdered or find themselves convicted and sentenced to prison for the crime of self defense.

Let me be clear, yesterday was truly a tragic fucking day. Fellow Minnesotan, fellow person of color, fellow community member, and fellow freedom fighter CeCe McDonald, instead of suffering through two more weeks of trial, heartache, and all that goes along with being a person of color in the U.S. injustice system, took a plea deal in the Hennepin County Court system, where Minneapolis is located, and plead guilty to second degree involuntary manslaughter, basically admitting to the negligent death of her attacker.

Fuck you, Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, may your term in office be over soon.

What CeCe McDonald did was kill a Nazi that threatened her life. In the U.S., in every jurisdiction in every county and in the nation's capital, killing someone in self-defense is not only legal it is your right. You have a right to defend your life against its threat by another, especially a Nazi asshole with a swastika tattoo that would have gladly put your ass in a pine box.

Of course the photo of the Nazi's blood stained corpse was allowed in the trial; a photograph or even acknowledgment of his swastika tattoo was not. In self-defense against a hate crime, how the hell can evidence of a predilection for, at the very least, a hate group be non admissible evidence?

Unless of course the courts themselves are racist.

It's a good thing that the U.S. Supreme Court never ruled that a criminal justice system that treats Blacks worse than white was inevitable.

Oh wait a minute...that's 1987 in McCleskey v. Kemp the U.S. Supreme Court declared that "...a criminal justice system that treats Blacks worse than whites is “inevitable” and that the Constitution is only violated by instances of intentional racial discrimination by individual actors in specific cases."

Say what?

Let me translate...the system is so fucking racist that we can't actually apply a broad examination and impact of racism on the entire system so we are going to rule that intentional racial discrimination by an actor in a particular situation constitutes a violation of fundamental Constitutional rights...even though we recognize that entire system is racist against black folks.

(PS This is one of the permissible basis for NYPD policies such as Stop and Frisk where 87% of all targets are Black and Latino with 86% of stops turning up no drugs or contraband....legalized and state sanctioned racism for no compelling purpose).

This also means that there is absolutely "no remedy for – and, indeed, no constitutional problem with – the fact that Blacks are disproportionately stopped, searched, arrested, held on bail, charged with serious crimes (including death-eligible offenses), denied plea bargains, convicted, and sentenced to prison or execution," so state Swarns and Patterson in a 2012 article on the American Constitution Society blog. 

I hope no one out there is wondering why George Zimmerman is free, under police protection on the tax payer dollar for the willful murder of African-American young person Trayvon Martin while CeCe will spend another 20 months in prison, having served 21 months already, to fill out her 41 month prison sentence under the terms of her plea bargain.

I am heart sick about what has gone down with CeCe. I am a Minnesotan that is desperately disappointed in Minnesota. If any Minnesotan, especially anyone holding elective office ever again attempts to tout in anyway the fact that Minnesota was the first state to pass a human rights law with protections based on gender identity to include trans folks, I am going to round house kick them in the stomach.

There are, however, two things that I can do right now. I can support every effort possible to ensure that Mike Freeman loses his next election as County Attorney or dog catcher or whatever that desperately racist human being decides to do next, and I can work with my community back home to make sure that there is the biggest party ever for CeCe on the day that she is released from prison.

Justice never loses in the end...and we that work for justice have a patience that will see mountains worn down and racist office holders spending their retirement in shame and isolation.

Never forgot Trayvon Martin, and FREE CECE MCDONALD!