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!


  1. I never killed anyone and I never will and people who kill are stupid, I will punish and rehabillitate but killing is not a option, for me personally.

  2. Thank you for such an informative piece. I never knew about McClesky vs. Kemp. It only confirms what I have always knew and believed. Thank you thank you for honoring Trayvon and CeCe with your hard work.


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