Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Railroaded!

No, not the Anthony Mann film (though that's a good one)--something more immediate.

I came across this story before but Brownfemipower recently blogged about it. From an article on the matter by Imani Henry (quoted by Bfp):

"On June 14, four African-American women—Venice Brown (19), Terrain Dandridge (20), Patreese Johnson (20) and Renata Hill (24)—received sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to 11 years in prison. None of them had previous criminal records. Two of them are parents of small children.

"Their crime? Defending themselves from a physical attack by a man who held them down and choked them, ripped hair from their scalps, spat on them, and threatened to sexually assault them—all because they are lesbians.

"The mere fact that any victim of a bigoted attack would be arrested, jailed and then convicted for self-defense is an outrage. But the length of prison time given further demonstrates the highly political nature of this case and just how racist, misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-youth and anti-worker the so-called U.S. justice system truly is."

The man who was beat up testified that he was mostly roughed up by men who apparently came to the young women's aid. And from what I've read the forensics simply haven't cleared to connect the knife of one alleged. This happened last August, but it was only recently that they were convicted. Apparently they were charged with second-degree attempted murder, gang assault, and possession of a weapon.

I suppose this means that if you're a young gay black woman you're fucked over--travel alone and you may not feel safe; travel in a group and you're a violent "gang." Everything I've read about this case just seems shady. I'm just doing a little bit to help spread the story around to the few people who read my blog.

2 comments:

Ted said...

I looked at different news sources for information on this story, and the only one that reported physical damage on the women performed by the man was www.workers.org. Every other source states that the man's sole action was to say something insulting to the women. If he did in fact do physical harm to the women, wouldn't that be more widely reported?

I think you're getting angry too quickly and/or putting too much trust in only one news source.

Zach Campbell said...

I don't know what really happened. All I know is that the media repeatedly demonize black women involved in crimes, without giving them a fair shot. A lot of the commentary on this news story that I've found seems to be 'fun & games,' to boot, as in: "Ooh, I just love violent lesbian gangs, don't you?"

More on this will follow.