Support CeCe McDonald
By Equality Rider Cole Parke
CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman, is currently facing 2nd degree murder charges after being attacked last summer by a group of white adults in what was unquestionably a hate crime.
On the night of June 5, 2011, CeCe and a group of friends were on their way to the grocery store when several older white adults standing in the patio area of a South Minneapolis bar began hurling racist and transphobic slurs at them. CeCe approached the group and made it clear that she and her friends would not tolerate hate speech. In response, one of the white women said, “I’ll take you bitches on” and smashed her glass into CeCe’s face. The broken glass sliced all the way through CeCe’s cheek, lacerating her salivary gland. A fight ensued and one of the white assailants, Dean Schmitz, was fatally stabbed.
In the aftermath of this tragic event, one nightmare has turned into another. Following the confrontation, CeCe was the only person arrested. She was denied medical treatment, interrogated for hours, and ultimately put into solitary confinement.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has the power to put this nightmare to an end. As he has done in other instances of clear self-defense, Freeman can drop the charges that have been filed against CeCe. Doing so would not bring Dean Schmitz back to life, nor would it heal the wounds of hate speech and violence, but it would put an end to this spiral of injustice.
Contrary to popular belief, justice does not trickle down. While the majority of the time, energy, money, and resources within the LGBTQ community continue to be funneled into the fight for marriage equality, the most vulnerable among us are suffering and dying. It’s time for us to move beyond panel discussions and workshops about intersectional justice. Rather than building an “inclusive” movement, we must re-center our efforts around those who face the most severe consequences of violence and discrimination in our community.
Start now by signing the petition demanding that Mike Freeman drop the charges against CeCe: http://www.change.org/petitions/free-cece-we-re-looking-at-you-michael-freeman-drop-the-charges-against-cece-mcdonald
For more information and new developments in the CeCe case: http://supportcece.wordpress.com
About the Blogger:
Lauren Cole Parke is currently pursuing a Master’s in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Connect with Cole:
Hairvolutions (a project of Cole’s)