free cece patch
I'm a fat brown cis male queer, humorless feminist, tender queer, late 20's college student. This is a blog about people of color solidarity, queer separatism, body positivity, dismantling the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy and general insurrection. This blog is a manifestation of my fat, brown, queer rage.
I also run the body positive blogs fuckyeahchubbyguysofcolor and fatnudes, if you're into that sort of thing.
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A BABY AFRICAN BULL ELEPHANT STANDS IN A FIELD OF GRASS, MOUTH OPEN & TRUNK EXTENDED. TEXT READS, “BABY ANIMALS FOR TRANS LIBERATION!”]
SUPPORT CECE MCDONALD!
PLEASE SEND A LETTER TO CECE WHILE SHE IS IN PRISON. LET HER (AND THE PRISON GUARDS) KNOW SHE HAS A HUGE AMOUNT OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND THAT WE’RE ALL HERE FOR HER.
GET THE DETAILS AND WRITE TO CECE: https://supportcece.wordpress.com/get-involved/write-cece/
GENERAL TIPS FOR WRITING TO SOMEONE WHO’S IN PRISON: http://www.prettyqueer.com/2012/05/04/how-to-write-your-first-letter-to-someone-in-prison/
(TRIGGER WARNING FOR MISGENDERING)
Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, who has been transitioning from a man to a woman, will be formally sentenced Monday afternoon for fatally stabbing a Richfield man outside a Minneapolis bar nearly one year ago and then will be incarcerated by the state as a male until a more detailed determination by corrections officials can be made.
On June 5, 2011, McDonald stabbed Dean Schmitz, 47, in the chest with a pair of scissors during a melee outside the Schooner Tavern.
McDonald’s plea last month to second-degree manslaughter came as 100 or so of the defendant’s supporters gathered at the Hennepin County Government Center, still demanding the case be dropped. The supporters said the confrontation outside the bar included transgender and racial slurs directed at McDonald, who is black.
The plea agreement calls for a sentence of three years and five months in prison, with time for credit served.
Upon sentencing before District Judge Daniel Moreno, McDonald, 24, of Minneapolis, will be taken into custody by the state Department of Corrections and housed as a male “because he is being housed as a male with Hennepin County,” corrections spokeswoman Sarah Russell said Monday. “We will intake him as a male at St. Cloud prison.”
Then, Russell added, the state will initiate an effort to make its own determination of McDonald’s gender.
In the meantime, the state will house McDonald based on the inmate’s safety and the well-being of others, the spokeswoman said, adding that dealing with gender uncertainty among inmates “is not a unique situation” for the department.
“We will assess him as any other offender would be assessed,” she added. “The assessments include, but are not limited to, screening for potential vulnerability to sexual assaults, tendencies to act out with sexually aggressive behavior and any disabilities” as defined by federal law.
Russell also pointed out that department policy dictates that inmates are not provided “surgical services for the advancement of sexual reassignment therapy.”
However, the policy continues, the department will provide “gender-related mental health services and other medical or mental health therapy as necessary throughout the offender’s incarceration.”
Star Tribune staff writer Abby Simons contributed to this report.
A Minneapolis [cis] woman is charged with starting a fight outside a bar last year that left a friend of hers dead and led to murder charges against Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, in a case that became a rallying point for the transgender community.
Molly Shannon Flaherty, 41, was charged May 11 with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, both felonies, for allegedly smashing a glass in McDonald’s face outside the Schooner Bar in Minneapolis on June 5.
The Washington County attorney’s office is handling the case to avoid a conflict of interest because Hennepin County prosecutors charged McDonald with second-degree murder for stabbing Dean Schmitz, 47, in the melee.
McDonald, who is [a] transgender
and lives as awoman, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter May 2 and is expected to be sentenced to three and half years in prison. For months before the plea, McDonald’s supporters protested the charges.
Flaherty and Schmitz were among a group smoking cigarettes outside the bar just after midnight when McDonald and friends walked by, the charges said. Schmitz allegedly began hurling racial, homophobic and transgender slurs at McDonald’s group, who then confronted Schmitz, the charges said.
A fight began when Flaherty allegedly threw or pushed a bar glass in McDonald’s face, causing a gash that required 11 stitches. A witness not with either group reported seeing Flaherty on the ground and Schmitz trying to pull people off her and out of the fight. The witness then saw Schmitz step backward, hold his hand up to his shirt and say, “You stabbed me.” McDonald allegedly said, “Yes, I did,” and walked away.
In a statement, Washington County Attorney Peter Orput said charges against Flaherty were delayed because McDonald did not speak to investigators before her trial. Once she entered a plea, the case moved forward.
Flaherty was booked into the Hennepin County jail May 15. She was released the next day on $15,000 bail. She did not immediately return a telephone message for comment.
(By Abby Simons, Star Tribune)
Guess what? She got to walk away, and post bail.
I bet you she is also going to have a lighter sentence.
I am not going to take you up on your bet on this one, because you’re absolutely right.
If a bunch of white supremacists start shouting racist and transphobic slurs at you and then smash your face in with a glass, running a way is a completely reasonable response.
But here’s the problem with it: if you run away, you’re calculating on them not chasing you. If they do chase you, they’ve got you from behind, and you are at an instant disadvantage in defending yourself.
In that moment when the glass hit her face, CeCe had to make a split-second decision as to whether these obviously-violent people who assaulted her out of nowhere and as a result of pure hate were likely to let her get away, or whether this was it and she had to fight for her life right here and now.
That choosing the latter has made her a criminal shows that the legal system’s definition of “reasonable” is inherently white supremacist and cissupremacist. A young Black trans woman was expected to gamble with her life rather than value it and defend it. And the only people to whom it seems “reasonable” that violent white supremacist transphobes who have already attacked her posed no credible threat to her life has to be either white or cis.
There’s no doubt that if the parties had been reversed here, CeCe’s still the one who would have been arrested. (Just like there’s little doubt that had he lived, Trayvon Martin would have been the one who was sitting in a jail cell.) After all, it’s perfectly “reasonable” in a white supremacist, cissupremacist legal system to fear a Black trans woman. But a cis white dude, no matter what he’s done? Not so much.
It was just announced that CeCe McDonald, who was being charged with two counts of second-degree murder in an incident of self-defense, has just taken a plea-deal—second degree manslaughter with a recommended 41 month sentence. CeCe McDonald’s sentencing hearing will be in a month.
But Ms. McDonald isn’t the first young Black trans woman to be thrown in jail and aggressively prosecuted for surviving a violent attack on her life. Unfortunately, without real systematic change, she isn’t likely to be the last either.
It should be no secret that young trans women of color (TWOC) are being murdered at alarming rates. This is a social problem largely ignored by most people, including the media, the service/nonprofit sector and government. But this is something people in the affected communities can’t afford to ignore.
But attacks on the lives of TWOC don’t go without resistance, and when TWOC resist sometimes their attackers end up dead. This was the case with Ms. McDonald, but it was also the case last year with Akira Jackson, a Black trans woman currently serving a four-year sentence for “manslaughter” for stabbing her boyfriend in self-defense when he beat her with a baseball bat.
Jackson, a Detroit native, moved to the California Bay Area where she became an advocate for young TWOC. She was a Program Specialist from TLISH (Transgender Ladies Initiating Sisterhood), a transgender youth program where she spent her time counseling young women about housing, government assistance, and employment.
If Ms. McDonald and Ms. Jackson weren’t Black trans women it is likely that their cases might not have ended up differently. By being criminalized for their survival, these two women share something in common with many other women of color, including the New Jersey 4, a group of Black lesbian women who were attacked in the New York City’s West Village and later aggressively prosecuted for defending themselves. The attacker fully recovered, but the women were forced to serve time.
It’s a sad irony that we promote self-defense classes as a way of combating violence against women, yet many of the women of color, trans and cis alike, are currently imprisoned precisely because they fought back against violence in their homes and in the streets.
Too often trans and queer women of color survive violence in their homes and on the streets only to have the police, courts and prison-industrial complex come after them for having the audacity to survive in a world where, as Audre Lorde said in her poem “A Litany For Survival,” they “were never meant to survive.”
Folks came out today to make some noise & dance for CeCe before her trial starts on April 30th. Over 60 people chanted, danced, marched & felt the love of Ms. CeCe McDonald. The rally started at the Hennepin County Government Center and lead to the Public Safety Facility where she is being held.
A supporter who was able to visit CeCe after the rally reported that she heard the crowd outside dancing and making noise for her. She was touched and appreciates ALL who are working so hard to free her!
“Part of the reason folks rallied in reaction to Trayvon Martin’s murder has to do with ideas about who is an appropriate or worthy victim. He was shot by a vigilante, he wasn’t armed, he was a good student, had some class privilege, he was doing something mundane, simply returning from buying Skittles and ice tea. He was “innocent” and killed in cold blood. We have an idea of who is deserving of support en masse and who is not. And for similar reasons we thought, with 911 tapes, eyewitness testimony, national outrage that it would result in a prosecution in the very least. If anything, the murder of Trayvon Martin shows us once again that there is no such thing as an “appropriate” Black victim. Despite all evidence, Geraldo, Gingrich and others have found a way to make Trayvon the guilty party in his own fatal shooting. When brown and black men wear hoodies, they are asking for it. In a moment when it seems undeniable that race is a factor, people are still denying it! They even use victim blaming language. Last week was International Anti-Street Harassment Week and I was struck with the similarities between the harassment that Black and Latino men experience by the police and the experiences of trans and cis women and gender non-conforming folks on the street. The language used by men of color to describe police harassment, is very similar to the language that those of us marginalized by our genders use to name our realities. Our clothing choices, our right to be where we are, when we want are all called into question. It seems that this time we can begin to talk across these incidents of violence and see the ways in which societal oppression is killing people. When you wear your hoodie for Trayvon, also think of:
Because these victims were women, Iraqi, trans, they didn’t pass the appropriate victim test. News media and popular opinion hasn’t prompted folks to take to the streets in the same numbers for them. But people are making the connections.”
—Moya, “On Appropriate Victims: More On Trayvon Martin And Other Names You Should Know,” Crunk Feminist Collective, 3/26/12. (via racialicious)