❤ Rest In Peace Aiyana Stanley-Jones ❤
Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Never forget her or the State violence that took this beautiful 7-year-old Black girl away from her family. Never forget that the struggle for accountability for the killer (Joseph Weekley; who now may only face a misdemeanor; no manslaughter charge) and the State reveals the violence of the system itself.
Never forget that this violence also impacts Black girls and Black women, especially Black trans women, as well as other Black people who are not cishet Black men; non-binary Black people, Black sex workers, Black LGBTQIA people and people who are combinations of these identities.
Recognize how this impacts us does not mean to then ignore the very real intraracial gendered/sexualized violence, and that existence of the latter is not a free pass for the State to engage in violence on Black girls or any Black people. The existence of intraracial violence, what every race experiences, is not an excuse for the State to engage in systemic violence on Black bodies. Besides, the very idea that State violence on Black bodies is for “punishment” for intraracial behavior is a facet of anti-Blackness; the notion that we have to “audition” for humanity itself and that “respectability" can "earn/prove" it (which it cannot).
Violence like this is a reproductive justice issue (H/T Loretta Ross) for Black women and other Black people who can get pregnant. (Reproductive justice addresses a combination of factors beyond solely pro-choice rhetoric; freedom from and to conceive has a long history for Black women.) It is a feminist issue. It matters. It shapes the fear that some Black people have about having children. So many of those murdered are under the age of 25. Again, this little Black girl was 7 years old.
(Thanks to @sassycrass for raising her name again last night on Twitter and to @MsJamilahAisha for creating the petition. I made the remembrance graphic; photos are from The Associated Press and Voice of Detroit.)