A 37-year-old transgender woman was shot to death in downtown Oakland last weekend, just a block from Frank Ogawa Plaza/Oscar Grant Park, the former site of Occupy Oakland.
Transgender People Murdered On Average More Than One Person Per Month
Transgender people face well-documented and unconscionable levels of bias-motivated violence. This is especially true of young, low-income transgender women of color. The stigma associated with being transgender requires transgender people to maintain constant vigilance against sudden brutal violence.
For years, transgender people have been murdered on an average of more than one person per month; many more have been assaulted.
As The Daily Kos points out, “Think about what the newscape would look like if a well-heeled, white, Oakland citizen living on “the right side of the tracks” (or, in Oakland parlance, “the hills”) had been the victim.”
Attention must be paid to this horrifying statistic.
As a white person, I always saw the terms honky or cracker as proof of how much more potent white racism was than any variation practiced by the black or brown. When a group of people has little or no power over you, they don’t get to define the terms of your existence, they can’t limit your opportunities, and you needn’t worry much about the use of a slur to describe you, since, in all likelihood, the slur is as far as it’s going to go. What are they going to do next: deny you a bank loan? Yeah, right. So whereas “nigger” is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of honky; after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with.
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