(Possible trigger warnings: Some mild discussion about suicide, discussion about police brutality, and a very small mention of rape.) Also, this post is focused a lot more on LGBTQ issues than anything, but some mentions of disability. Queer is used not as an offensive word, but as one that I prefer for a generic discussion. Not everyone in the LGBT is comfortable with ‘queer’ so always ask someone what they prefer.
Unless you’ve been living without internet and under a rock for the last few weeks or so, you may have noticed that there has been a lot of publicity about people of the LGBT community (or at least, white gay males) who have committed suicide due to anti-gay bullying. Of course, the bullies are all getting off with a slap on the wrist and given hugs and kisses for dealing with such a <i>terrible</i> time, that they, the bullies, are going through. And that’s just through law enforcement and the media.
I have no wish to provide links. You can look them up for yourselves, but if anyone would really like links provided, please just leave a note or an email. I just don’t have the heart right now.
What I’m really writing for, is about a case of police brutality.
Everyone, everywhere, please spread the word. It is too often that acts of violence by the police go unnoticed because they are committed against women, queers, people of color, poor people, disabled people, and others low on Amerikkka’s hierarchies. Do not let them take away our voices. ACAB.
The following contains descriptions of police brutality and physical assault. The link provided below as a triggering photo of the effects of police brutality and assault.
From Pony Black’s Facebook:
“Early morning around 2:30 am last Saturday September 25th I was assaulted by the Olympia police department. I was on the sidewalk playing a keyboard with some folk when a girl, who is always starting shit with me, came up to me and pushed me. We began to have a yelling and shoving match. The police apparently were nearby for some other incident so the response was fast. I was in the Altered States Tattoo alcove talking to an officer when suddenly and without provocation he grabbed the back of my head and slammed my face into the ground. Witnesses tell me that my head was then repeatedly smashed into the cement. I was thrown up against the cop car, bleeding profusely from my head injury. Witnesses tried to give their report to the police but they wouldn’t listen and did not write them down. There were people telling the cops to take me to the hospital because I obviously needed medical attention. The police told them that they were going to take me to St. Pete’s right away. I NEVER RECEIVED MEDICAL ATTENTION. They took me to the police station where I sat bleeding for several hours. They did not allow me to call anyone. They would not allow me to leave. They laughed at me while I was crying and stating that I did nothing wrong. Finally, close to 6am they let me go. However, not before making me sign something that I was in no position to understand with a concussion. I hobbled out of the station, barely able to walk without screaming in pain. Thank you to the person that saw me hitchhiking and gave me a ride home.
There are several witnesses to this act of violence against me. We cannot let them get away with this. This fight is about all of us. Please stand up with me.”
I know many people’s first reaction will be, but what did she do? She must’ve done something to provoke a reaction like that! The answer is no. I honestly do not know for certain that Pony Black is queer, I’m assuming that she is due to the blog site in which this was brought to my attention. So what do people do to provoke reactions from police that end with police brutality?
They’re living while being something.
Living while black.
Living while gay.
Living while being disabled.
Living while being a woman.
And so on and so on.
And police? They’re living with the power. They’re the ones who you’re supposed to report to in cases of assault. They’re the ones people will believe. Because cops can do no wrong. And even if they do wrong in the eyes of the public, they’ll get a slap on the wrists and a don’t do that in public where people can see you.
All my life I’ve heard of stories of police fatally shooting innocent victims, permanently injuring victims, or severely injuring victims. I’ve heard of stories of police who are rapists, ones who follow women drivers and pull them over for a trumped up charge. And I’ve heard of stories where police prefer not to listen or acknowledge crimes against women, disabled people, people of color, etc. And there are too many stories to assume that all are lies. There are too many horrible tales to assume that they are all made up.
I fear the police. I’ve always been afraid of the police. In the U.S., they’re the ones with the guns, and they’re always the ones with the power. A single women, in a car alone, on a dark night and in an unlit area, pulled over for x, y, and/or z, I’m only hoping that it’s just a ticket. And nothing else.
When I’m outwardly queer and obviously disabled, I’m praying that I don’t get pulled over at all. Praying that the cop staring at me while I’m walking will leave me alone or ignore me. I have no means to get away. But when caught by the police, there is no way to get away, even with being able-bodied.
National Coming Out Day is Monday, October 11. If I haven’t the spoons to deal with being both obviously queer and obviously disabled, I plan on drawing spoons from the entire week after Monday to deal with it. I am terrified about what will happen. I am terrified that I will learn how unfriendly towards the LGBT community my school really is. I am terrified that I will learn how unfriendly the people in authority are towards queer people.
But the world will never become a better place if we don’t show that we exist and that we care. The world will not change if we do not show our support for Pony Black and others who have been brutalized by police. Let me stress this, it is NOT our fault that we are marginalized and it is NOT our job to fix it.
I want us to fix it. I personally want to try. Even just for one day. We cannot go back in time and fix things, but at the very least we can try and make it better for those who are currently going through discrimination and harassment. At the very least we can show that we support them, that we hope things will work out for the best, that everything or at least something, will get better.
To Pony Black and all the others who have been victimized by the police, I am so sorry and I hope that you all get the justice that you deserve. I hope that one day, we will not have to fear police brutality.