Almost every marginalized group that cites evidence of violence, especially police violence and abuse, is actually citing statistics against African-American members of that group.
1. Police assault a gay man. It is reported and framed as an “anti-gay” attack. White gay people say “look at the terrible violence we face!”
He is a black man.
2. Feminists decry the horrific new developments in regard to the criminalization of pregnancy, i.e. people with uteri who are prosecuted and/or sent to prison for refusing a c-section, having a miscarriage or stillbirth, having a mental illness, being perceived as “irresponsible”, et cetera.
White women: “this is happening to women!!!” News stories invariably show the pregnant bellies of white women. The stories are written by white women, and are addressed to white women. Which is also cissexist.
First, we describe characteristics of the women and the cases, finding that low-income women and women of color, especially African American women, are overrepresented among those who have been arrested or subjected to equivalent deprivations of liberty.
who are poor, and often living in the South, with its rich history of forced sterilizations and eugenics. South Carolina especially showed preference for sterilizing African American women.
From the report:
For example, in South Carolina thirty-four of ninety-three cases came from the contiguous counties of Charleston and Berkeley.
3. A white Autistic person writes the line, “Being mentally ill means that I am more likely to be shot by police”, and explains why hiding a mental illness can be a survival tool.
Unfortunately, here in reality, those Autistic people who are shot to death by police can’t hide the immediate, visual fact that they are Black men.
Stephon Watts, 15
Ernest Vassell, 57
Stephen Eugene Washington, 27
Roger Parker Jr., 9
4. The face of LGBT activism is white gay men writing about police violence toward white gay people. Pepper spray at a Pride Parade is big news. In fact, many articles defend a white gay man who assaulted a Black woman and told her to “go back to Africa”. White gay men love to write about how subject to violence they are.
and almost all of those (44 percent of overall) are against the “t” in LGBT
and nearly all of those crimes are against Trans* women of color
Also, trans* women of color are sent to prison for surviving a vicious attack. After a trial in which evidence of the attacker’s racism, swastika tattoos, and criminal history is suppressed.
5. Disability advocacy organization in Washington decries disabled children being criminalized, arrested, and prosecuted for minor or nonexistent infractions. News sites report that Mississippi School-To-Prison Pipeline “targets African American AND disabled children”, and uses this image:
all of them “children of color,” says Jody Owens, with the Southern Poverty Law Center–were routinely arrested at Meridian schools allegedly on the say-so of teachers or administrators, handcuffed and taken to jail where they were held for days on end without benefit of a hearing, a lawyer, or understanding their Miranda rights.
Meridian county is 55% African-American, and about 70% of schoolchildren are African American.
Disabled children of color face torture, imprisonment, vicious beatings perpetrated by teachers, and are African American children with or without disabilities are 3 1/2 times more likely to receive “disciplinary action” against them in school than white students.
6. There is a huge outcry against the NRA’s suggestion of armed guards at Elementary schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
A bare footnote or completely lost in this outcry is the fact that an overwhelming proportion of children of color, especially Black and Latino children, already go to schools with armed guards and police presence on the campus.
The notorious and unapologetic racist sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, has sent out more than 3,000 untrained “posse” volunteers to “police” schools under his purview. This is when his “trained” deputies already torture, abuse, beat, and murder people of color in Maricopa County on a terrifyingly regular basis.
To come full circle, the student shot dead by police in the link above also had a mental illness.
Almost every marginalized group that cites evidence of overwhelming discrimination and violence, especially police violence and abuse, is actually citing statistics against African-American members of that group.
The point of all this is that journalism repeatedly fails to accurately report that people of color suffer the overwhelming majority of police violence. The racism built into the very foundations of American society and culture ensures that this violence continues, is under-reported, misrepresented as evidence of criminality, when it fact it is evidence of the criminalization of people of color, especially Black Americans.
If you are a white person, and you experience a particular axis of marginalization and want to give statistics on the violence you face as an oppressed person, especially in regards to police violence, you should consider checking whether these statistics accurately reflect the violence against white members of the marginalized group you belong to.
And also of note: police violence is the measure of which overtly sanctioned violence perpetrated by U.S. government and society is glaring gateway into overall violence and discrimination is perpetrated again people of color, especially Black Americans. It permeates the education system, the medical and mental health systems, the social security and welfare systems, the legal system, the higher education systems, the banking systems, the commercial and entrepreneurial systems, and every single institution.