Roxanne Gay: On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies

#sayHerNAME

(Excerpt):
“As a black woman, I feel this tragedy through the marrow of my bones. We all should, regardless of the identities we inhabit……There is a code of conduct in emergency situations — women and children first. The most vulnerable among us should be rescued before all others. In reality, this code of conduct is white women and children first. Black women, black children, they are not afforded the luxury of vulnerability. We have been shown this time and again. We remember McKinney, Tex., and a police officer, David Casebolt, holding a young black girl to the ground. We say the names of the fallen. Tamir Rice. Renisha McBride.Natasha McKenna. Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. We say their names until our throats run dry and there are still more names to add to the list.”

Repeating Islands

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This Op-Ed piece by Roxanne Gay appeared in The New York Times.

I AM tired of writing about slain black people, particularly when those responsible are police officers, the very people obligated to serve and protect them. I am exhausted. I experience this specific exhaustion with alarming frequency. I am all too aware that I have the luxury of such exhaustion.

One of the greatest lies perpetrated on our culture today is the notion that dash cameras on police cruisers and body cameras on police officers are tools of justice. Video evidence, no matter the source, can document injustice, but rarely does this incontrovertible evidence keep black people safe or prevent future injustices.

Sandra Bland, 28 years old, was pulled over earlier this month in Waller County, Tex., by a state trooper, Brian T. Encinia. She was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. She shouldn’t have been pulled…

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