I rarely issue trigger alerts but the story that I am linking to is graphic and may be triggering.
My soul is deeply troubled after watching this video of a young white woman being beaten by several young Black women in a McDonald’s in Maryland. Words fail me but at some point it almost seems fitting that after years of oppression that the oppressed find a way to become the oppressor. Some might say that those are hard words, are they? News reports indicate that the young white woman is a trans woman and apparently her presence in the bathroom is what made the other young woman feel they had the right to physically harm her.
In many states including my own there is pending legislation that addresses the issue of transgendered folks being able to use the bathroom. There are many who scoff at the idea in these tough times of legislators taking up the issue of which bathroom folks ought to use but it seems this story highlights the need for why such legislation is needed across the country. Frankly I am of the mind that folks ought to use the bathroom they feel they need to use, in other words if someone identifies as being a woman, then that is the rest room they use, no questions asked. Yet there are many small minded folks who don’t see things that way and in some of the online news reports that have surfaced about this story, it’s been tragic to read the comments of people denigrating this young woman.
As disturbing as this attack is, I am almost equally troubled by the reported ages of the perpetrators; they are described as being 14 and 18. It reminds me that the seeds of hate can be sown quite early in life and in the Black community despite the racism and hate that we have suffered in this country when it comes to sexuality and gender in the Black community we are quite closed minded. Oh, we will laugh and think it’s cute to have a gay male friend or relative, we think it’s cute to get fashion tips from them, in other words we like dealing with our gay male folks on a superficial level. But let cousin Shanda come out as a lesbian or transgender and our own biases and prejudice runs just as deep as Archie the old white guy deep in Dixie. This must stop. I am a mother and know that our kids look to us, yes there are outside influences especially in these hyper connected times but you best believe they model what they see from us.
Black folks it’s not enough to demand equality for ourselves without being able to give it to others as well. If we want our humanity and agency respected then we must give it to all other, plain and simple.
Note: It was just brought to my attention that this altercation was not over the bathroom but over a potential love interest. I am off to work soon but will re-write this to reflect that ASAP. I don’t want to spread misinformation.