Monday, April 16, 2012

You Heard Of Trayvon Martin, But Have You Heard Of Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald?


If you do a search on Google News for Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald you find two articles, one is in the Huffington Post and the other article is in the “The Workers World”, nothing is in the mainstream news media.

CeCe is a black transgender woman who was attacked when she was coming out of a bar and defended herself against a vicious assault.
Support grows for CeCe McDonald as trial date nears
Workers World
By Imani Henry
Published Apr 11, 2012

This holds true in the case of Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a 23-year-old African-American trans woman who was attacked by patrons of a Minneapolis tavern on June 5 of last year. While McDonald and her friends were on their way to a nearby grocery store, the patrons assaulted them with racist and anti-LGBT slurs. Many of the vicious remarks were directed at McDonald, as a Black trans woman. All of McDonald’s friends were people of color and youths, while those who attacked them were all white and older.

Desperate for help and covered in blood from having a glass mug smashed in her face, it was McDonald who first approached police arriving on the scene. The police arrested her and to this day have made no arrests against her attackers. And while there is no physical evidence tying her to the stabbing of Dean Schmitz, one of the men who attacked her, McDonald now faces second-degree murder charges.

As McDonald’s April 30 trial date approaches, national outrage has strengthened the political campaign to have the charges dropped.
CeCe still sits in jail while she is awaiting her trail next week. This is not a case of “Stand Your Ground” against some perceived violence; this is a case of being attacked and defending yourself. She had four things against her, one she is black, two she is trans, three she is young and four the victim was white. And I believe because of those factors she is now facing murder charges.

Laverne Cox writes in a blog in the Huffington Post that,
On June 5, 2011 CeCe and a group of her friends, all of whom were LGBT youth of color, were walking in South Minneapolis when a group of white adults began screaming racist and transphobic slurs like "niggers," "faggots" and "chicks with dicks" at the youth. According to reports CeCe stood up for herself and her friends, stating that they would not tolerate hate speech. Then one of the white adult women smashed her glass into CeCe's face. The broken glass sliced all the way through CeCe's cheek, lacerating a salivary gland. A fight ensued, resulting in the death of one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz. CeCe was the only person arrested. She was detained by the police for hours before questioning, and then she was placed in solitary confinement.
Why is she in solitary confinement? Is it because she is trans? Is it because that is the easiest for the corrections officers, locking her away out of sight instead of protecting her? The article goes on to say,
CeCe has no criminal record, was enrolled in school at the time of the incident, and was also working to help take care of her family. This case highlights how even when trans people, particularly trans people of color, are lucky enough to survive the brutal violence that is a part of so many of our lives, we are all too often victimized all over again by the criminal justice system. This is the definition of injustice.

There is an on-line petition demanding the DA drop the charges.

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