Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland: Another Link In Hangings of Women of Color {OP ED}

The country is in shock over the recent death of Sandra Bland. Details are still being released, but ultimately in my opinion, this is a 21st century hanging.

How could a woman who failed to signal when changing lanes wind up hanging herself in jail just days later?

I grew up in a small town in East Texas. Changing lanes without a signal was standard.

Why?

Who else is on the road in the country?

So, to be removed from her car for a simple traffic violation is unfathomable. Plus, if she had no tickets or warrants what was the purpose of Sandra having to get out of her car anyway?

There are so many basic questions that have yet to be asked and answered. There is video of her arrest which I haven’t had the strength to watch. But from what I read, she screamed that they were hurting her and she couldn’t feel her arms.

If you can’t feel your arms how would you have the strength to hang yourself?

That’s another question that just doesn’t seem to help the story being told about her. From 1632-1900 there were 505 women of all races hanged. About 76% of them for murder, of those women 189 were slaves.

So why is this relevant to Sandra Bland’s story?

She didn’t commit some heinous crime that warranted a death.

Over the last few years the explosion of stories online about people of color especially women being killed has shaken our community to the core. And by our community I mean women who advocate for women of color. Because it’s definitely not as vocalized in the African American community at large.

Historically most hangings were done by the Sheriff who in this particular case seems to be at the center of investigation for her death. While we wait for the truth to come out (because it always does) we want Sandra Bland’s family to know that we will #sayhername until justice is served.

Sandra Bland

If you would like to help but not sure what to do, sign this petition to have the U.S. Department of Justice take over.

Like I stated before we ie this blog will not be silent on issues that face our community. When we ignore the mass killings of young people in our community we are also saying that we don’t care that our community is losing talents and gifts which we need. These people’s lives matter. Not to just their family but to the world.

Each person was born to make a contribution and when they are violently taken away their contribution to their community is taken away too. If we want a strong community we have to fight to keep everyone alive. And in 2015 fighting to keep people alive shouldn’t be something we have to have as our main priority. That’s the sad reality we now live in.