NBJC Stands in Solidarity With CeCe McDonald and Community
Washington, D.C. – May 3, 2012 – Reports out of Minneapolis reveal that CeCe McDonald, a Black transgender woman who was allegedly attacked with racist and transphobic slurs, has accepted a plea deal to second-degree manslaughter due to negligence. Supporters have rallied at the courthouse all week, saying that her case is a blatant example of institutional biases against Black and transgender people. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation's leading Black LGBT civil rights organization, stands in solidarity with CeCe McDonald and community members.
"CeCe's case is a sad reminder of the injustices transgender women of color face," says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. "Where do we get off blaming the victim in what was clearly a hate- and bias-motivated attack? It's unthinkable and it's un-American."
Just yesterday, NBJC released a statement about the charges in the hazing death of Robert Champion Jr., a gay drum major at a Historically Black College and University that was pummeled to death:
The sad reality is that justice drags its feet when a Black life is at stake. There's even less outcry when it is the life of someone Black and gay. That is why we must continue to proactively advocate on behalf of Black LGBT people who are victims of violent crimes.
That unfortunate reality rings true in McDonald's trial and represents a larger system of violence towards Black transgender women. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has found that violence against LGBT people is up 23 percent, with people of color and transgender women as the most likely targets. Of the victims murdered in 2010, 70 percent were people of color while 44 percent were transgender women.
"It is unfortunate that in this case, as in so many, the hate crime itself is overlooked entirely," explains Kylar Broadus, NBJC Board Memberand Executive Director of the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), a national organization that promotes the interests of trans people of color. "We must continue to rally for fair and equal treatment for our Black trans sisters who are disproportionally targeted and killed because of who they are."
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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.