Statement on the Assault of Iyanna Dior
MINNESOTA – In response to the brutal beating of Iyanna Dior, the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statements:
“Too many members of our community, Black trans women who are always on the front line—who put our bodies on the line fighting for the lives of Black cis folx, are afraid that those we’re marching against may inflict violence against us. We’re fighting for the same thing. We’re fighting for the right to take up space, without fear of violence. If Black lives really do matter, our lives must matter too.
As a community, as Black women, we must be better in how we address disagreements with one another—violence is never the answer. While we’re addressing the violence we’ve learned from white oppressors we must unlearn and stop, completely, the history of violence between Black men and Black women, cis and trans. We are all members of this community. We all need one another and are stronger together.”
Black Trans Advisory Council
National Black Justice Coalition
“Too often the twin challenges of racism, homophobia, and its sister transmisogynior, mean that Black queer, trans, and gender non-conforming members of our community suffer from multiple forms of violence. I have had too many conversations with Black trans and gender non-conforming siblings who suffer in silence because they know calling the police during or after an assault is not an option. Our community is stronger together. This is not hyperbole; it’s a fact and unless our community acknowledges the beautiful diversity that has always existed within our community we will be stimeyed in our efforts to obtain social justice. Black women, cis and trans, have always held our community down. Fannie Lou Hamer taught us the importance of of working together decades ago by reminding us that none of us are free unless and until all of us are free—so we’re clear this includes Black queer, trans, and gender non-conforming members of our beautiful community.”
—David J. Johns
National Black Justice Coalition
Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman was dragged out of a Minneapolis store and beaten by a group of Black cis boys. Men don’t jump women, cis or trans. Days into June, which is Pride Month, and in the middle of national protests acknowledging the pain that Black people too often experience as a result of state sanctioned violence, the recording of the assault against one of our sisters has been viewed thousands of times. A bloodied and battered Dior can be seen attempting to seek refuge behind the store’s counter while she is verbally assaulted. Dior deserves better. Black trans women deserve better—especially from the Black community.
This year alone, 12 trans people have been murdered according to available data. Nina Pop, a Black trans woman, was murdered in her home in Sikeston, Missouri. Tony McDade, a Black trans man, was fatally shot by the Tallahassee police department less than 24 hours after being beaten brutally, also by a group of Black cis boys. McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, a Black gay man, was shot in the head in Alexandria, Louisiana. McKinsley is the suspected victim of a hate crime. Monika Diamond, a business owner and community leader, was killed in Charlotte, North Carolina, in March. Monika spent her life making space for LGBTQ people in Charlotte to build community and gather safely. Nina, Tony, McKinsley, Monika, and the lives of our Black trans and gender non-conforming siblings lives matter too—why aren’t we saying their names? Why aren’t we demanding justice for them too?
If Black Lives Matter all of them must matter—not just those that affirm heteronormativity or otherwise fit neatly into socially constructed expectations of our bodies and ways of being. If we are to truly get free, then all of us must be free. We invite you to join us in this work.
At the time of drafting this statement, there has been no public acknowledgement of this horrific incident caught on camera by the Minneapolis Mayor, Police Department, or Attorney General. No arrests have been made. This is a problem.
Call to Action
Support justice for Iayanna Dior by calling
to demand a fair, complete, and public investigation:
Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office:
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
(800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay)
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo:
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Fray: