The War on Women Continues: This morning I woke up to disturbing news about a woman who was shot to death while riding her bike near Longfellow school in Berkeley. I’m not sure why she was killed nor do I know her name but what immediately came to mind were the two teenage girls, Bobbie Sartain and her best friend Raquel Gerstel shot over 40 times in Oakland the other week…
What also came to mind was the recent kidnap and sexual assault of an 16-year-old autistic girl, with the mental capacity of a 6 year old. She got separated from her youth facility in East Oakland and was preyed upon by a man who kept her in bondage for 3 days.. Police eventually caught up with 36-year-old Gary Steven Atkinson, who was long known to be a predator…But the damage is done. Trauma has been inflicted..
All this is compounded by a wave of assaults both within and outside the borders of our city. They range from the recent shooting death of a unidentified woman in Fruitvale 10 days ago, to an attempt by a young man in Fremont, (Cali) to hang his girlfriend in his backyard after an argument, to shooting death of 25 year old Samantha Holderman of Antioch (Cali ) to a man who beat his wife to death in Staten Island, NY, before taking his own life. I can go on and on listing atrocities.
Locally all that I mentioned is underscored recent Facebook status update of long time Oakland activist and mother Needa Bee who posted up a warning about ” a psycho raping and torturing women at gunpoint in Funktown (East Oakland) . Homeless, hookers, crackheads. 2 of the women have gone to the police. And the police have done nothing“. Needa recently update us to note that word on the street is there is some sort of pimp war going on resulting in these men shooting and trying to take out each others girls..Femicide on a whole other level.
Needa Bee’s warnings are frightening because not only have the police been absent but not too many of us in the community are speaking on what she reported, but then again many of us are pretty silent on the two girls shot 40 times..Very few of us are asking and how and why? …Sadly, not a whole lot of us are talking about Kasandra Perkins, a young mother shot 9 times in front of her 3 month old child and his own mother…No one is talking about the fact that Kasandra may have been pregnant again…
What we are talking about is Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chief football star who killed his girlfriend Kasandra and later himself in front of his coaches. What we are talking about his how the KC Chiefs demonstrated ‘inspiring courage‘ and how they ‘played valiantly‘ less than 24 hours after this horrific tragedy…Far too many of us were quoting media talking points about how the Chief’s win was a triumph and start the “healing process“
Personally I thought it was in bad taste for the NFL to have allowed that game to be played. I don’t know if any sort of healing was really started.. If anything, I think it prolonged our collective silence.. The least we can do is shed light on the victims and remember their names…
We should also not numb or allow ourselves to be distracted from these recent assaults. They should weigh heavily on our hearts and minds and move us to find ways to end violence against women. Anything less is an indication that we are stepping away from our humanity.
Remember, Reflect, and Revolutionize