black women

Founder of feminist blog ForHarriet.com says she refuses to march for man killed by NYPD

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garnerKimberly Foster, founder of the feminist blog ForHarriet.com, says that she has no interest in marching for Eric Garner, the man killed by the NYPD last week in an incident allegedly involving the sale of illegal cigarettes.  Foster says that Garner and his family don’t deserve her support because black men have never been there for her during her time of need.

Garner died after being put into a chokehold by the NYPD.  He told the officers that he couldn’t breathe and also put his hands up to surrender.  He was also unarmed.  When he died on the ground, police failed to perform CPR on him, and pretended that he was alive.  This has led to protests throughout the city of New York, as well as throughout the country.

Here is some of what she wrote in her article:

 

“I can’t breathe.”

I held my breath as I watched Eric Garner’s pleas for mercy. I didn’t make it to the part where he suffocated–hands behind his back, face down–on the sidewalk. The familiarity stings. I knew the ending. Images of murdered black men haunt my thoughts.

When looking at Eric Garner’s lifeless body, I don’t have to imagine that he is my brother or my father to recognize the injustice of his suffering. My heart aches for the family he will never return to. And if the justice we speak of routinely is more than a figment of our imaginations, I pray it comes swiftly to Mr. Garner’s family.

But if the NYPD or the City of New York fail to act, I will not march for Eric Garner. I will not rally for him because I am reserving my mental and emotional energy for the women, the Black women, no one will speak for.

While the effectiveness of social media in spreading Garner’s story heartens me. I could not refrain from comparing the empathy shown him, particularly by Black men, to that which is heartbreakingly absent when Black women attempt to discuss the everyday terrors we experience both in the world and at their hands.

Watching black men show up for Garner after seeing so many derail conversations about Black women’s well-being leaves me with little more than a sinking feeling of despair upon recognition that the understanding so many of us crave will not come.

In recent weeks, Black women have launched campaigns to ensure that we can exist in public without experiencing harassment and have presidential endorsement of policy that addresses our specific needs. And though these petitions seem common sense to me, Black women’s mere desire to take up space is met with push back. And then we are caught in a cycle of perpetually asserting our humanity.

READ MORE via Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner.