By now everyone should know the name: Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor was a Black medical worker who Louisville police officers shot after raiding her apartment. Here’s why we need to empower Black women.
Only one of the three officers that entered and shot at her got any repercussion. And his punishment was absolutely not equal to the crime. For the most part, they got away scot-free after taking an innocent life just because they could.
In fact, even though this murder happened on March 13th 2020, it took until June for them to fire just one officer.
Breonna Taylor had just turned a corner in her life. She severed ties for good with a man that was involved with drugs and was dating someone new. She was on a course towards good things in her life.
The police had a warrant to search her apartment. Because they assumed that it could potentially be involved with her ex’s drug things- even though she was entirely innocent. Nevertheless, the police decided to break the door off its hinges.
Her boyfriend, Mr Walker, at the fear of someone breaking in to harm them, shot at the intruders and got one of them in the leg. (A leg wound isn’t that serious and the officer survived.) After all, when someone breaks the hinges off your door, why wouldn’t you defend yourself?
And despite the rule that officers must have a line of fire before shooting, Brett Hankison- who has since been fired- blindly shot 10 rounds into the apartment. And these shots hit Breonna Taylor five times.
Well, the officers got an ambulance to help their guy with the hurt leg. But no one bothered to help Breonna Taylor as she bled out from her multiple wounds. They let her die.
She was innocent, she was in bed- completely unaware of what was to come, and the cops broke into her home and murdered her. And it was not instant death.
So why is getting fired the only thing that happened to the police officer that carried out this atrocity?
No Criminal Charges
Breonna Taylor’s family pushed for justice and for criminal charges against the officers. And her family’s case didn’t even appear on the national scope until May 2020.
Since then, many famous athletes and celebrities have worked to make sure that her case stays in the spotlight. Because we cannot ignore the systemic racism and violence against Breonna Taylor or any other Black women.
This violence has been in our society for too long. When racist men become police officers, they have some kind of sick enjoyment of harming or murdering people of color unprovoked.
We cannot be silent about this. And we need justice for the fact this has happened and ways to prevent this systemic evil from ever occurring in our society again.
Defund the Police
Following the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many more, there was a rallying call amongst activists everywhere, “Defund the Police.” This is a direct response to how much police funds exhaust city budgets, when that money could go to social services, and other things that do more to benefit communities.
There is simply no reason why the police need this much money, and especially when so many of them get away with appalling crimes. Besides, how many times does the average person call the police in their lifetime? Maybe on a couple of rare occasions? That doesn’t add up to how predominately they’re focused on in American culture.
So not only defund the police, but also decenter the police. Don’t go to restaurants that donate to them. Don’t watch movies and shows that suck up to them. If we’re going to get to a better place, we must first un-normalize our blatant police state.
So where do we go from here? Well, Derek Chauvin, the man who killed George Floyd is now in prison, so that’s a start. And the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests were the most successful they’ve ever been, with scholars like Ta-Nehisi Coates predicting the greatest civil rights revolution since the 1960s. But if that’s going to be the case, we cannot stop. The 2020 election results were one small factor in the big picture. The fight must continue, until some actual legislation is officially in place, to protect Black people everywhere. This has been overdue for far too long, and we must hold our government accountable for their negligence.
Respect and Empower Black Women Like Breonna Taylor
There are so many people in the world that don’t understand the significance of empowering Black women. But particularly in the US, there is a history of diaspora, disrespect, violence, and erasure.
One intersectional concept that everyone should be familiar with is misogynoir. This represents the hate that Black women (and even more so Black trans women) experience on a daily basis. The long and short of it is, Black women are disrespected by everybody.
Because white women are likely anti-sexist, but not anti-racist. And Black men are anti-racist, but that doesn’t mean they’re anti-sexist. And then there’s the issue of colorism, which is the hate of darker-skinned Black people, even within Black communities. For all of these reasons, and more, Black women are the most scrutinized identity in American society. There is simply nothing Americans fear more.
They’ve had to suffer from society telling them that they’re not good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, the right class, and so much more. They face extreme intersectional discrimination for being both Black and female, and enough is enough. So each and every one of us needs to do what we can to empower Black women in today’s society.
If we’re going to do right by Breonna Taylor, we must eliminate the threat of misogynoir, and make this world a safer place for Black women everywhere.
You can Support These Businesses Owned By Black Women or donate to anti-racist charities to help be a part of the change we all need to see.