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WTN Liberation Briefing #1

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Quote of the Week: "Do not fuck with colored people. We do not give up. Do not fuck with colored people. You'll run out of luck" - Monique Bingham from song Claudette (prod. Ralf Gum)

Here are some notable stories of the past few weeks:

1. Oluwatoyin Salau's rape and murder among growing Black death in the country:

Oluwatoyin was young, Black, and outspoken. She tweeted about a recent sexual assault, providing details of the man and alerting her social networks about her situation. Yet after the Tallahassee protests, she went missing, to be found dead a few days later. Investigators have confirmed that on the night of June 8, 2020, she sought shelter at the Kearney Center and then ordered an uber to another location. This would be the last confirmed sighting of her. 19 years old, she was one of the faces of the Black Lives Matter protests. Her friends stated that she wasn’t homeless but living in unsafe conditions due to sexual assault at the hands of a family member. From the pictures and videos alone of Oluwatoyin, she looks a lot like someone you’d know. Like a girl you would see at an art show, or in a class at your HBCU. Black women and femmes, in particular, are in a state of mourning, as the warnings of a young, dark-skinned Black (girl/woman) went unheard while simultaneously leading a social justice movement. As Black people and allies, we must never forget what we owe to her, and people like her; those who speak out, every day, but go unheard.

A suspect has been arrested. His name is Aaron Glee Jr., a 49-year-old man who had been arrested twice previously for battery and assault against women. Toyin’s body was found alongside 75-year-old Victoria Sims who was an AARP volunteer and had been reported missing on June 11, 2020. Their bodies were found in Glee’s home.

2. #DefundThePolice

As tensions and protests grow across the country, and we cannot afford to stop, protesters have begun a call to action in the phrase "Defund the Police" and "Abolish the Police." As white supremacists force a conflation of the phrases, it is important to realize the differences. Whereas Defund the Police calls for a re-allocation of local and federal funds to systems that may actually protect people (i.e. Social Workers) and not rely on a group of factually historical slave catchers with guns, Abolish the Police calls for just that. The two are different and both have merit. So far, Minneapolis has fully committed to doing defunding and other cities are following with proposals.

3. Supreme Court: LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Bill

Although another step in the right direction, the anti-discrimination law is largely state-based in its implementation and only to applies to workers, leaving out housing and public accommodations entirely. Check your states' protections here.

4. Close save for DACA

In a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. Whew, that was a close one! This next election is going to decide our supreme court justices for the rest of our lifetimes (we need a revolution, but we are looking at a threat to any minimal progress we have made), so its time to make sure you're voting. It’s significant to explain that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was only not rescinded because the Supreme justices ruled that the justification and evidence against the program were “insufficient.” Furthermore, the court ruled that the decision to rescind the program doesn’t belong strictly to the Executive Branch and the Trump administration did not “follow proper procedures” to eliminate the program. This is only momentary relief to DACA recipients as Trump has promised to his voter constituents that he would end this program and is ready to start the process over to get his desired results.

5. Issa Rae’s “Insecure” Season 4 finale aired June 14th

Insecure is one of the most prominent shows that is written, produced, and brought to screen by a dark-skinned woman and a writing room of Black creators. It makes us wonder: where are the other examples of healthy friendships between Black women in television and film? Molly and Issa’s friendship has hit a rocky point, but how can they both move forward while acknowledging they both have changed? For Issa and Lawrence’s relationship: can feelings of “true love” overcome real-world obstacles like long-distance and unexpected news from an ex? When it comes to displays of Black romantic love and friendship between Black women, “Insecure” showcases some very real and timely issues. Of course, we’ll have to wait until Season 5 to find out what happens next. But in the meantime, we should be engaging in those tough, honest conversations in our daily lives that we demand from Molly and Issa on screen.

6. Klobuchar drops out of VP race

"I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket," Sen. Amy Klobuchar promised on MSNBC.

7. Juneteenth (almost) becomes a national holiday

This Juneteenth we saw both beautiful celebrations and protests country-wide. We got almost all states to recognize the date June 19, 1865, as the day most enslaved Blacks were required to be told that they were freed, as a statewide holiday or ceremony. Let's not forget not everyone was told and this date is Texas-specific.

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