“Blinded By Ignorance” Essay

1075 words - 5 pages

CeCe McDonald was a resident of the Minneapolis area and identified herself as an African American transgender woman. She had experienced many times the rude comments, the jokes, and the nasty looks she received but she always learned to ignore them. While walking with her friends in a downtown area of Minnesota, the group passed a bar named the Schooner Tavern and a group of Caucasian individuals who were in their mid forties, who were standing outside of the bar. The group began using racist and hateful language such as “faggots” “niggers” and “chicks with dicks”, and also implied that CeCe was dressed that way so that she could rape Dean Schmitz, one of the attackers from the bar. CeCe stood up to them and stated that she and her friends would not tolerate this racist and hateful language, especially since it was completely unprovoked. Upon doing this, a woman smashed her glass into CeCe’s face, which punctured her cheek so severely that it lacerated her salivary gland. A fight erupted and in an act of defense, CeCe fatally stabbed Dean Schmitz with a fabric scissors from her purse. Out of all those who taken part in the altercation, CeCe was the only one to be arrested that night and placed in the Hennepin Country men’s jail (Support CeCe!).
McDonald received support from the Minneapolis City Council Member who believed that CeCe was the victim of a hate crime and that it involved many people but she was the only one that was held by the police. He believed in this case, the hate crime itself has been completely ignored and that “murder” was the only concern. Melanie Williams for the Minnesota Daily felt that, “the attack was not about one person’s body but an attack on an entire race and entire gender.” Prosecuting attorney Mike Freeman insisted that, “gender race, sexual orientation and class [were] not part of the decision-making process” (Pasulka).
During the course of the investigation, McDonald was kept in the hospital where she recovered from the physical wounds from the incident. She spent several months in jail and had to wait two months between her initial doctors’ visit and no follow-up appointments. During her time spent in jail, her cheek swelled into a golf ball-sized lump that made eating extremely painful and left her with massive headaches and pressure on her left eye and ear. The only way the officials looked out for McDonalds well-being was to put her in solidary confinement where she was trapped with her physical and emotional pain from the incident.
According to a study in 2004, 35 percent of women in the criminal justice system were white and 65 percent were women of color. According to Jael Silliman and Anannya Bhattacherjee who follow race disparities, they found that, “for the same offense, Black and Latina women are respectively eight and for time more likely to be incarcerated that white women” (Kirk 263-34). This is most likely one of the reasons why; in McDonalds case she was not considered just a women who...

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