On the night of July 19th 2014, several members of Guerrillera Collective Inland Empire (a collective of young WoC and Q/T*PoC) were brutally physically attacked by a cisgender white man. One member in particular was dragged into the middle of the street where they were assaulted.
Right before the attack the man said, “What you did to Dan was the worst thing to happen to Riverside.” He was referencing a couple weeks ago when a local Riverside cisgender white artist painted black face and called it “art.” It was displayed at Blood Orange Info Shop. GCIE called out the anti-black racist as fuck art and demanded this be taken down which it immediately was afterwards.
The response to this artwork being taken down was violence and shows the lengths to which white people will go to uphold white supremacy and devalue WoC and Q/T*PoC. This is exactly why collectives like GCIE need to exist. Young WoC and Q/T*PoC need a safe space where we can come together in solidarity and reach out to the community on issues of race and gender.
Women, Trans men, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary and Queer folx of Color are being attacked everyday for being who we authentically are and wanting a safe space to exist for us and our community. It is absurd that we are constantly put in a position to justify our existence and everything we chose to do and say.
We deserve to be in this world, free to move without fear of death, violence and violation. Our bodies and our identities are not yours to touch, look at, think about or make sense of.
We are not disposable and we are not going to stay silent.
We need everyone to take a collective stance with GCIE. The attacker is planning on going attend the Blood Orange Info Shop meeting today Sunday July 20th at 4 pm to confront GCIE. Please go to this meeting to show your solidarity. The address is 3485 University Ave, Riverside, CA 92501. BOIS is located in the Life Arts Building downstairs in the basement right next to the parking lot at the back of the building on Mission and Lemon.
Attending this meeting is not enough. We need to change the culture that allows for this kind of violence to exist. We need all organizations, collectives, individuals, bands, artists, activists, etc to commit to making this world a safer space. Please pass this information along and stand with WoC and Q/T*PoC.
The following stand with GCIE:
Feminist Union at UNCC
Signal boost, pass it on, if y’all know of any orgs or collectives, send it to them for them to repost and sign off on it!
“It is surprisingly easy for gringos to look past the reality of undocumented migrants as human beings, and most gringos imagine immigrants as caramel-colored, Spanish-speaking Mexicans, not indigenous, Q’eqchi’-speaking Guatemalans.”
"Don’t Just Pay It Back, Pay It Forward: From Accountability to Reciprocity in Research Relationships" in the Journal of Research Practice
Seriously, though, I haven’t seen one single news article that acknowledges that some of the detained immigrants don’t speak Spanish, much less asks questions about the quality of credible fear determinations that are not conducted in immigrants’ native languages.
I was starting to wonder if my expectations for media representation were unreasonably high. Nope.
This isn’t the clearest graph I’ve ever seen, but here’s what this recent report from the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) reveals in its study of more than 400 unaccompanied minors who were held in US federal custody. Of 100 Guatemalan minors, more than 40 spoke one or more languages other than Spanish. The study did not sample for ethnicity (as it did for nationality & gender), but by chance 48% of Guatemalan children self-identified as indigenous (also ~5% of Mexican and 3% of Honduran children).
The study did not discuss whether any of these children spoke Spanish as a second language or whether interviews conducted in Spanish might miss key elements of claims for international protection / asylum.
Make women of color the center of your activism.
Make women of color the center of your class movement.
Make women of color the center of your race movement.
Make women of color the center of your feminist movement.
Make women of color the center of your queer movement.
Make women of color the center of your transgender movement.
Make women of color the center of your disabled movement.
If women of color are not at the center of your activism, you’re doing it wrong.