News of twenty three year old Korryn Gaines’ death in the hands of the police became the topic of discussion among Black Americans. Especially among the BWE circles that I used to frequent. Hearing about her death had been very traumatized and agonizing for me to process because I am only a few years younger than she was. It made me realize that I am just as much at risk at being murdered in the hands of the police as any other young, Black woman out there. What really disturbed me was the responses from other Black people regarding her death because it shows how Black collective doesn’t value Black women’s livelihood. That is why I don’t believe that it is worth it to risk losing your life for the very collective of people who hate you.
The police came to the apartment because there was an arrest warrant on the charge of assault on the behalf of her boyfriend and her own arrest warrant for failing to show up in court for traffic violations. The police knew that there were some people in the home due to hearing noise from inside the home. They knocked and knocked on the door until the landlord gave them the keys to the apartment. When the police came inside the apartment, Korryn Gaines was on the floor with her five year old son, sitting by her, and a gun on the other hand. Her boyfriend took the one year old child he had with her and fled the home. Then Korryn Gaines rose her gun to the police and threatened to kill them. Then one of the police officers fired a shot at her and she fired back. The firing of guns between her and the police ended up with Korryn Gaines being dead and her five year old son injured. Fortunately, her son was taken to the hospital and recovered from his injury but he no longer has a mother to care for him.
I was so horrified and sadden that Korryn Gaines’ life ended so soon and tragically. She was only twenty three and had so much time ahead of her. It was even worse that her significant other took off once the situation started to impend because he should have protected this beautiful, young lady from being in a situation where she had to defend herself against the police. Where is a man when you need him? Especially in a situation like this. Though news of her murder became national news and was the topic of discussion among many Black Americans, the responses on social media from other Black Americans to her death disgusted me.
Here is a condescending response from other Blacks towards Korryn Gaines’ death:
Do you believe that this same Black male would have said the same thing if this happened to a young, Black male?
Most likely not. If Korryn Gaines was a Black male, this Black male would have been very emotional in his post and blame White supremacy for his death. He would have called upon many Black women to march and protest for her if she were a Black male. Since Korryn Gaines was a Black woman, he would try to find ways to belittle her and justify her abuse. Black women aren’t protected and have no allies so there is little reprisal or outrage over violence and murder of Black women by either Black or White men. White supremacist structure of our society along with the misogynistic arena of the Black collective upholds and caters to the debasement of Black women’s experiences, femininity and livelihood in society. In this case, it is the misogynistic arena of the Black collective that butts it’s ugly head because here is this male questioning her parenting ability and saying that she had a chip on her shoulder. As much as I see the dangers of situation she was in, I didn’t think that it was right to assume that she had a chip on her shoulder. Much of his wording asserted that she deserved to be shot and killed by the police. Yet there was plenty of marches for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. And none for Korryn Gaines.
If one looks at Korryn Gaines’ social media accounts, one could see how militant and pro Black she was. She recorded encounters she had with the police during traffic stops for violations to protest the racism in this country. She also posted stuff like this on her Instagram below, advocating for Black people to arm themselves against their oppressors.
What she didn’t realize is that much of Black America hates Black women and Black womanhood. Particularly Black males and their male identified handmaidens. Colorism is getting worse along with the misogynoir and sexism in Black orientated spaces. Misogynoir and colorism has become so entrenched that some rapper named Kodak Black released a song saying that he didn’t ”want no Black bitches”. Of course, he doesn’t represent ”all Black males” but he the sentiments of Kodak Black represents many Black males’ dissent to the point that it is a huge issue. As light skin and beautiful as Korryn Gaines was, it wasn’t enough. She wasn’t a White woman that was protected by society or her communities. She was a Black woman that took on challenging the system without any help, reciprocation and support system to fall back on. She didn’t realize that she wouldn’t receive much applause or support from the same community that she was protecting and fought for.
There isn’t much reciprocation and loyalty between the relationship between Black males and Black women. In general, the Black male will not and would not do the same thing to elevate Black women that Black women do to try to ”help a brotha out”. You don’t see Black males marching and protesting for slain Black women. You don’t see Black males holding out for Black women to date, marry and mate with. You don’t see Black males trying to help struggling, Black women make it in society. You don’t see Black males trying to even justify every and any little thing that they do the way Black women do. Black males have full autonomy and male privilege in the Black collective much to the expense of Black women’s livelihood. And many of them want to keep it that way. That is why there were so many people disparaging Korryn Gaines because they expect Black women to keep on fighting racism while they try their best to integrate and have the same patriarchal power that White men have. Because at the end of the day, it is all about fighting for having the same patriarchal power White men have to get away with their crimes and murder.
Like I stated before, Black liberation and Black power is not for Black women or their advancement. It doesn’t benefit Black women because Black women weren’t included in the liberation of Black males from White patriarchy. In fact, I believe that Sandra Bland and Korryn Gaines would have been alive if they weren’t so infused with fighting for a group of people who don’t reciprocate back the same loyalty and energy into protecting them. Ultimately, I believe that more Black women need to look out for themselves and stop putting their time and energy into causes and people that wouldn’t do the same for them.
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