By: Zach Draves
She was on the frontlines at the beginning of the pandemic. Her record spoke for itself. She saved lives. It is a gross shame that four police officers in Louisville didn’t see that.
Her name was Breonna Taylor. In light of the state of Kentucky’s mean-spirited decision to not charge the officers in her murder on March 13, spoke volumes about how the American policing system views black women and girls. It is not only riddled with systemic racism, but with systemic misogynoir. Coined by Dr. Moya Bailey, misogynoir is the intersectional oppressive system of racialized sexism. Where black women and girls are dehumanized and delegitimized because of who they are. It is played out in every institution. It is too often the case where black women and girls who are killed by police violence get pushed to the side. But Breonna Taylor was different. There was a palpable movement to ensure that she was not forgotten.
That justice would be served.
(Courtesy: NBC News)
That call to action found a place in the WNBA.
The league that needs to be credited with starting this new era of athlete activism has dedicated its entire season in the bubble to Breonna Taylor.
Messages on the court and shirts.
(Courtesy: Daily Mountain Eagle)
Partnering with Dr. Kimberlee Crenshaw and the #SayHerName campaign.
(Courtesy: The Ringer)
Contributions to racial justice organizations.
The players made their point loud and clear.
(Courtesy: Sports and Life.com)
Soon after, NBA and NFL players joined in the chorus.
Kenny Stills traveled to Louisville and was arrested at a protest.
LeBron James wore a hat and posted messages calling for the arrest of the officers.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was consistently outspoken on the matter.
But it was the WNBA that sounded the alarm in the first place. It is pathetically sad that the grand jury didn’t listen. This speaks to how misogynoir seeks to silence black women and girls. Either in the culture or in the case of Breonna Taylor, permanently. When we will get to the point where black women and girls are valued and respected? We need to have an honest discussion about misogynoir and how it operates within the context of white supremacist patriarchy. You cannot claim to be anti-racist and ignore black women and other women of color at the same time. That is what the WNBA players have stood for from the very beginning. Kentucky let them down and let Breonna Taylor and her family down. We must do better. Let’s continue the fight.
Always Say Her Name.
(Courtesy: The Courier-Journal)