Muhlaysia Booker

Why Violence Against Black Transgender Women Needs To Be Taken Seriously

The Trump administration swiftly began the task of rolling back most of the secured initiatives from the Obama administration, that were mandated for the purpose of protecting vulnerable populations, who would otherwise suffer potentially life-altering consequences, stemming from gross negligence by a government that outrightly rejects the notion of equality for all.

The Obama years were far from perfect, and I have detailed my grievances when it comes to the misguided role the American government played during the Nigerian elections of 2015, and how the reinstatement of a murderous dictator, who was violently ousted back in the mid-80s after one of many military coups of that decade, signaled a drastic shift backwards and the abrupt halt to the much-needed path to progression.

But when it came to upholding the natural order of things in the realm of equal rights for citizens of every persuasion, there’s no doubt that Trump’s “Messiah-like” predecessor possessed the empathy and compassion that was likely motivated by his own varied background, that ultimately dictated the inherency of demonstrating the fundamental basics of human decency.

All that went out the window once Donald J. Trump won the candidacy for the Republican Party, and proceeded to unleash his own brand of potent indecency, that was centered around the hate-filled rhetoric that he orchestrated while wildly campaigning for the role that he was already weaponizing even before his unfathomable victory.

The goal was always to feign righteousness, by uplifting the purity of Whiteness against the backdrop of evangelism, based on the non-existent bible verses that are easily accessible whenever activated supremacy demands the vilification of those who don’t comply with the rules of engagement in the universe of practiced bigotry.

Trump’s relentless demonization of migrants at the border and immigrants from “shithole” countries was the promise of imminent punishment, that not only keeps families separated with no hope for reconciliation, but also exacerbates the challenges that foreigners from Black and Brown countries encounter when they’re suddenly prevented from activating travel visas, that should ordinarily be approved.

A family friend was forced to miss her own father’s funeral in Los Angeles this past March, due to revised regulations that the Trump administration has in place, that is meant to curb the flow of entry of visitors from the countries that are considered too shitty for admittance.

The Muslim ban happened as soon as The White House was infected by a nefarious regime that was determined to amplify the nationalized hostility that Muslim-Americans have been enduring ever since the 9/11 terror attacks.

And through it all, the LGBTQ community has remained under the radar with sporadic mentions of the overt discrimination that members face from a lethal administration, that couldn’t wait to rescind purposed legislations that were curated to maintain the safety net that was barely providing shelter from societal pummeling.

Beginning in early 2017, there have been a slew of actions taken against the LGBTQ community, and these updated laws cover the basis of stripping the right to a fulfilled existence without the burden of clear and present danger threatening at every turn.

From the “2016 guidance” that was drafted to instruct schools across the nation about the necessary steps to follow in order to keep transgender students out of harms way — to the recent ban on transgender troops that was slated to take effect in April 2019 — the overall messaging from lawmakers is steeped in the utter disregard for human life and the systemic abuse of targets.

When it comes to crimes against humanity, we certainly don’t have to look further than our own backyard, as the body count of murder victims who were victimized because of their brutalized status continues to rise without hope for justice.

A recent victim of Trump’s newly-minted crime spree is Muhlaysia Booker, a Black trans woman from Dallas, Texas, who tragically brings the number of transgender people that have succumbed to violent attacks since the year began to 5.

Here are some cold hard facts about the rise in homicidal deaths within the transgender community:

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there were at least 26 deaths recorded in 2018, and it’s worth nothing that the casualties were all Black transgender women. And the numbers were higher in 2017, with 29 deaths linked to fatal attacks that should be accurately categorized as hate crimes.

Advocacy groups also warn that those sobering statistics may not be the actual number of victims due to the high number of cases that go unreported.

Suffering in silence after being brutally assaulted is never the way to go, but the hostility from the facets of government ultimately infects the judicial system and the badged officers who are employed to “serve and protect.”

Police brutality against the Black community is an ongoing epidemic and it filters into the folds of the LGBTQ family with the vengeance of uniformed thugs, who can’t be trusted based on a track record of violence against those who don’t have the law on their side.

It’s no wonder that Muhlaysia Booker was found shot to death, weeks after her horrific beatdown by a gang of Black men in a parking lot of an apartment complex in Dallas was captured on video and promptly uploaded and shared to distanced gawkers, who have been trained to accommodate this normalized view.

The ringleader of the brutish affair, Edward Thomas, was arrested in April, but has since been released, and police officers are convinced that he had nothing to do with Booker’s subsequent murder.

We can’t allow this continued trend of violence against Black transgender women to flourish in an era that is instigated by the criminalized antics of a lawless administration, that has successfully instituted a batch of laws that give armed bandits license to kill without consequences.

It’s time to take this shit seriously and not recline in the nonchalance that enhances the activism of other arms of concern without the inclusion of those who desperately need every voice raised in their defense.

I’m definitely guilty of not allocating enough time and energy for a community that I recognize and respect, and that commitment to rectify that poor performance with solidarity has been activated.

We can’t pretend that this pending issue will miraculously disappear or stay under-represented in the roster of injustices that are effectively heralded by social noisemakers.

It’s heart-wrenching to watch wasted lives poached away under the most terrifying circumstances with the haunting realization that this nightmare won’t be vanquished without action.

Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle “Tamika” Washington and Claire Legato are names to remember, and there are so many others to add to the list of ill-fated hashtags, and that reinforces the heaviness of contemplating how to communicate the urgency of a pending issue that can’t be discarded for much longer.

The jokes by famed comedians have to be pulled effective immediately, and we as a people have to come together and stand for the basic human rights of the LGBTQ community in a way that is revolutionary and astutely coherent.

Violence against Black transgender women is disproportionately condoned by a climate that elevates this specific attack on designated victims. And just as the suspicious deaths of young Black gay men in the sprawling mansion of an influential and wealthy older White gay man can be casually swept under the rug, that same damning temperament is being applied to the Black women, who don’t deserve to be tormented out of this world without a fight.

It’s time to stop looking away because there’s no escape from the glaring injustice that won’t quit until we stand united.

If #BlackLivesMatter, than why the hell aren’t we including Black lives in this narrative of equality that we’re all so passionate to bring to fruition until it involves the lives that we don’t pay much attention to because of personal convictions that match the playbook of White oppressors?

We can’t allow the sores of our negligence to become wounds of our undoing as a community that is vibrantly distinctive.

There’s no detour smooth enough, that accommodates the avoidance of the responsibility that we owe each other as soldiers that are outfitted in similar gear on the battlefield, which means the bullets will take us out — regardless of who we choose to fuck or how we choose to embody our truths.

Enough with the empty talk. It’s time to take a stand.

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