This is What Justice Looks Like: They Don’t Give a Fuck About Us

After falling asleep to the beautiful chaos that exploded in the streets all over the world yesterday, we awoke to the unfortunate news that CeCe McDonald will most likely be spending 41 months in prison for stabbing a worthless piece of Nazi scum to death after he attacked her in Minneapolis last year.  Our hearts weigh heavy today, not because CeCe will not get the “justice” she deserves, but because this *is* what justice looks like in the shining world of a democratic state.  It would be disingenuous for us to be outraged over the fact that the judge on CeCe’s case refused to admit her attacker-scum’s giant swastika tattoo into evidence, simply because we see the justice of the State at work everywhere.   in the bullets that took the lives of Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, and Trayvon Martin, in the state-of-the-art trans prisons being built around the world, in the lines of police that protect the property of businesses big and small from those who have been left to die, in the security guards that have dragged us out of the “wrong” bathroom, and now, in the ruling that the life of a Nazi will always— always— be infinitely more valuable than a young trans woman of color, because this is what justice looks like. Every time we’ve chosen to dress more conservatively because we fear being killed or raped, every time we’ve policed ourselves over looking “womanly” or “manly” enough, every time we’ve shut ourselves up upon the sight of a known rapist or a MichFest attendee or another tired replay of disgusting gender essentialism and tyranny in the name of “feminism,” we understand that this is what democracy looks like

We can’t help but see justice and democracy as the terms used to deny the fact that these moments are not aberrations in an otherwise functioning system, they are in fact the perfect functioning of the cold, calculating regimes of gender and racialization, which are meant to capture us, make us sell our bodies every day (whether to a john or horrible fast food restaurant), throw us away when we cease to be useful, and even convince us that we should play the roles they have created for us in the theater of our own oppression.  It is these moments, both dramatically terrifying and mind-numbingly banal, that we understand that the life we live is not ours unless we take it back from those who would want us dead.  CeCe, like so many of us have at one time or another, chose to take control of her life and fight on that fateful night last year, regardless of the consequences.  She refused to be a victim, a statistic, a name on this year’s dead on the Trans Day of Remembrance.  This moment of refusal, this choice to throw one’s life into a lawless and terrifying moment of freedom, is the beginning of snatching back a life worth living from the jaws of despair.  Whether these moments are found in fighting for our lives against our attackers, helping our friends escape lives that are destroying them, or taking a baseball bat to Niketown, the choice to throw ourselves into the chaotic experiment of freedom can be found around every corner.  The only question is whether we’re willing to take our personal leaps of faith into the unknown.  So much love and solidarity for CeCe, for the May Day vandals, and all those who have refused to die at the hands of this society and experiment with their own power.  Free Cece! Free them all!

For taking a life worth living by any means necessary

P.S.  The struggle to support CeCe continues as she is sentenced and starts to serve her time.  For updates on her case, check for continuing updates.  For information on supporting many other rebels behind bars around the world, check out

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    This says it better than I ever could
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