Sandra Bland Reflection

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Has any aspect/concept/idea in the course given you any reason(s) to change your position on a topic? Long story short: no. I was a passionate advocate about many of the topics covered in this course before it began, and did not change my position on any of the topics after my studies. I did, however, become more knowledgeable about several of the topics; before the course began I had a weak understanding of the aspects of intersectionality, I knew embarrassingly little about colonialism/slavery in Canada and Aboriginal issues and was also unfamiliar the topics discussed in the unit on globalization and transnational feminism. After learning more about these topics I now understand the vital importance of intersectionality, the need for solidarity,…show more content…
If you have not heard of Sandra Bland, I strongly recommend you look into her story. Ms. Bland was a young black woman on her way to a new job when she was stopped for a traffic violation in Texas (Berg, 2015). Videos have surfaced of this traffic stop and it is plain to see that Officer Brian Encinia had extreme hostility towards Ms. Bland and the fact that she knew her rights when Encinia attempted to forcibly remove her from her vehicle (Berg, 2015). Three days later, Ms. Bland was found suspiciously dead in her jail cell with confusing explanations from the police as to how her death occurred (Berg, 2015). There is much more to this heartbreaking story that I suggest everyone look into (I suggest reading this article by German Lopez for Vox Media—it includes the video of her violent arrest), but I want to say why I feel this relates to feminism: violence against women is a huge issue and Sandra Bland is unfortunately one of many black women who have been a recent victim of police brutality (Berg, 2015). I have been following this story and trying to find out all the verified information that I can, but most information I am seeing is coming from a civil rights perspective and very little is coming from a feminist perspective. I find this troubling because of the importance of intersectionality in feminist discourse, and the importance of inclusive feminism that includes women of all races. In the piece by Alex Berg for the Huffington Post she suggests 6 things that feminists (she emphasizes white feminists) can do to in response to Ms. Bland’s case, including talking about racial justice (duh!), educating ourselves and those around us, signal boosting information, getting involved in protests, knowing when to speak and when not to (when not to is when a woman of color is speaking from a more knowledgeable perspective) and donating to the cause (Berg, 2015). I
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