What is a Womyn's Life Worth in the State of Texas?

Published July 11, 2019 by Keith "Malik" Washington

Keith Malik Washington

Does anyone remember Sandra Bland? Does anyone even care that her Life was snuffed out far too early? The bigots in Waller County, Texas were absolutely complicit in her death and Attorney General Ken Paxton surreptitiously with-held crucial evidence in order to protect the former DPS State Trooper Brian Ancinia from being prosecuted and sent to jail. Remember how Ancinia placed his knee on our beautiful sister’s back, pinning her to the ground and rubbing her face in the dirt?? I DO!

This white supremacist bigot Ken Paxton continues to engage in sinister acts, purposeful acts which harm people of color! CAN ANYONE SAY THE NAME OF CRYSTAL MASON?? Why do these bigots in Texas think that we the people can’t see what they are doing to us?? I’m not a womyn, but I certainly can ask the question: WHAT IS A WOMYN’S LIFE WORTH IN THE STATE OF TEXAS? Does her dignity, her self respect mean anything to the patriarchal misogynistic hierarchy with in the Texas State Government?? I have to ask this question. I watched Texas Governor Gregg Abbott make one move to address the back-log of unprocessed rape kits that Texas Law Enforcement have ignored but then I watch Abbott turn around a week later and ignore the need for legislation that would address the needs of victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence!! Why the lackluster attention to detail here Governor Abbott?? And who was it that KILLED THE SANDRA BLAND ACT this past legislative session in Texas?? Who did that?!!!

During the legislative session this year in Texas which ended in late May, the Sandra Bland Act was most certainly KILLED!! Some blame a Black Womyn. A Texas Legislator by the name of Shawn Thierry, but please don’t believe that!! Representative Shawn Thierry loves Black wimmin. I’m sure Rep, Thierry Loved Sandra Bland like many of us did and therefore she would never—ever desecrate the memory of Sandra Bland and that is exactly what House Bill 2754 was attempting to do!!

At first glance, House Bill 2754 would limit arrests for Class C misdemeanors and some say this would have actually prevented Sandra’s arrest & death. But let me tell you something, when one of these racist pigs in Texas have it on their mind to demean you, to mistreat you and degrade you, there is no LAW on the books which can protect you from that!! I KNOW ABOUT THE BIGOTS IN TEXAS I DEAL WITH THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE!

Furthermore, there was ambiguous language placed in the so called Sandra Bland Act which allows an officer to arrest you regardless, anytime he or she believes that you might not come to court!! So what exactly does this caveat open the door up for?? It opens the door up for IMPLICIT BIAS AND STEREOTYPING!! Law enforcement officers in Texas got that real bad!! Profiling is the order of the day down here in the Lone Star State!! And this is why Texas Representative Shawn Thierry was apprehensive about supporting this bill!! She saw the flaw that would not have actually honored Sandra Bland but would have disrespected her memory by attaching her name to this weak and watered down piece of legislation!

CAN ANYONE HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING??? Texas house speaker Dennis Bonnen, a Republican from Angleton KILLED the Sandra Bland Act not Shawn Thierry!! You know these bigots don’t want to hear the TRUTH and they don’t want you to hear it either!! But I’m going to give it to you anyway!! Texas representative Garnet Coleman a Democrat from Houston, Texas did attempt to remove the ambigous language from HB 2754 a Bill that was supposed to honor the life and legacy of Sandra Bland but representative Dennis Bonnen wouldn’t recognize representative Coleman in a timely manner, So rep. Bonnen covertly killed the bill and feigned ignorance the same way Ken Paxton and his cronies protected former DPS Trooper Brian Ancinia!!

You see these racists in Texas think they are slick, they think that we don’t see their VOTER PURGES, their CLANDESTINE JUDGE APPOINTMENTS, and their AGGRESSIVE PERSECUTION AND PROSECUTION OF PEOPLE OF COLOR!!! But WE SEE YOU! And if perchance the People are too busy and caught up to see you , don’t worry!!! COMRADE MALIK IS HERE TO EXPOSE YOU!!!

Now if you sense the anger in my voice, the frustration in my words and the pain in my spirit, your perception is correct. I’m hurting for Crystal Mason in Fort Worth, Texas and I am hurting for the TRANS WIMMIN OF COLOR WHO ARE BEING systematically executed and murdered right now in Dallas, Texas!! What is a womyn’s life worth in the state of Texas???

NOW STOP!! Stop right here! Allow me to dial the emotion, anger, and frustration back a notch or two. Allow me to share a tad-bit of good news a small glimmer of hope if you will. During this past legislative session in the state of Texas, one legislator named James White, a black republican from Hillister, Texas did something very interesting. Representative White who is the chairperson over the House Committee on Corrections filed House Bill 650 which protects some of the HUMYN RIGHTS of incarcerated wimmin in Texas. From now on, pregnant moms won’t be shackled like animals when they are in the hospital. From now on our incarcerated sisters won’t have to beg for hygenic napkins when their menstrual cycle begins and not every womyn’s cycle is the same. I was mortified one day as I sat and listened to one sister explain how correctional officers with the Texas department of criminal justice told her that they would not give her another hygenic napkin until they saw blood in the rear of her pants!!! She was a formerly incarcerated womyn testifying at the house corrections committee hearing this past spring.

It’s not just the men who are degraded and dehumanized down here in these slave kamps and gulags, our Sisters in Texas struggle too!! EVERYDAY!!! As I end this essay I want to thank representative White for caring about our incarcerated wimmin, And to Lauren Johnson of the Texas american civil liberties union?? I want to personally thank– you Lauren for fighting hard for our incarcerated sisters!!! YOUR WORK IS AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND MANY OTHERS WHO ADVOCATE FOR THE SELDOM SEEN AND SELDOM HEARD IN TEXAS AND BEYOND. Please keep up the incredible work.

Sisters and Brothers we have a lot of work ahead of us. Let us try and work more closely together. Let us get energized and organized so we can confront these bigots in Texas and that Orange Menace in the White House!! I CAN’T STOP, I WON’T STOP!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter.

Write to Keith: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103