Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (TFC) – Yesterday, serial rapist and racist Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 consecutive years in prison for the rape, sodomy, and sexual assault of at least thirteen womyn while facading as a police officer in Oklahoma City. Today, police violence against womyn makes headlines. Today, we stand strong with Jannie Ligons, the first womyn to stand up, speak out and openly accuse Holtzclaw. Today, we celebrate the courage it took for each of the 13 Black womyn to share their truth and testify in court. Today, we commend the all-white jury who believed them, and the evidence, without a doubt. Today, we thank the judge for giving Holtzclaw the totality of his recommended sentence. Today, we remember all the womyn survivors of Holtzclaw who, for whatever reason, couldn’t share their stories. Today, we show compassion for all survivors of sexual assault and rape.
Today, we start conversations about the intersections of skin colour, economic status, and sex. Today, we are not shy in speaking the truth. Today, we recognize the power dynamics that have been socially constructed as racism, classism and sexism. Today, we realize those who generally benefit from these systems: white people, rich people, and male people, their power multiplied by the number of hierarchies they dominate. Today, we multiply Holtzclaw by three.
Today, we bear witness to the suffering of those who are hurt by these systems: people of colour, poor people, and female people. Today, we divide no longer. Today, we take note that this well off, white, male police officer preyed specifically on Black womyn from low-income neighbourhoods. Today, we face the reality that those in positions of power very often abuse that power. Today, we take Daniel Holtzclaw as an example of a society gone terribly, horribly wrong.
Today, we come together in a collective sigh of relief. Today, goes down in herstory. Today, we feel pain from the past. Today, we feel hope for the future. Today, justice.