Let’s get this out of the way. Racial bias in the prison-industrial complex we call the criminal justice system is real; the story is written in the statistics. Legislation is not and never has been enough to achieve true and lasting equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was not some hippie who sat quietly and never raised his voice; neither did he magically end racism nor ignore classism and structural issues.
What’s going on Ferguson is awful. I can’t view coverage of it without my throat tightening in sympathetic fear and grief while my fists ball in rage. It’s the same feeling I got when I attended a vigil for Trayvon Martin, the same feeling I got when I wept with every other member of the audience as I watched Fruitvale Station. I’m not sure what I can directly to help other than to continue to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.
In that light, it has really been heartening to see sites that aren’t primarily focused on racial issues — or, in once case, even news — covering what’s been going on. Feminism hardly has a history of inclusivity on matters affecting people who aren’t white middle class cis women. Intersectionality sounds like a buzzword, and people use it as an identity, but it’s really an approach to thinking and acting that helps to improve feminist thought. The following four feminist-ish sites, in the past few days, have been demonstrating what intersectionality in action means. I’m ordering them from most to least generally problematic.