CeCe McDonald is a 23-year-old African American transgender woman who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
On June 5th, 2011 CeCe and some of her friends, all young, black, and queer, were walking to the grocery store in their neighborhood in South Minneapolis. On their way to the store they walked passed a bar called the Schooner Tavern. A few older white folks were hanging outside the bar’s side door. As CeCe and her friends passed by, the group of older white folks began to harass them, calling them “faggots,” “niggers,” “chicks with dicks,” and accusing them of dressing as women in order to rape straight men.
Instead of silently accepting these expressions of white supremacy, heterosexism and transphobia, CeCe and her friends confronted the group, telling them that they would not tolerate hateful comments. When CeCe approached the group one of the white women standing outside of the bar said “I’ll take you bitches on” and smashed her glass into CeCe’s face, puncturing her cheek all the way through and lacerating her salivary gland. A fight then ensued, during which one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz, was killed. When the police showed up, CeCe was the only person arrested.
She is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial.
You can find out more about CeCe and her case here, including her address for cards and information on what you can do to help, even from Britain.
CeCe was the target of an act of racist and transphobic violence. How-
ever, the police and the criminal justice system have not been a resource in attempting to confront this violence. Instead, they have punished CeCe for standing up to racism and transphobia. For the past nine months the violence that occurred on the 5th of June has been compounded by the violence of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC), which has denied CeCe access to appropriate treatment for injuries sustained during the attack and placed her in solitary confinement ”for her own safety.” It is clear that the PIC is not interested in the safety of queer people, transgender people, or people of color, and it is clearly not interested in confronting racism or transphobia, which ensure a steady stream of new inmates and a steady increase in profits.
A short zine about CeCe’s case and how you can help can be found here