Women of color have long been considered acceptable collateral damage by the police state, as well as most of society in general. A white-supremacist, misogynist culture such of that of the US will always uplift and protect white women while pathologizing and attacking women of color. Benefits of doubt and sympathy versus being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for any and all charges. Whether domestic violence or City Hall corruption, women of color who may only be tangential to the crime will be charged and punished as if they were the primary offender.
This was certainly the case during the search for two men who escaped from Santa Clara County Jail on Thanksgiving Eve. The two men were described as “dangerous and desperate” by jail officials, yet not dangerous enough to affect the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot held near the jail less than twelve hours after the escape. Within a week, both men were captured, along with at least three women who were charged with aiding them. There were no concerns that the women may have been acting under duress, nor any consideration of why they may have helped them. No feminist nonprofits rallied to the women’s side to ensure they were fairly treated. In addition to being arrested and charged, the sister of one fugitive suffered serious damage to her home during his arrest:
Like many people in trouble, Laron Campbell turned to family for help. The escaped inmate was captured by US marshals at his sister’s apartment in Antioch late last night. Neighbors on James Donlon Boulevard witnessed the raid.
“Upon entering the residence, they determined that Campbell was hiding in the attic. Campbell then crashed through the ceiling to the floor, where the marshal service and Antioch police took him into custody without further incident,” said Santa Clara County Undersheriff Carl Neusel.
This damage being additional to whatever damage marshals caused as they tore through her house with belligerent disregard. In addition to astronomical legal fees, likely loss of employment and prison time, she must now live in a partially demolished home while fighting for her freedom and survival. All for giving shelter to a family member over Thanksgiving weekend.
This accepted collateral-damage status is the reason gender-justice practices such as #GiveYourMoneyToWomen are so necessary. Women of color are vulnerable to men’s violence even when that violence doesn’t directly target them. They can literally lose everything they have in life for the crime of not turning a family member over to police during the holidays. And since white feminism has traditionally seen women of color more as sources of labor than fellow women in need of aid, no nonprofits will arrive to fund raise on their behalf or help in any other material way. It is only direct transfers of wealth, both in specific cases like this and as everyday practice, that can help buffer against the casual oblivion men bring into the lives of women of color on a daily basis.