BLACK VOICES

Why We Must Not Forget Black Women Are Victims Of Police Brutality, Too

05/01/2015 02:42 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2015

Dani McClain, a contributor for The Nation, took issue with conclusions drawn from a recent New York Times article which estimated that incarceration and young deaths are largely responsible for 1.5 million "missing" black men who are no longer active participants in society. McClain told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that the article failed to address how black women are also targeted and victimized.

McClain recently published a piece in The Nation on the subject, in which she wrote that the Times concluded a "primary outcome of these 'disappeared' men is that black families are set up for dysfunction because too few men are around to be husbands and fathers. Through this lens, the systemic assault on black lives hurts black women because they’re left alone in to raise families on their own."

While she told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski that the article was "fascinating and very important reporting," its conclusion is "problematic and quite short sighted" for implying that black women are "secondary casualties" of aggressive policing and racially-targeted criminal justice policies.

"It would imply that black women, ourselves, are not often victimized at the hands of officers, are not, ourselves, targeted by certain policies," McClain said, raising the case of Rekia Boyd, a young black woman killed in 2012 by an off-duty police detective in Chicago who was recently acquitted on all charges.

"What's interesting is that Rekia Boyd is not a household name the same way that Freddie Gray [is], in the same way Michael Brown [is], in the same way that Tamir Rice is," McClain said.

While McClain wrote in The Nation that black men are "more often victims" in the cases of police abuse, she told HuffPost Live that it's not a competition.

"Black communities as a whole, we are faced with challenges, and so it doesn’t need to get into this kind of tug of war about who’s suffering more," she said.

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