Thursday, May 21, 2009

Racism and Rape, at the workplace!

In US social movements, and especially with white folks, we have a tendency to compartmentalize issues as separate and distinct. Below, you'll find two links to different resources and stories on the connected between white supremacy and gender based violence.

The Southern Poverty Law Center published this article: "Latina Women Endure Sexual Violence, Discrimination. Key Finding: 77% of Latina Women Say Sexual Harassment is a Major Problem on the Job".

"The SPLC's research reveals two major themes: When these women arrive in the United States, many have already suffered severe trauma and are victims of serious crimes, often as a result of violence that occurred during migration to the United States. And the criminal justice system too often fails to protect them when they are victimized in the United States."

This isn't surprising to me. Most women of color, especially women who are undocumented, tell of experiences of being re-victimized by the state social service or crime control apparatus when they seek assistance in relation to their domestic or sexual violence experience.

It has been noted in a variety of places that immigrant women are already seen as criminal because of their documentation status. With this perception of them as criminals, when they experience interpersonal violence from an intimate partner or family member, they are more likely to not report or even disclose the violence. It has been common for the police state to deport undocumented survivors of domestic and sexual assault after they report.

Opposing Bigotry Blog recently posted about the white supremacist group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), who recently protested outside a Wendy's fast food chain store, in Milwaulkie, Oregon. "In response to media reports of the rape of one worker at the hands of another at the restaurant, OFIR seized on the immigration status of the accused rapist as the defining factor, protesting the alleged failure of the restaurant to investigate the immigration status of their employees. Do OFIR's calls actually have anything to do with an interest in women's rights, worker safety, or justice?"

Opposing Bigotry goes on to tell us that one of OFIR's leading and most vocal organizers has been convicted of sexual assault. Interesting...

So, its no wonder that women don't want to talk about their sexual assault because they might have a crowd of riled up white supremacists demanding their deportation on the grounds that immigrant women deserve the rape they get or because "their" people are the "problem"!

We must work for racial justice in order to end violence!

1 comment:

gorden said...

If the women attack by the interpersonal violence than they must report and disclose the violent so that the another innocent can save.

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