I am a working class person from the rural midwest, now a community organizer in the city, recently a mom.
2. How did you become interested in Marissa’s case?
I became interested in the Marissa Alexander case because it felt so profoundly unjust, it made me feel such anger that a person could be imprisoned, separated from her children, because she tried to defend herself, because she asserted her own right to life. I learned about the case in the news reports that juxtaposed the Trayvon Martin case, and showed how Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, was allowed to justify his actions as self-defense, (though he posed the only threat), whereas Marissa was not allowed to use Stand Your Ground as a defense. It make me think about how a woman, a black person, and especially a black woman, is not allowed any ground to defend. It made me think, ‘where does a black woman live, what space is she entitled to, does she have a right to claim her own body to defend?’ The great work that was being done by the group that became CAFMA has become a powerful place to learn and to do something with that anger.
3. If you could share a message with Marissa, what would you say?
I would say to Marissa: I believe in you, Marissa. I care about you. I am very happy that man didn’t kill you, and kudos to you for protecting yourself in any way that you had available to you. Many people are joining together around the world to help ensure that the state of Florida doesn’t continue to take away your right to be with your kids and live your own life. I believe you will win and, that no matter what, you will go on to be a great leader and advocate in the fight for yourself and others.