Utilizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness month, Emotional Justice Unplugged, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Women, and Free Marissa Now launched a monthlong multimedia letter-writing campaign called #31forMARISSA. The campaign urges men to write letters of support to Alexander, share stories of violence experienced by women in their lives, donate to Alexander’s legal expenses, and become engaged as active allies in the domestic violence movement. Noting that men make up 25 percent of the campaign’s 14,000 Facebook followers, [Sumayya] Fire stated that #31forMARISSA “gives men an opportunity to support the campaign and to speak out about domestic violence and sexism.”
“We are asking a nation of men – of all creeds and colors – to stand up and engage in the pursuit of freedom of a black woman,” the campaign call stated. The letters appear on the SWAGspot tumblr, which was launched in 2013 as an emotional justice community of conversations with men for men, and excerpts of the letters appear on Ebony.com daily. Each week, paper copies of the letters are mailed to Alexander.
First and foremost, I want to say that as a New Afrikan man of strength and solid convictions, it is with great concern that we, as men, make it our sole responsibility to be responsible to women and children by taking up the call to end domestic violence, deadbeat dad syndrome, rape, molestation, prostitution, pimping and pandering, mass incarceration and any exploitation of our women and children.
We, as New Afrikan men, have not only allowed our women and children to be abused and misused, not only by the state and federal governments of this nation, but we, as New Afrikan men, have also played a pivotal role in carrying out some of these genocidal acts and practices against our women and children. We could never expect to meet the call of respectability when we allow our women and children to suffer at the hands of anyone, especially at our own hands. What happened to our New Afrikan sister Marissa Alexander was a direct result of a New Afrikan man abusing our sister. We have to confront head-on any abuses toward our women and children. Marissa Alexander should, under no circumstances, have to fear the New Afrikan man, especially a man whom she committed herself to under oath, only to have this New Afrikan man betray her trust as well as their oath together, which then allowed her to be subjected to the racist judicial system that has jeopardized her very life.
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No woman should have to live in fear, especially a woman in her own home. We, as New Afrikan men, and especially those of sound convictions, have a responsibility to protect all women and children. To not do so is no different than carrying out the act itself. We cannot excuse ourselves where we are needed to protect the very life provider of our New Afrikan nation.
We would have to be insane not to understand the true value of the New Afrikan woman and what she has given to us as a people under extreme social, cultural, political and economic(al) deprivations (i.e. contradictions) to which our women have struggled under the colonial power that has coalesced our people under malignant subcultures that have been the progenitor of our very genocide inside the United States. Marissa Alexander should be made to feel safe in every capacity to carry out any endeavor in her future and should not have to be in possession of a weapon to protect herself. This in itself is a direct result of our inability to protect our women and children.