Attack on Iyanna Dior by Mob Demands Unified, Strong Response
Iyanna Dior, a Black transgender woman, was attacked by a group of men Monday in Minneapolis, Minn., on Monday.
A viral video captured the attack, as Dior was assaulted after what has been described as a minor traffic accident. During the attack, the crowd of approximately 20 to 30 men could be heard yelling homophobic slurs, while at least one bystander attempts to intervene.
“America is taking to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and anti-Black violence. Black lives matter,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “The attack on Iyanna Dior is terrifying and motivated by hate and bigotry. The world needs to know Iyanna’s name and understand the violence that transgender people – and particularly Black transgender people– face every day. Transgender people are targeted by the police, who also too often fail to protect transgender lives or even thoroughly investigate crimes against transgender people. Black trans people are targeted for violence as they simply try to live their lives. We must come together to end the attacks on transgender people.”
In a Facebook video posted after the attack, Dior says that she is OK, but her injuries are clearly visible. NCTE is not sharing a link to the video of the vicious attack.
In NCTE’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, respondents reported the combination of anti-transgender bias and persistent, structural racism as leading causes of hardship and discrimination. In general, transgender people of color respondents fared far worse than white transgender people in most areas examined.
Today is the 8th anniversary of the sentencing of CeCe McDonald, a Black transgender woman also from Minneapolis. McDonald was walking with four friends past the Schooner Tavern when a group of white people brutally attacked them. McDonald defended herself with a pair of scissors and one of her assailants died. McDonald was forced to take a plea deal and, even though it was clearly self-defense, she was sentenced to 41 months in prison on June 4, 2012.
Dior and McDonald are examples of the violence transgender women of color face and the unequal treatment and protection that they receive from law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
Vox.com, the online website devoted to explanatory journalism, is covering the attack on Dior, and quotes other findings from the U.S. Transgender Survey as important context to this latest attack.
“At least 26 transgender or gender-nonconforming people were violently killed last year. Of those, 91 percent were Black trans women. According to the 2015 US Transgender Survey, 46 percent of all trans people reported experiencing verbal harassment because of their gender identity in the last year, with nearly 1 in 10 physically attacked over their gender identity. … The reason trans women of color are particularly susceptible to violence involves a complex intersection of their trans identity and race, as well as poverty, over-policing, and housing.”