Five important stories you might have missed because of Rachel Dolezal

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Thursday 18 June 2015 10:00
news

Rachel Dolezal, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) chapter leader outed for apparently pretending to be black by her white parents, almost broke the internet last week.

The discovery of the 37-year-old's appropriation of a black identity led to approximately 40,000 think pieces in just two days.

The curious case of Dolezal's identity politicking is fascinating. But in focusing on one woman's story, headlines have been stolen from the real, continued struggles of black minority communities. Here are five other important stories about racism that you might have missed since Rachel Dolezal stole the show:

1. The Dominican Republic is deporting Haitian migrants en masse

The Dominican Republic has sparked outcry by setting a deadline of June 17th for stateless workers to register with the authorities or face deportation.

It is reported that only 300 of the 250,000 permit applications have been granted and up to 500,000 Dominican Haitians are thought to be at risk of being rounded up off the streets and bussed back over the border.

2. A 12-year-old black girl in Ohio had her limbs and ribs broken by the police

In echoes of the incident in McKinney, Texas earlier this month, a white police officer reportedly slammed a 12-year-old against a car, fracturing her jaw and breaking her ribs, when police were sent to escort a black family off the premises of a swimming pool because one of the children had forgotten a swimsuit. The girl's pregnant aunt, Krystal Dixon, also accused police of rough treatment.

3. A black woman in Georgia was arrested for murder when she took an abortion pill

Kenlissa Jones took an abortion pill she bought online and after complications had to get a neighbour to drive her to hospital. She gave birth to the five-month-old fetus in the car and on arrival at the emergency room was arrested and charged with murder for the death of the unborn child. Although the murder charge was dropped, it is worth noting that since the 1970s it is disproportionately women of colour who have been charged with infanticide in the US.

4. A 14-year-old black boy in Maryland has been charged with a brutal murder thought to be part of a gang initiation

The horrific rape, mutilation and murder of Baltimore teenager Arnesha Bowers last week is thought to have been carried out as part of a gang initiation for Raeshawn Rivers. Rivers, who is 14, has been charged as an adult along with the two men who carried out the murder.

5. Scotsman Sheku Bayoh died in police custody last month and we still don't know what happened

The 31-year-old father of two died in May during an incident involving nine police officers. There are reports that he was taken to hospital still wearing handcuffs and leg restraints even though he was unconscious.

The officers involved were not interviewed until more than 30 days after his death and the Scottish police force has been heavily criticised for their inadequate response to the handling of both the initial incident and the investigation.

More: A woman got an abortion in the US and now she could face the death penalty

More: The teenage girl thrown to the ground by police at a pool party in Texas has spoken out

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