Maximo Martinez – Response to: “Kimberlé Crenshaw’s “The Urgency of Intersectionality”.

In the TED talk by Kimberle Crenshaw, called “The Urgency of Intersectionality”, she overall talks about what is intersectionality and why it is important. She start her speech with an exercise which purpose was to make the audience know, how people aren’t really aware of specific black females that die in hand of policemen. She says that this is because “there is no frame for us to see them”, reffering to the fact that they are not cover in the media as much as the cases of other black males that died in hand of policemen. But then I think she went a little bit of the rails when she said that as a result “policy makers don’t think about them”, because I think that’s a really big assumption to make, just from the given fact that some people in the audience don’t recall some of those women names, doesn’t mean that when the U.S. makes a law, they don’t think about black females.

Then she goes on talking about what is identity politics and introduce the audience to the term intersectionality, which she describes to be when “many of our social justice problems like racism and sexism are often overlaping creating multiple levels of social injustice”. But then another problem that I had with this TED talk was when she start talking about Emma Degraffenreid. She introduces Emma’s story as “the experience that gave rise to intersectionality”. From the TED talk what I learned from her is the following. She was an African American woman that was seeking for a job in a car company; she applied, but she didn’t got the job. But instead of accepting it and try to work in another place, she believed that she didn’t got the job because of her race and gender, she believed that she didn’t got hired because she was a black women. She sued the car company, but the judge dismissed her suit. The judge made the argument that her ciliv rights weren’t violated because the car company hired blacks, and females. Kimberle says that by the time of the lawsuit (which by the way happened in the 1970’s), all the women hired were white and all the blacks were men, therefore she was facing double discrimination. My problem with this is that we are assuming that because Emma made the claim of not being accepted because she was a black women, that what she is saying is true. We are not seeing this from both sides; what if she wasn’t prepare for it? what if she just didn’t meet the requiremets/standards for that job? why does it have to be an identity issue, and not an individual one? we lack of information to know that the reason she wasn’t accepted in that job, was because she was a black women.

Finally she goes on talking about police brutality towards black women. She goes on talking about how black women died in hands of policemen, which again ones would assume that is a clear sign on injustice and police brutality, but Kimberle doesn’t provide the audience that much context for one to make a fair conclusion of those scenerios. She goes on saying how some were “sophocated to death”, “tasered to death”, “shot to death”. She also says things like “they been killed shopping while black” and “driving while black”, like to make us think that they were killed just for being black, which again, with the lack of evidence provided, I think is not a fair assumption to make.

Comments ( 3 )

  1. Rachel De Leon
    Throughout your response, I see your point of view toward her speech to her audience. There is lack of context but there is still a possibility that her perspective towards this issue is right. These women have been overlooked when there has been situations where people should address to the world. Discrimination, police brutality, and violence towards women is never the way to go even if there was not as much context as you wanted.
  2. Michelle Ortiz
    I respectfully disagree with you when you said she goes "of the rails" and that she assumes that police does not care of black women. I think you overlooked the purpose of her speech. She clearly provided evidence on how African American women are being KILLED by policemen. Clearly indicating how the police force have less regard and care for these women. They are being inhumanely treated by the police not only because they are African American but also because they are women. This issue need to recognized by broadening the frame which is what she is saying. I think you failed and recognizing her true message. She is not going off the rails she is showing how this framing issue has caused DEATHS. African American women are not being recognized as they are being double discriminated.
  3. Ruben Genao
    I'd say your criticism is reasonable and fair, for all we know it could have been she didn't fit the requirements of the job and just jumped to conclusions. Personally, I also didn't like the survey in the beginning as many people could in one way feel guilty they don't know the names of some of the victims. Furthermore, the "assumptions" as you said could also be indeed assumptions, I feel it's imprudent to accuse cops of killing black people for no reason all while not seeing it in their perspective, cops have families to go home to and don't actively kill people without reason. Even if its as little as a suspect putting their hands in their pocket, they have to take a split second decision whether to shoot or to wait and put their own lives on the line.

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