VIOLENCE IN COMMON: Red & Black Perspectives on Police Brutality
Dr. Melanie K. Yazzie
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Gender Studies, University of California Los Angeles
Acting Assistant Professor, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of California Riverside
Although Native and Black communities face different forms of discrimination and violence from the state, anti-black racism and settler colonialism work together to reinforce an overall political structure that disproportionately targets, murders, and eliminates people from both of our communities. Given our changing political reality under the new Trump administration, it seems important for organizers working on disparate issues to come together and strengthen our ability to work across difference towards mutual liberation. An intersectional discussion with local #BlackLivesMatter or Black-led anti-police-brutality organizers about state violence and police violence against Native and Black people would strengthen our analytical and organizing skills, and provide a basis for new directions in the movement.
Dr. Yazzie will screen segments from a documentary film on the #NoDAPLstruggle that she was involved in. Titled “RISE,” the film documents (among other things) the violent state repression that #NoDAPL Water Protectors have experienced at the frontlines in North Dakota since August 2016. Along with the film’s director and three other scholars, Dr. Yazzie traveled to the frontlines in early November 2016 to take part in a different project as a member of the Red Nation Media Collective. They documented the numerous tactics of policing and state control that were being utilized by the state of North Dakota and Morton County at the time. Although much of the video and photographic footage they collected must remain confidential for legal purposes, Dr. Yazzie will incorporate the media element of her experience with the Red Nation Media Collective and the “RISE” documentary into this Reel Talk discussion.