Eureka, CA–I do not care about Eureka’a Women March being canceled (and now seemingly back on). However, with how much national press this small, rural, community is receiving over a press release from a small group of white folks whom I happen to know of, I feel the need to address a few perplexities I have when it comes to this matter.
Also, because as a Black woman, I lived in this same community recently during my undergraduate journey for years.
When I think of the womens march and its association with Eureka, CA, I think of a rural community seemingly detached from the larger society due to its isolation behind Redwoods.
So, they try to convince themselves they are not a backwards community by attaching themselves to national happenings. Such as the womens march, over exaggeration and cult-like celebrations of MLK Day and other strange oddities that you know are not the principles that makes up the towns fiber.
You would only know this if you experienced living in this rural community as a Black woman.
Last year’s march did allow Latinx speakers space and native women said a prayer but despite this it was still a white centered event due to the MC.
What last years march did not have, is any representation from Black women. Whether students, Black women faculty that work at the local college, the NAACP or the mother of a murdered Black student who comes to town every month advocating for justice in her sons case, to no avail.
The fact Eureka’s women march “forgot” to reach out this Black mother to show solidarity and allow her space at the march, shows exactly the focus and intent of the event. Which for Eureka, is definitely not highlighting the voices and experiences of Black women in Humboldt County.
True, the majority of Humboldt is white after the “settlers” massacred natives in the area and took over their land. The descendants of these natives are still living locally and they are shown very little respect.
If so, the proposed removal of the Mckinley statue that sits in the towns square of Arcata would not have created such an uproar in the community. Humboldt County is organizing women marches but holding on steadfast to their symbols of colonization. How does that work?
I can’t believe this is making national headlines and murdered Black students with no justice (two at this point) get swept under the rug in Humboldt County.
This whole situation is like smoke and mirrors.
To all these publications who wrote about this Eureka Women’s March being canceled and skipped all over murdered student cases, such as Blavity (a black news publication) and the Los Angeles Times, I know the algorithms is how you choose what is “news worthy” and you look for hot topics with headlines but trust me when I tell you the story in Humboldt County is NOT a canceled womens march.
You skipped all around the real story for what to me, is a fluff piece.
If as a publication you really cared about the rights of all women, take a deeper look into the criminal justice system of Humboldt County and how people send their kids up north to be murdered with no justice. Thats the story. Do better.
I can’t believe we marched and organized for a murdered student over a year to bring attention to the coverup/lack of will in his case and the Los Angeles Times thought the statue debate was a better story.
If you are a publication tuned into the small towns in Humboldt County, how can you skip over these student murders with no justice?
I guess Black Lives really don’t matter unless its sensationalized in a news cycle. We are More Than A News Cycle. Our Lives Matter.
The mother of David Josiah Lawson, a student at Humboldt State University who was killed 18 months ago is currently asking the Humboldt community:
“We are asking that everyone who visit Justice 4 Josiah on Facebook, to email and call DA Maggie Fleming of Humboldt County. January 8th will be 2 months since, APD turned over Josiah’s case to her. Josiah’s case is not a priority to her. Josiah Lawson and his family need justice. April will be 2 years, since he was viciously murdered. Let’s put the pressure on her. Parents sacrifice to send there children to college, this is not what they expect to happen. Dj, was a leader, a big brother, nephew, cousin, grandson, friend but most importantly a son?.
Subject: D.J. Lawson case
FLeming EMAIL. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fleming phone number 1 (707) 268-2571.
Dear Ms. Fleming,
I am writing to ask if you have yet asked the CA DOJ or US DOJ for help in solving the murder of DJ Lawson and, if not, why you have not recused yourself from his case. You were given the Arcata Police Department’s review for the second time more than a month ago, but have not completed your review. Given that he was murdered on April 15, 2017 and your office botched the case by not immediately seeking help once you knew you were not contacted by APD immediately, how can you possibly justify your inaction or state that this is timely or appropriate? DJ Lawson’s murder has been deemed solvable and prosecutable by two police chiefs and a retired FBI investigator. How long will your obvious ineptitude, indifference and prejudice continue to delay justice for David Josiah Lawson, his mother, Charmaine and his entire family, as well as let a murderer walk free in the community? This is unacceptable and unconscionable.
Do your job or recuse yourself, or, better yet, resign.