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Marshae Jones’ Situation Is A Tale Of Racism, Sexism, And Unjust Politics

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Alabama doesn’t like women, especially black ones.

Marshae Jones represents the failures in our “justice” system.

Marshae Jones is also a black woman living in Alabama, and due to the recent news about how that state likes to operate, her story, sadly, shouldn’t be all that surprising.

However, it doesn’t mean that what’s happening to Jones isn’t cruel, unjust, and inhumane.

Jones is the 27-year-old woman from Birmingham that’s been in the news because she was recently indicted for the death of her unborn baby when she was five months pregnant in December.

But here’s the plot twist.

Jones didn’t actually do anything wrong, as she was the victim in the situation since she was on the receiving end of a bullet to her stomach that killed her unborn child.

So why was Jones indicted?

Because in a place like Jefferson County, Alabama, a black woman can catch a  manslaughter charge if authorities feel that she was the reason for the tragedy, given that they feel she initiated the dispute which led to her unborn child being murdered.

But there’s another plot twist.

Ebony Jemison, the 23-year-old woman that shot Jones in the stomach and killed her unborn child, had her manslaughter charges dropped after a grand jury failed to indict her.

So what does this mean?

A pregnant woman who got into an argument with another woman wound up getting shot, lost her child, and was indicted on manslaughter charges, all while the woman who pulled the trigger and actually committed murder is free.

As I said, Jones is the latest example of what’s wrong with our “justice” system.

“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ said Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”

“Let’s not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here,’’ Reid continued. “She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection.”

Reid also said that the baby was “dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations.”

Jones situation is a clear reminder of just how little the state of Alabama thinks of women, especially when you realize that two days after Mother’s Day, the state Senate approved a bill that essentially outlaws abortion and makes doctors who perform them felons, where they could face anywhere from 10 to 99 years in prison.

The only exceptions are “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Democrats in Alabama even tried to re-introduce an amendment to add rape and incest victims to the list of exceptions, but their motion failed by an 11-21 vote.

This year, Alabama joined other states like Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Iowa, and North Dakota that all have similar agendas when it comes to women’s rights and abortion laws. In 2019, more than 12 states have either passed or tried to pass stricter abortion laws.

“The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,’’ said Amanda Reyes in a statement. Reyes serves as the Executive Director of the Yellowhammer Fund, which is a  member of the National Network of Abortion Funds.

“Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care.”

When you think of Jones’ situation, and the many others that are unfair to black woman, it’s evident that their race and gender play a big part in all of this. And for those that refuse to accept that, there is evidence that provides proof.

A recent report from the Initiative on Gender Justice and Opportunity at Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality found that black girls and women deal with something that has been labeled as “adultification bias,” which leads to an increased use of discipline against them in the classroom, by law enforcement, and with other authority figures, even though there is no evidence that they will misbehave more than white girls or women.

“Across all systems, this can have a negative impact,” said Jamilia Blake, a Texas A&M professor and a co-author of the report to Vox. “The individuals who are making these decisions are making high-stakes decisions, if they’re operating under this bias and they’re in decision-making positions, that can have significant impacts on black girls and, eventually, black women.”

So, what’s the verdict here?

Black women need to get out of Alabama as fast as they can.

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