Angela Corey

Thanks, Angela Corey!

Ed. note: This post was originally posted on the Community site.

I want to take this opportunity on Feministing to thank Angela Corey. Actually, anyone who works in the feminist, racial justice, domestic violence advocacy and prison reform activist movements should too. For that matter, anyone with a compassionate mind actually owes her a bit of gratitude. Corey, the publicly elected attorney, who, in addition to wrongfully prosecuting Marissa Alexander for aggravated assault, also mishandled Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis’ murder trials, created a very special situation. She singlehandedly united us all.

Just last week, Free Marissa Now, UltraViolet, Color of Change and the organization I work for, Million Hoodies, had a fruitful conversation about domestic violence, women of color, justice reform and more. Our respective work is moving forward, more synchronized and efficiently than ever. The Free Marissa Now campaign is a brilliant template for cross-movement actions.

And don’t forget what a timesaver she was to those of us who are trying to unpack and repack the systems that employ her and allowed her to put Alexander in jail in the first place. Literally, she spared dozens of folks perhaps hours in email back and forth. Of course, exempt from these blessings are Marissa Alexander and her three children; they’ll never get the time back that she served in prison for defending herself and the kids against a violent, estranged partner in full accordance with the Stand Your Ground laws Corey took an oath to enforce.

As Alexander begins her second week of a two-year house arrest — because what makes more sense than mandating a domestic abuse survivor who was a victim in her own house to never leave it, except to go to work to pay off the $2,000 a month the state’s billing her for the ankle bracelet? — I worry about Corey’s generosity.

I’m no Amal Clooney, but it’s pretty clear that the state of Florida cares about protecting individual rights regarding self defense and privacy against government intrusion — unless you’re Black and a domestic violence survivor. Corey’s gifts to the world are getting pretty legendary. I’m worried she might try and outdo herself.

Lives of color are at stake if she doesn’t stop working and simply rest on her laurels. And by laurels I mean being terrible at her job and not protecting the rights of Black Floridians.

White people like me who believe #BlackLivesMatter and are able to admit white supremacy infects and deludes our critical institutions ,like the police, the government, media, et. al., should work to get her out of office. Many of us won’t forget what she did to Marissa Alexander, and those, like me, who work to honor Trayvon Martin’s memory every single day, will especially commit to memory that she pushed a second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman instead of what he truly deserved. (George is really coming along in the world, isn’t he? Brilliant job all around.)

Alexander has supporters across all motivations. Her story could very well be co-opted or hijacked down the road; it’s happened before. But there is no longer just the one town crier anymore. There are thousands of town criers, maybe millions, on multiple platforms. This generation of young people isn’t afraid to shut it down, and more and more white folks are learning how to be better allies. As many have said, it’s not a leaderless movement; it’s a leaderful movement. Sabrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Lucy McBath, and Ron Davis inspired sustainable, ever-growing movements not least because of how Corey mishandled their tragedies.

As long as the First Amendment stands and there are people willing to defend and risk their comfort for it, we’ll be there, outside Corey’s office, spamming her inbox, filling up her Google alerts with messages like this one from yours truly. There are many other Angela Coreys across America; she just seems to have a knack for enacting justice in the most negligent, hurtful way upon people of color.

Angela Corey has truly given too much. I think it’s about time we revive actions to repay those gifts by returning her to the private sector.

Header image credit: AP

Annie Schoening works for Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. She lives in New York.

Read more about

Join the Conversation