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In Support of the Lesbian Seven: I Believe Patreese Johnson, Renata Hill, Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Chenese Loyal, Lania Daniels, and Khamysha Coates

“Living as a woman in a sexist world is to live in constant danger and fear via venomous words and vicious glances. Every woman knows this perpetual fear as deeply as she knows the taste of her own saliva. Men only taste this fear when they are imprisoned. Only then do they experience the curse of being sexual prey for 24 hours of every day. Only then do they know how every lewd glare can render them naked. Only then do they know the sexual harassment that women endure daily. The world is a prison for women. We are all sentenced to consecutive lives of misogyny without parole.”  — Alicia Banks in her eulogy to Sakia Gunn

I’ve spent some time reading everything I could find about the”Lesbian Seven,” seven young lesbian women from Newark, New Jersey, all of whom are either serving or will serve time in jail — up to 11 years — for their parts in an altercation which began when a man sexually harrassed them, approaching them in a menacing and intimidating way, taunting them with hate speech.

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Terrain Dandridge, 20, sentenced to 3-1/2 years, the shortest sentence, because the judge thought she “took responsibility for the attack” in a way the other women did not.  She may not have even touched Dwayne Buckle.

The women were returning home from a night on the town in the West Village in New York City, historically reasonably safe space for lesbians, including lesbians of color,  less safe these days due to ongoing gentrification projects designed to draw tourist dollars and to attract affluent new residents.  Gentrification always harms poor, working class persons, minorities and marginalized people, because police, landlords, business owners, make it their business to go after those they view as undesirable, in fact,  those who have heretofore made the area their home.

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On the night in question at around 2 a.m.,  Dwayne Buckle, 29 (above), variously described as an “electrician,” a “sound engineer,” and an “independent filmmaker” (isn’t everybody these days),  was sitting on a fire hydrant outside the Independent Film Cinema, supposedly hawking DVDs.   According to the women’s testimony — which I completely, thoroughly, unequivocally and absolutely believe; it rings, it resonates, and I’ve seen and heard this kind of exchange and been victimized by this kind of man many, many times — Buckle approached one of the women, Patreese Johnson, who stands 4’11” tall and weighs 95 pounds, gestured toward her crotch and said, “Let me get some of that.”  When she and the other women said they weren’t interested, they were lesbians, Buckle shouted, “I’ll fuck you straight, sweetheart.”  At that point Johnson’s girlfriend shot back an insult, something about Buckle’s jeans and tennis shoes being cheap, Buckle then called one of the women an “elephant,” and yelled at another that she “looked like a man.”  Then there was a fight.  Surveillance cameras show Buckle choking one woman and holding clumps of hair ripped from some of the women’s heads.  The women said Buckle spit on them and hucked a lit cigarette at them; Buckle says one of the women spit at him. 

During the course of the altercation, the woman Buckle had directly sexually harrassed retrieved a 99-cent steak knife out of her bag and went after Buckle with it in an attempt to defend the woman whom Buckle was choking.  At one point she thought she may have stabbed him, but she wasn’t sure.  The video does not show that the woman ever actually stabbed him; it does show three men joining the melee and shows one of them, in a pink shirt, apparently stabbing Buckle.  Police never apprehended the stabber in the pink shirt. 

The men ran off, Buckle was on the ground, no blood was in evidence, Buckle was clearly alive, and the women went on to McDonald’s to have a bite to eat, where they were arrested by police.  Buckle, as it turned out, had suffered a lacerated liver and was taken to the hospital.

Three of the women pled guilty to attempted assault and served six months in jail.  Four of the women went to trial.  None of the women had criminal records, and two are parents.

Kangaroo Court

The judge was a real card, cracking  jokes with Buckle at trial about how expensive Buckle’s jeans and tennis shoes actually had been, yukking it up with the jury when a police officer, called to testify, donned rubber gloves while handling Patreese Johnson’s knife.  No forensic tests were ever done on the knife and there was no evidence hers was the knife that cut Buckle, nor was there blood on it.  In the clear absence of blood stains, the judge mocked the police officer for donning the gloves and cracked a joke  about the officer seeing “germs” there

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Renata Hill,  sentenced to 8 years.  Patreese Johnson,  19, who wielded a steak knife against Buckle but did not stab him (video surveillance evidences Buckle was stabbed by a man who joined the fray later), was sentenced to 11 years.  She, like the other women, had no criminal record.

In the end, the judge threw the book at the four women.  He said Patreese Johnson should have just “ignored” Buckle, chiding her with the children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”  How easy a thing that was for this powerful, affluent  white man, a 1972 graduate of Georgetown University School  of Law,  to say.  He blew off the fact that Johnson was tiny and vulnerable and trashed her for having brought a knife along and for wielding it against Buckle (which was caught on the surveillance video).   He also accused the soft-spoken and timid Johnson of “putting on an act” at trial.

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Sakia Gunn, 15,  a lesbian and known to the Lesbian 7, was stabbed to death in 2003 when she rejected a man who propositioned her.

Evidently the judge didn’t know what had happened to the women’s acquaintance — because all of them had known her — Sakia Gunn, above, who, like them, had been out on the town one night with three friends, who, like them, was a lesbian.  She too had been accosted by a man making similar sexual overtures and attacking her with lesbophobic hate speech late at night.  When Gunn and her friends resisted him, though, Gunn was stabbed to death.  She was 15 years old.

Sticks and stones.  I guess to McLaughlin, it would be preferable for the women to have been polite, courteous, deferential,  unarmed, and — like Sakia Gunn — dead.

“They hated men.” — Buckle

In the end McLaughlin sentenced the four women — who again had no criminal records — to from 3-1/2 to 11 years in prison.  Buckle is fine these days, all  healed, claiming he was targeted for violence by “manhating” lesbians because he is a “heterosexual man.”  

“They hated men,” Wayne Buckle said from the intensive care unit of Saint Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan. “I think it would have been any man and not just me.”

Still shaken by Friday’s terrifying assault, Buckle, an independent filmmaker from Queens, said he felt he was the victim of a bias attack.

“It was a hate crime against a straight man by a ton of lesbians,” he said. “This is what the world is coming to.”

Several witnesses and police sources said Buckle sparked the attack by spitting on a 19-year-old lesbian after she rejected his advances outside the IFC movie theater on Sixth Ave. near W. Third St. He also allegedly cursed the woman, Patrice (sic)  Johnson, using gay slurs.

…[Buckle] denied that he had provoked the attack and insisted he was not homophobic.

“All I said was, ‘Excuse me, how are you doing?’ like a gentleman,” he said. “I thought it was the natural thing to do.”

Misogynist Mainstream Media

Mysogynist media has had a field day with the case, with headlines and reports describing the seven women at various times as  a “gang“, a “Lesbian wolf pack,” “Killer Lesbians,” “ornery lesbians,” and the incident as a “lesbian beatdown.” Reporters gleefully mocked the grief and shock of the defendants and their families as they received harsh prison sentences, in one instance describing them as a “howling pack.”

Reports sympathetic to the woman were also at times disturbingly inaccurate, describing the jury as entirely comprised of “white women,” when in fact  some jury members were not white, the jury included two men, and it would have included three, except that the third got in trouble with the judge when  he randomly asked in open court if he and his family would be in any danger from the “lesbian marauders.”

I Believe Them

I believe the women.  Not for one moment do I believe this man.  Which of us, as women, has not had the experience of being accosted late at night, crudely propositioned, harrassed with sexist hate speech?  How many of us have been knifed, beaten, shot, raped and murdered at the hands of a man in an incident which began just  like this one?  How is it a crime for us to be ready to defend ourselves?  How is it criminal for us, as women, to be ready for the absolute worst, to expect the worst, given what we know men to be capable of, given the slaughter of women which goes on all around us every day?

And what other persons could be described repeatedly in mainstream media, in headlines, as animals, as a “wolf pack,” “a howling pack,” “killers” without any consequence to the reporters or the publication?  This is sick, disgusting, racist, sexist, lesbophobic, classist, it is hatred of vulnerable young women so deep and grievous that for any supposedly civil society to tolerate it is unconscionable.  And yet ours does. 

The women’s attorneys have appealed the sentences.   FIERCE New York City is supporting the women and outlines how others can help in this flyer and has scheduled a meeting to discuss how to help the women, as follows:

Tuesday, July 10th at 6:30pm
147 West 24th Street, 6th Floor
(between 6th & 7th Ave. – 1/F/C/E to 23rd Street)

I am lighting candles for Patreece Johnson,  Renata Hill, Venice Brown,  and Terrain Dandridge whose real crime was being black, lesbian, and daring to resist the intimidation and sexual harrassment of a lesbophobic male.  I hope and pray they are released very soon.

Heart
_________________

Links

New York Times Articles (first four links, subscription required, free for 14 days with credit card):

Man is Stabbed After Admiring a Stranger 
Four Women in Assault Case Say They Acted in Defense
Woman in Gang Assault Trial Says Man Started Fight
Four Women Sentenced in Attack on Man in in Village

Lesbian 7:  The Anger Grows
Killer Lesbians Mauled by Killer Court, Media Wolfpack
Women of Color Blog
More Stabbings Please

Alicia Banks’ Eulogy for Sakia Gunn, an Eternal Sista Warrior

Discussion

67 thoughts on “In Support of the Lesbian Seven: I Believe Patreese Johnson, Renata Hill, Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Chenese Loyal, Lania Daniels, and Khamysha Coates

  1. This case is an outrage. It isn’t a question of belief when video footage of the entire incident exists.

    Posted by Miranda | July 9, 2007, 12:57 am
  2. It is an outrage, Miranda. How does anyone get eleven years for trying to fend off an attacker?

    The media is obsessed with the sexuality of the women too, which is blatantly homophobic and sexist, IMO. What does their sexuality have to do with this? Because they tried to rid themselves of him by saying they were gay? If they had rejected his harrassment with a different line would their sexuality still be such an issue?

    They were trying to protect a woman during an attack. I’d do the same for a friend or a relative or a stranger on the street for that matter. I hadn’t heard that people were calling them “animals” and a “wolf pack,” Heart. There is a lot of disgusting, blatant racism going on here– as evidenced by these foul names and by the extreme length of the sentences.

    I’m so glad to hear people are fighting this. They shouldn’t serve a day in jail for defending themselves.

    Posted by Gayle | July 9, 2007, 2:54 am
  3. Heart, just wanted to thank you for this post. Thank you for all your posts, actually, but this particular issue — the daily street intimidation and threat of violence women endure — hits so close to home I had to blog about it too.

    From the coverage it definitely looks like there is some huge racism and homophobia going on with this case. God, it’s sickening. But this kind of “blame the woman if she fights back” crops up in all kinds of cases, and I think it applies to all women to some extent.

    Posted by Violet Socks | July 9, 2007, 7:10 am
  4. Dang it! I thought that was a preview and it was a post.

    To finish:

    …it applies to all women to some extent. Everywhere in the world, women are punished, sometimes insanely, for the ‘crime’ of refusing to submit to abuse. Nevertheless, when you add in factors of race and class and sexual orientation, whatever slim chance at justice a woman has simply disappears. A young black lesbian is so low in the pecking order she might as well be two-dimensional chalk shape on the sidewalk. She’s nowhere.

    Posted by Violet Socks | July 9, 2007, 7:18 am
  5. But this kind of “blame the woman if she fights back” crops up in all kinds of cases,

    It reminds me of all the ‘women should carry guns to defend themselves’ comments about rape. It sounds mildly ok in theory until you realize that if a woman actually shot her attacker, there’s every liklihood that she’d be found guilty of attempted murder.

    Posted by Miranda | July 9, 2007, 10:29 am
  6. What an outrage. Buckle should be charged with attempted murder for trying to strangle the young woman, plus other charges from his attack and harassment of the young women. And McLaughlin should be kicked off the bench and he, not Nifong, should be disbarred.

    Posted by Branjor | July 9, 2007, 2:25 pm
  7. So true, everything everybody here says. This McLaughlin pathetic excuse for a human being has been an attorney or a judge for 35 fracking years and somehow he has entirely missed the memo about sexual harrassment and hate speech. If women, if marginalized people, could just “walk away,” if it were a matter of sticking our fingers in our ears and saying, “nanny nanny boo boo stick your head in doo-doo,” we wouldn’t need feminism, or the civil rights movement or the gay rights movement or the anti-poverty movement, would we? His was the argument sexist men used and use against sexual harrassment law– that women should just “walk away.” What this misses is that women cannot “walk away” from what a mounts to a *climate* of sexual harrassment, objectification and abuse. It is pervasive and ubiquitous, it’s everywhere. All we can do is prepare ourselves, try to think of ways, when we’re in the street, to keep ourselves safe. But if we fight back, we might go to jail! So true that Buckle should have been charged with attempted murder and assault, he was caught right the hell t here on the surveillance camera doing what he did!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 9, 2007, 5:39 pm
  8. Seriously, what planet am I on? How could this happen anywhere, let alone here?

    I can’t even say I’m surprised, which hurts me beyond words. I know this shit happens, because it’s happened to me, too. It’s happened to most of us. Hell, nearly ALL women have had at least one crazy sick woman-hating asshole scare us, threaten us, or attack us.

    So so often the reaction to our speaking out, speaking up, standing up, fighting back is shame, silence, denial, downplaying, rudeness, jokes, even VIOLENCE.

    And now, prison sentences. Let that be a lesson to us, ladies. Better run away with our tails between our legs or take it, or we’ll go to PRISON for fucking DEFENDING OURSELVES.

    This isn’t sick. This is beyond sick. This is far, far beyond any deranged adjective I can use to describe it.

    That judge should be disbarred, then thrown in jail himself for simultaneously re-visiting humiliation on these poor woman (you bet your ASS I believe them!), then incarcerating them for the crime of being women who had the goddamned audacity to *not* bend over and take it.

    Posted by CJ | July 10, 2007, 12:25 am
  9. You know, it’s women like Patreese, Renata and their friends who would make the streets safer for women. Men have to know that there are consequences for assaulting women, and our nation’s law enforcement has proven that it cares nothing for women’s safety. But instead of getting punished, men get rewarded for their behavior. It’s like the case in Kansas, where the 14-year-old girl who got raped is being charged with rape because her rapist was 13 and below the age of consent. The clear message to women is shut up, take it, and enjoy it. And if you don’t, we won’t just ignore you. We’ll punish you.

    Posted by mekhit | July 10, 2007, 3:53 am
  10. Reading around, I understand that the video shows that the man is the one who initiated the physical violence as well as the verbal harassment, putting the actions of the women entirely in the self-defense category.

    There might have been a legal (not ethical or common-sensical, but legal) issue if the women had been the ones to start the physical contact, but even that didn’t happen.

    And even if they had been, the length of the sentences is still ridiculous. I’m quite sure a bunch of men in a bar brawl, for example, wouldn’t have to serve that length of time unless someone (another man, obviously) was actually killed.

    Posted by Miranda | July 10, 2007, 10:36 am
  11. And you know, the sad thing is that when women don’t fight back, the implication is that we wanted it or deserved it for not standing up for ourselves — look at how often rape cases take into account whether/how much the victim fought back. If it wasn’t blatantly clear before, it is now — there really is no way out when a man decides to assault or murder a woman.😦

    Posted by mekhit | July 10, 2007, 8:12 pm
  12. I read this when you posted it a few days ago and I can only now, several days later, begin to articulate how I felt. Upon reading this post I immediately slammed my laptop shut and proceeded to scream at the top of my lungs. My children were worried and came in to make sure I was alright.

    Something about this post triggered something so primal inside of me that I am still almost speechless days later. What woman among us has not been groped, screamed at, harrassed, assault and so forth? And how many of us have spoken about it later only to be told, “Well, you should have kicked him in the nuts” or, “You should have punched him in the face” or something similar.

    Then, when a woman DOES fight back (although it does not escape my attention that they were attacked and were simply defending themselves) you get prison for your fucking trouble.

    I truly believe that this world has reached it’s climax. Indeed, I feel as if there is a large boulder balanced at the top of a mountain and I can feel the very air shift as it goes past that point of no return.

    In short I’ll repost a bumper sticker I saw on a car a few weeks ago:

    “God is coming and damn is SHE pissed”

    My heart goes out to these women, I very much hope that they are able to overturn these convictions.

    Posted by bitingbeaver | July 10, 2007, 8:48 pm
  13. Besides the obvious vicious racism displayed by this case, I also find it telling that the judge claims that Johnson was “putting on an act” during the trial. He doesn’t know her — on what information is he basing his claim? Oh, wait, because she’s a black woman, and black women are never timid or mild-mannered in the minds of racist white men who expect them to be silent. This whole thing is just beyond words.

    Posted by mekhit | July 11, 2007, 7:40 pm
  14. The comments above summed it up, the outrage, and the ‘damned if you, damned if you don’t’ fight back.

    The point is, women have little protection from the law (men’s law), and now it is actively used to punish us at every opportunity.

    My thoughts to the Lesbian Seven — I hope they can appeal this, get it overturned for the outrageous miscarriage of justice it truly is.

    Posted by CrankyCrone | July 11, 2007, 7:50 pm
  15. “They attacked me because I was heterosexual”, GIVE ME A BREAK. Witnesses say he spit on them after they “refused his advances”. Since when it is ok to sexually harass someone on the streets. Since when sexually advancing on a stranger “being heterosexual”. Since when does “being heterosexual” give men a free pass at harassing, intimidating, and basically putting women in their place.

    We all know what he means by “I was just saying Hello how are you”…”Like a gentlemen.” We’ll all know what that means. We’ve all been there.

    Sickening. It’s just absolutely sickening. He spit on them when they verbally refused his advances. Then he attacked one of their friends. I believe if I read correctly only then she pulled a knife on them.

    Ok. Men’s rules out the door. I’m sorry but in no way do men’s rules on fair fighting apply to me or other women. Hell yea I’m gonna pull a knife on your ass, or a gun. YES I WILL use LETHAL force on a man assailant. And THAT should be legal for women to do.

    I guess she should have just let the man beat her friend to death in a REAL hate crime.

    The only hate in this case came from this man. Just sickening that our porn culture makes his “heterosexuality” legal, tolerated, joked with and applauded in court by a judge who probably just got finished watching porn himself.

    Posted by Kiuku | July 11, 2007, 8:28 pm
  16. Christ, I just hate men. It’s not hatred; it’s self defense. They hate us first and they have the law, the cops, the judges, everything on their side.

    Posted by ginmar | July 11, 2007, 8:56 pm
  17. Since when does “being heterosexual” give men a free pass at harassing, intimidating, and basically putting women in their place.

    Since forever it seems.

    Posted by Kitty Glendower | July 12, 2007, 12:32 am
  18. This is terrible. I so feel for those women. It is so, so sickening that women are constantly blamed for daring to resist. I agree with Biting Beaver. How can we stand this any longer? I hope the actions planned will bring release for these courageous women.

    Posted by allecto | July 12, 2007, 1:01 am
  19. I would suggest to local feminists to start protesting this in the streets. In the UK, we have started street protests against rape. Now is the time for all feminists to take up the placard.

    If women, any women, cannot defend themselves from a male attacker, then male (sexual) violence will only increase.

    Posted by CrankyCrone | July 12, 2007, 8:06 am
  20. Yea really Kitty.

    I am soooooo sick of these sexist, misogynist, white, middle-aged judges. Of course a man is going to get violent if a woman dare speak back to his harassment. So it is the woman’s fault for “provoking” him, and then the woman’s fault for fighting back in the altercation. Of course, if she doesn’t fight back, or say anything back we all know who’s fault that is too. “You didn’t say anything. That means you liked it.” “You didn’t fight back. That means it wasn’t rape.” uuuggghhh so sickening. It’s just absolutely repulsive. So what are we supposed to do exactly? What do these men want us to do?

    If this were a bar brawl I don’t think Dwayne would be in court . Because bar brawl’s are male sanctioned violence, even if someone gets stabbed, and Dwayne obviously feels like this shouldn’t have happened to him because it was within his male heterosexual rights to harass someone.

    And these girls get 11 years in prison by the stupid, misogynist, sexist, white male judge who feels he had to “swing the big dick” so to speak and joke with Dwayne, assuage his ego, and show women what their real place is.

    I actually found on one of the links heart put up a phone number where you can donate so these women can afford some real legal counsel.

    Yea we all believe you Dwayne that you said “Hi. How are you”.

    Posted by Kiuku | July 12, 2007, 11:02 pm
  21. Ah… the double bind. Where we are damned if we do and damned if we dont. I always question how I should handle myself in these situations… I work all day and then go to school at night and often have to walk home from school. I’ve been in a great number of difficult situations… once while walking home from class, I was being followed by 3 men. There were two on my left, and one right behind me. Something didn’t feel right… I didnt like the situation and was trying to figure out why 3 men, who’d been talking in a group when I walked past them, would suddenly break up and begin to head in my direction. I began walking faster and so did they, and the two on the other side began to cross the street and head me off, and in absolute FEAR I ran as fast I could to make it to my street and my front door, and they began to run too. I was really lucky that night, maybe it was fear that allowed me to run that fast… maybe someone was watching out for me, spiritually, I cannot call it, but I got to my door and easily unlocked it and shut it behind me. It was all I could do to get through the second door, where I collapsed to the floor shaking. I couldnt believe it, still cant.

    I just attended a workshop with INCITE Boston. We were discussing sexual harrassment, street harrassment etc. In our discussion we all came to realize that men dont believe cat calling, whistling, and grabbing to be sexual harrassment. We’re working on a campaign to STOP the violence against women here, to STOP it from being the norm and we have a LONG journey to get there.

    I can only imagine what would’ve happened to me that night had I not trusted my instincts and ran like hell… I may have been in the same position of women who are raped and murdered… I can only imagine what went through the heads of the lesbian 7 as they encountered this PIG. How dare he spin it off as him being a gentleman and the MARGINALIZED DISCRIMINATED AGAINST group of WOMEN simply attacking him because of his gender. BULLSHIT! MEN getting attacked because of their gender?!?!?! That is the most outrageous shit i’ve ever heard! Its disgusting, enraging, and it hurts.

    I really feel so helpless sometimes… I know I’m not alone in that too.

    Posted by Divine Purpose | July 13, 2007, 2:20 pm
  22. How dare he spin it off as him being a gentleman…

    Because his, and his brethren’s, idea of himself as a gentleman is currently more important than the real suffering of women and girls. Women and girls should just continue to suck it up, pretend to like it in order not to get hurt, so that men like Dwayne can rest easy at night, secure in the knowledge that they are ‘good’ men.

    Posted by justicewalks | July 17, 2007, 9:19 pm
  23. From my family tou the “7”, our hearts go out to you.. Being a “Stud” lesbian growing up in Miami I can surely relate, having countless altercations with the opposite sex for either the way I look, or rejecting their advances. All I can say to you young Bruhs, Keep your heads up, and continue to pray. Rainbow Love to you all..

    Posted by Sallie | July 19, 2007, 4:38 pm
  24. Damn is all i can say right now. Im at work and was forwarded this link from my friend Blaaze. I have a trillion thoughts and comments running through my head at this moment but writing them down would not be fair to the conscience me. They wouldnt be nice so let me calm down a bit and come back when i yelled at a few folks first for the people in the article/story that just pissed me the hell off. It is already a rainy blah day. This just added to the moment. Ladies – physically i dont n e of you – might have seen you in the clubs – but mentally my heart goes out to you. God dont like ugly and this is just an ugly situation. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you get through this as well as get out of the positions youve been put in.
    QT

    Posted by darlene | July 20, 2007, 7:37 pm
  25. Hey y’all,

    I am working with a group creating a documentary about the seven lesbian women from Newark, New Jersey who defended themselves from an attack and ended up being sent to prison with sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years. If anyone is in the Newark or New York area and would like to help, contact either Gabi or J.

    Gabi – drunkinbudderfli@yahoo.com

    J – jennahenryhansen@yahoo.com

    Thank you!!

    Posted by J and Gabi | July 24, 2007, 12:45 am
  26. Also, the film is being shown at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater on Aug 2. You can contact them to voice your disapproval at the following website:

    http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/contact.htm

    Better yet, show up and protest.

    Posted by Diana | July 27, 2007, 8:07 pm
  27. Thanks for the heads up(s), Diana, Bagi and J!

    Posted by womensspace | July 27, 2007, 8:17 pm
  28. Thank you, Heart – thank you, folks who posted comments.

    As a man, I am embarrassed on behalf of my gender. Buckle should be the one prosecuted, not them. But like so many male batterers, he instead claims to be the victim – “they attacked me because I was heterosexual” my ass!

    I guess we have a lot of work to do.

    Posted by Ben Atherton-Zeman | August 9, 2007, 7:30 pm
  29. UPDATE: There’s an online petition we can sign:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/theseven/

    There are 440 signatures so far. The most recent updates I’ve been able to find about the case are here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/justice4newark4/

    Sallie, you’re probably not hanging around here anymore, but I sent letters to each of the four women and I enclosed your message to them.

    Thanks for posting all of this information, Heart. I tried to send you an e-mail (about something else) a couple days ago, but I can’t tell whether it got through to you. Thanks for everything, though.

    Posted by Nicole | August 17, 2007, 7:27 pm
  30. THIS IS RENATA HILL MOTHER, I JUST WANT TO THANK U FOR POSTING THIS STORY ON LINE AND TRYING TO GET THE TRUTH OUT.I MISS MY DAUGHTER SO MUCH, MY BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP ON THE 28TH AND IM GOING TO VISIT HER THAT WEEKEND.THE SUPPORT THAT THESE WOMEN HAVE IS OVA WELMING IM SO TOUCH BY IT. THIS IS VERY HARD FOR ME CAUSE IM NOT AT GOOD HEALTH,I HAVE NEVER BEEN APART FROM MY DAUGHTER B4. SHE IS A GOOD DAUGHTER AND MOTHER, AND HER SON ASK ABOUT HER EVERYDAY WHEN IS HIS MOMMY COMING OUT OF JAIL.IT SADDEN ME THAT THE SYSTEM IS SO UNFAIR. I HAVE SEEN POPLE THAT KILL SOMEONE GET LESS TIME THEN THESE WOMEN GOT IT’S AN OUTRAGE. WELL I JUST WANT U TO KNOW THAT IM GREATFUL FOR UR THOUGHTS AND WORDS TOWARDS THESE WOMEN AND MY FAMILY THANK YOU SO MUCH. BROKEN HEARTED MOTHER; MOLLIE BROWN

    (Note– I removed your phone number, Mollie, because I wouldn’t want any of the nutjobs to read here to harass you! If those of you I trust would like Mollie’s contact information, please e-mail me. — Heart)

    Posted by MOLLIE BROWN | September 12, 2007, 12:40 pm
  31. {{{ MOLLY BROWN }}}

    Molly, those {{{ things are a hug.

    Much love to you Precious Mother.

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | September 12, 2007, 2:08 pm
  32. Molly, it’s a pleasure to hear from you and to know your daughters are getting their MUCH DESERVED support! I know it has to be hard for you to take care of your grandchild, not only because your health isn’t the best, but because of the way it has to hurt hearing your grandson ask for his mom. There is NO WAY she should be in jail, no REASON you should have to go through any of this. Argh, it makes me so angry.

    But again, I’m so glad you posted here and am glad to hear you will be seeing your daughter soon on your birthday. Happy Birthday! I hope and pray that your daughter is reunited with you soon and that she can move on with her life.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | September 12, 2007, 3:40 pm
  33. This sickens me. These men continue to get away with this horrendous behavior and women get punished simply for standing up for their rights. When did it become acceptable for men to say whatever they want to women? To spew their hatred?

    There comes a time when this mess must end. The streets need to be safer for women. I hope these women get justice in their favor. Buckle should’ve been the one punished.

    Posted by Don't Be Silent | September 14, 2007, 4:28 pm
  34. In light of the Jena 6, I have to admit that I’ve never heard of the New Jersey 7. And you know why that is…
    You would never see the same rallying for lesbians.

    Posted by arm jerker j | September 27, 2007, 9:18 pm
  35. Hi, everyone. I’m starting a letter-writing campaign on behalf of the New Jersey Four. Here’s the template: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/justice4newark4/message/48

    Posted by Nicole | September 27, 2007, 9:59 pm
  36. Hey, Nicole, thanks. 🙂 I also put this in the new post about the Lesbian 7 today.

    Also, this is great:

    http://darkdaughta.blogspot.com/2007/09/second-waver-and-newark-black-lesbian-7.html#links/

    Via Second Waver

    Posted by womensspace | September 27, 2007, 10:53 pm
  37. In the news story his lawyer keeps repeating his ‘innocuous’ comments to these women. You have to wonder who would be so stupid as to rag on a gang, or any member of a gang. A man would, when the ‘gang’ is made up of women.

    Because well, being women, they were out alone. We know how that works, all of us know how it goes: “Hey what you girls doing out here all alone?”

    Posted by Sis | September 30, 2007, 12:39 am
  38. This kind of behaviour is outrageous and should not be tolerated, no matter the neighborhood, city, state, or country. That judge needs an ego check and to have his judicial powers revoked. Buckle needs to be put in jail, at least, and all men in particular need a heavy dose of reality. It’s not okay to talk to down anyone, no matter your orientation, sex, race, wealth, ANYTHING.

    Our society is sick and it makes me ashamed to say that I live in the same country as these two men. What’s even more angering is that I haven’t heard about these women or any similar cases because somehow being gay is still considered a taboo. It’s ridiculous. If ancient civilizations accepted it or even encouraged it, I can’t even imagine how our mindsets somehow got twisted around to think that it’s perfectly okay to harass gays or lesbians. And the judge’s behaviour only affirms this.

    “Gentlemen” need to start taking responsibility for their actions instead of shoving them off on the innocent.

    Posted by Mimi | October 2, 2007, 11:47 pm
  39. From what I understand of this story, it wasn’t the lesbian, so called, “wolf-pack” that physically attacked this guy, it was 3 men; that later ran away! I am a lesbian, who has been a good athlete and am very strong…and look it. I have been harrassed by men my whole life. I ran the mile, in high school faster than alot of guys, I outdid them in various sports, and got more girlfriends than my brother! This is what the little women haters are so angry about. They don’t want to be outdone by a woman; because most of them don’t respect women. From my experience, I think women should hang out in packs. Men are a threat to women….in general! Their idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by CJ | November 20, 2007, 5:55 pm
  40. At what point will it end. This guys is an idiot and so is the judge. How can you convict this ladies and I call them ladies for protecting themsleves? How come there are no men talking about this? This idiot is making men look bad. its men like him who give men a bad name. He should be the one on trial. You mean its legal to strangle someone now? Someone needs to tell the judge and who ever the prosecutor was that what he did was attemted urder. I think there law degree should be burned. Every balck man should be pissed. Our black women have been used and abouse for to many damn years, and for him to sit there and watch this happen is upsetting. Because they are lesbians does not give anyone the right to harm them. Would the judge have thrown the book at these ladis if they were white? I have to ask that question, because I don’t like toplay the race card, but in this you have too. This guys is less than a man, to do what he did to those ladies. He is spineless! I don’t support violence but apparently there were 3 men who did not like his beavior and took matters in there own hands.

    Hey CJ, not all men think like these idiots. There are a few of us good ones out there! I have been working for years side by side with ladies to stop the violence against women!

    Posted by Allen | November 21, 2007, 7:57 pm
  41. Rock on, Allen. Persevere in the fine work you are doing. Men have to end male violence.

    Peace,
    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 22, 2007, 5:17 am
  42. Why as women do we think its foolish or even crazy to be like…Amazons. THATS RIGHT, I said it Amazons. In the sense that we would fight…to the death even against a man who threatens our freedom. I mean come on, Men got smart along the way and new how to keep women where he needed them. But now its time for things to go back to how they were. We need to be together, all of us…like an unstoppable force, blunt and unquivering. We need to feel free to be ANGRY and LOUD and use that fire to burn something!! I mean men will always be men will always be men will always be men and so on. Only we can, NOT some man, can change that for ourselves. People will call us man-haters, what-have-you, this is all to keep us all on the ‘well’ side. Keep us all in that grey area, where we want to be all inclusive and think about the ‘good’ men too, BUT, ITS NOT THEM who go through this shit on a daily basis. It’s there sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, etcc.. etc…
    Until women can walk around in the night and not fear that the man coming around the corner could be the one. Not have to constant gage how well they could protect themselves against this man or that man or him over there watching you in the van.
    Since, forever, I have been stalked, stalked, stalked while walking to school, I WAS LUCKY that I didnt get caught, or ambushed, that a car passing saved me, or me making it where people crowded by, saved me. When will we be fed up enough to do something…How many of us have to fall before we come together? and how soon will it be that you fall, or I?

    Posted by Agnes | January 11, 2008, 12:09 am
  43. Yes Agnes, why aren’t we real Amazons?

    I often wonder why women don’t go to war on their own behalf. It is very very odd to see the reality of men controlling city streets, and women being afraid of men.

    I am amazed that women don’t build themselves up in gyms, learn self-defense or even go into boxing rings now and then and learn to knock a man or two.

    We are in a war against women, and women don’t know it. They seem to have no idea that men hate and have nothing but contempt for women. Talk radio reveals this for all to hear, and yet women just go along with it all.

    As a radical lesbian feminist, I do think that this is war. I do not support non-violence when we live in this kind of a world. I do not support the self-defeating lives women choose, when they marry men and put themselves in danger.

    I think women who marry giant 250-350 pound men are crazy.

    I think women who have men in their own homes are insane.

    I think women’s denial about the hatred men have for women is incredible given all that we read and see daily, all that we hear on the news etc. It is amazing that this woman hatred isn’t addressed in the presidential debates, and that Hillary is strangely silent about the rape of women in the military.

    Where is the war women wage and win? We did have Amazons who were feared by Caesar and his Roman army. We do have descriptions of them in “Caesar’s Commentaries,” and we do have accounts of women warriors all over the world. We know that women once were horseback fighters, and killers of enemies and avengers of the crimes against women.

    We all know this.

    Posted by Satsuma | January 11, 2008, 9:03 am
  44. “Good” men kill “good” women all the time in the wars between male nation states, and they don’t agonize over it. They see it as part of a fight-back to protect the male nation state with which they identify against a different male nation state.

    Accordingly, if any of the few “good” men are taken out in a full-on female fightback against male rule, I won’t care.

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | January 11, 2008, 3:33 pm
  45. i applaud those women for standing up like that

    Posted by dneo | January 25, 2008, 4:59 am
  46. my goodness.. this is awful.. reminds of the problems for black lesbian community in South Africa and the cleasing rapes that take place all the time in townships..

    breaks my heart, tears my spirit and makes me very very angry..

    Posted by Kadawa | February 15, 2008, 12:44 pm
  47. I don’t know where this myth of a “few good men” comes from.

    I see the creeps in corporations during the day, but obviously their wives have no idea how their husbands are acting at work. Just ask Ginny Thomas!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 15, 2008, 5:26 pm
  48. Hi, everyone.

    There’s a new website dedicated to the New Jersey 4. At http://www.justice4nj4.com, you’ll find ways we can help the four imprisoned young women. There’s also a discussion board, so you can share your opinions, ideas, experiences, announcements, and any actions you plan to take on behalf of the NJ4. We’ll be adding more to the site soon, including:

    * additional ways to help the 4 and their families
    * upcoming events in support of the 4
    * more information about the case, including the media coverage
    * updates about the young women and their legal appeal
    * personal messages from members of the 4 and family members

    Please check in from time to time. Feel free to post on the discussion board. And please help us spread the word about this new website in support of the New Jersey 4. Thanks!

    Posted by Nicole | February 18, 2008, 6:55 pm
  49. Hey, Nicole!

    I also posted your announcement here a while back:

    https://womensspace.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/new-website-dedicated-to-the-new-jersey-4/

    Not sure if you saw it, but wanted you to know about it anyway.
    🙂

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 7:15 pm
  50. This propaganda has currupted the minds of so many people, for such a crime to happen, and people are still closing their eyes to the truth. An African American Achiever was stabbed by 7 disgusting black lesbians, whose only claim to fame was that they have gay sex, now, America must support them, and their lustful ideals. An attempted murder of a Black Man, who represents the Black Race so Positively as an Engineer Filmmaker, and Teacher of Engineering, now we must support the beasts who tried to kill him, so they could have the right to have more gay sex, and currupt the minds of more of our daughters.
    JUSTICE FOR DWAYNE BUCKLE. THIS CRIME WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
    http://www.Foundationforjustice.wordpress.com

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” EPHESIANS 6:12

    Posted by foundationforjustice | March 6, 2008, 9:14 pm
  51. I’ve approved Mr. Buckles’ comment in the interests of keeping readers concerned about the New Jersey 4/7 informed and aware of what is going on. So far, I haven’t approved his comments and I probably won’t approve comments in the future, but it seems like this is not something I should be keeping to myself.

    Posted by womensspace | March 6, 2008, 9:43 pm
  52. So Mr. Buckle is escalating his propaganda campaign? I only got one brief comment from his foundation, a few weeks ago, which I have kept in my moderation queue. I think I will leave it there.

    Posted by Aletha | March 7, 2008, 6:31 am
  53. I’m aghast as I read the horror story of these young women, how color, sexual preference and gender still rings a different tune in these day and age.
    Where is equality? Where is justice? Where is the freedom and the rights of a person? Men and women are supposed to be equal nowadays.
    Just because these young ladies happens to be black and lesbians. The government that is supposed to protect them is part of the oppressing factors in these case.
    I’m from Asia, but what happened to the “Lesbian 7” makes me want to reached out and say. Hey I’m a lesbian myself and I condemn acts of violence against women, discrimination against people of color and sexual preferences.
    We all live on the same planet, we all breathe the same air, we all have the same sun and moon. NOBODY I say NOBODY should be treating us like we are just a bunch of second class citizens.

    Posted by Tina | March 7, 2008, 8:49 pm
  54. We are very interested in this story. It is amazing of the number of people that you have gotten to sign your petition.

    Unfortunately, the Appeals court does not work this way. The only people that can petition them are appeal court lawyers.

    I know several people that could help. Would like to get the facts is there any way to get ahold of their court transcripts, the women themselves and also the families.

    If so please contact me with a contact # at endaclubz.com

    Thank You

    EDC

    Posted by Lazara | April 1, 2008, 1:58 am
  55. this case makes my heart hurt. i had the honor of seeing terrain read a poem the day after she was released – she and her mom flew across the country for an event in san francisco at the women’s building. hundreds of people crowded into the room to hear their story, and to show support for the other three women still being held. it was really emotional. queer women of color are targeted every day on the street, but fighting back is the crime? it makes no sense.

    Posted by Nomy Lamm | October 5, 2008, 12:31 am

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  1. Pingback: University Update - Georgetown University - In Support of the Lesbian Seven: I Believe Patreese Johnson, Renata Hill, Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Chenese Loyal, Lania Daniels, and Khamysha Coates - July 9, 2007

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