Rhode Island State Senate candidate Jennifer Rourke spoke at an abortion rights rally on June 24, 2022. But shortly after, she was punched multiple times in the face - by her Republican opponent and police officer, Jeann Lugo.
Lugo resigned from the Senate race, was suspended from the force, and is facing charges. But what he did to Jennifer Rourke is still reflective of a culmination of the horrors and disrespect Black women face in this country.
The numbers prove it.
Research has shown that police violence-induced stress disproportionately worsens the health of Black women. Black women are expected to see a 33% increase in pregnancy-related deaths after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Lastly, only 4% of the 1,972 state senators in the United States are Black women. Based on the recent actions of the Supreme Court, many are losing faith in the idea of using the system to change the system anyway.
It’s clear: Black women deserve better. Although this country was not designed to make “better” happen, we most definitely can change its future when we honor, respect, and protect Black women.