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WORLD & NATION
#justicefbrjane movement ongoing
BY CLARE FORRISTER
"A lot of times state agencies just don't
know how to handle transgender people,
so they do the easiest thing and put them
away where they don't have to deal with
them," said senior Madeline Putney, who
identifies as a transgender woman.
In an ongoing case in Connecticut,
a 16-year-old transgender girl has
repeatedly suffered mistreatment while in
the care of the government
The teenager, called Jane Doe to protect
her identity, gained public attention in
April when the Connecticut Department
of Children and Families placed her in
solitary confinement in an adult prison for
women without criminal charges. She had
caused trouble when imder the care of
the DCF in previous locations, including
group homes and correctional facilities.
She has suffered abuse in the past,
resulting in mental health problems and
behavior issues, according to her attorney.
Due to her lashing out, the DCF deemed
they could no longer handle her care and
passed her off to the prison.
After a month there. Doe wrote a letter
to the governor of Connecticut.
"I feel forgotten and thrown away ...
This is tile way my life has been going
since I was a little kid," wrote Doe.
After 77 days she was released from
prison and sent to a girls' facility, but
her problems did not end. An altercation
involving three other girls led her to be
moved yet again to isolation m a boys'
facility. Doe ran away from this facility in
September, but officials found her mere
Doe's plight has led to a campaign
on her behalf known as #justiceforjane.
While she was in prison, a petition for her
release gained 20,000 signatures.
Chase Strangjo, an American Qvil
Liberties Union staff lawyer and foimding
member of the Lorena Borjas Community
Ftmd to assist LGBTQA people, visited
Doe when she was m prison.
"I walked into a room and there was
Jane," wrote Strangio in an article for the
Fluffington Post Blog. "With a smile and
so much life; she wanted to engage. Her
gratitude for the support was palpable
and her ask of us was simple: teU people
thank you and get me out of here."
Jane's case is not so out of the ordinary.
For transgender people in the care of
government agencies, fairness is often
"IF s pretty much up to each individual
institution ... because there aren't any
laws governing how the state should treat
trans people and respect their gender
identity," said Putney. "There's no legal
recourse for this because they're doing
what they're technically allowed to do."
The DCF has for the most part declined
to comment on the case, but their attempts
to relocate Doe to different facilities show
that they are making some effort to act in
the 16-year-old's best interests. In a press
release, the DCF defended their continued
custody of Doe.
"There is no identified foster home that
can reasonably be expected to safely care
for this youth," said the statement.
Those involved with the #justicefoijane
movement assert that discrimination has
clouded the eyes of the people in charge
of Doe's treatment, and people at Guilford
"(This was allowed to happen) because
she's different, and society in general is
scared of what is different and can't be
explained easily," said first-year Aron
Correa, who identifies as genderqueer.
Correa spoke from their own experience
with faring discrimination.
"There are people, usually adults, who
... don't want anything to do with me
because of the way I address my gender
identity," said Correa., ...
However, many point out that gender
identity is not the only factor.
"The case of Jane Doe further
demonstrates how extensive the
criminalization of trans women of color
is in this coimtry," said LGBTQQA
Coordinator Parker Hurley, who identifies
as a transgender man.
The #justiceforjane movement stands
behind Doe as her difficult journey
continues with live demonstrations and
an active presence online. A post on
the Justice4Jane Tumblr expresses the
movement's grievance with both Doe's
case and the country's current system as
"Jane has become the public face of the
glaring truth that the system is unable to
care for those who are most in need," said
a post on the tumblr page.
Though the mistreatment of Doe and
girls fike her continues aroxmd the country,
the growing resistance is determined to
Oligarchy threatens democracy in US
BY BANNING WATSON
We the people or we the very rich few? Senator Bemie Sanders
from Vermont recently joined scholars and activists in accusing
the United States government of becoming less of a democracy
and more of an oligarchy.
"Do we want to have a nation in which the concept is one
person, one vote, that we're all equal, that you have as much say
in what happens in the government as anybody else; or do we
want to have a political system where a handful of billionaires
... will determine who gets elected president?" asked Sanders in
the Senate chamber. "Is that really what American democracy is
supposed to be about?"
iThie senator's comments join those of Martin Gilens and
Benjamin L. Page, Princeton professors who recently raised
concerns about tike state of U.S. democracy in a new research
paper released earlier this year.
"(The findings indicate) that economic elites and organized
groups representing business interests have substantial impacts
on United States government policy, while average citizens
and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent
influence," wrote Gilens and Page in the abstract of their study.
According to researchers like Jeffrey V\^ters,
professor at the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
and author of the book "Oligarchy," the Supreme Court
derision removing restrictions on political spending
by corporations has harmed democracy in the U.S.
"When ffie Supreme Court derided that using money in politics
was the equivalent to First Amendment voice, they opened a
disastrous floodgate," \\^ters told The Guilfordian. "That
derision greatly expanded the ability of oligarchic resources to
be used in politics."
Some, including Senator Sanders, have identified the
Republican Party as a key supporter of this expansion. However,
Winters emphasizes that bofft major parties are guilty of relying
on the very wealthy.
"Both parties are heavily funded by oligarchs and are
completely bought and paid for," said Waiters. "About 90
percent of the funding for city, state, and federal elections comes
from one-third of 1 percent of the American population, so it's
not surprising that candidates coming throu^ this process are
vetted and have very narrow agendas."
Bob Williams, professor and chair of the economics
department, suggested that the current situation might be
replicating older forms of oppression.
"We have a pattern in this country of having extreme wealth,"
said Wiliams. "ITs probably at its peak right now, and iTs never
been this bad in terms of being so heavily concentrated in so
few hands. There are a number of different forces within the
economy, but also in public policy, that are encouraging the
concentration of wealth and some have racial consequences.
"We no longer have blatantly race-based policies, but we do
have wealth-based policies that are largely the same. It's much
like the Jim Crow system, in that it gives the advantage and
power to the white and wealthy."
Some who see the nation sliding towards oligarchy, however,
still have hope. Robert Dimcan, assistant professor of political
science, offered his thoughts on fixing this issue.
"We don't have a spending problem in this country, we have a
revenue problem," said Dimcan. "We need a tax overhaul badly,
but this won't happen until we can get people in Congress who
care about the people and not wealthy special interests or being
reelected. We need a revolution, a democratic revolution, where
the 99 percent put people in Congress who are beholden to them
rather than their financiers."
Gay special forces
vet attacked, dies
BY NICOLE ZELNIKER
On Nov. 9, 46-year-old local veteran and
former CCE student Stephen White walked
into Chemistry Nightdub in downtown
Greensboro. He left a few hours later with
26-year-old Gany Joseph Gupton.
White was taken to the hospital after
Gupton beat and burned him almost to death
at the Battleground Inn.
"I started calling Stephen's phone," said
White's partner Alex Ted to The Guilfordian.
"We were still dating but on break. I said
Monday we'd officially be back together."
Both of White's arms were partially
amputated while in the hospital. White
regained some consciousness in the hospital.
By Nov. 14, he had improved enough that his
ventilator was removed.
"They didn't even teU me how badly he was
burnt," said Teal.
White died six days after the assault.
"When I fiurst heard it had happened, I
just couldn't believe someone would do that
to him," said White's friend Hank Heiser to
The Guilfordian. "I've never seen anyone that
went out of their way to make people; feel
comfortable like he did."
White's funeral took place on Nov. 21 at St.
Mary's Catholic Church. ^ ,
"I'm glad the Catholic Church was able to
offer the funeral rites for my friend and his
faithful family," said the church's Monsignor
Anthony Marcacrio to The Guilforffian.
"Nothing will ever excuse the senseless
psychotic violence that was perpetrated."
Currently, Gupton is in custody and facing
first-degree murder charges.
"I never would have dreamed something
like this would happen here in Greensboro,"
said Chemistiy Nightclub owner Drew
Wofford on Chemistiy Nightclub's Facebook
Gupton cannot be charged, however, with
a hate dime.
"(Gupton) never verbaHzed to us that he
intended to kill somebody," said Greensboro
Police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen
according to NC Policy Watch. "There's
absolutely no evidence to indicate that this is
a hate crime."
According to the Human Rights Campaign,
an attack on someone based on sexual
orientation is not a hate crime under North
Carolina state law.
"It takes a lot of hate (to bum someone),"
said Teal. 'To me, this is a hate crime."
This is something Teal hopes to change.
"Just because we have the right to be
married (now) doesn't mean that right can't
be taken away," said Teal. "If you ask me if we
can make a change the answer is yes, but only
if we keep this in the media."
Regardless of the law, many believe it is a far
stretch to say this was not a crime motivated
"(White) was specifically picked because
he was at a gay dub and (Gupton), under
whatever guise, picked someone of a certain
sexuality and targeted them and killed them,"
; said Guilford Pride President and sophomore
' Colin NoUet. "Sexuality played into the reason
I (White) was targeted."
I After White's death. Teal began the Stephen
I White Foundation.
i "There have been quite a few gay crimes we
don't know about," said Teal. "We're trying to
start the foundation to help."
At Guilford, students ai*e doing the same.
"We're trying to set up a grant in his name,"
said CCE SGA member Jeff Ray.
The grant would aid students who identify
as LGBTQA or who have served in the military.
For Guilford, White's death has left a space
that cannot be fiiUed.
"Flis death, and especially the manner of it,
has hit his friends and classmates hard," said
Friends Center Director and Adjunct Professor
of Religious Studies Max Carter. "It reminds
us all not only how fragile life is, but how
it is even more threatened for those on the
The Greensboro community remembers
White fondly and awaits justice.
"He was just another person that served
our country, got blown apart and put back
together," said Bench Tavern bartender Jim
Lang to The Guilfordian."! don't even know
what to think about it. I don't know what else
to say. (White) was the best person you could
ever have around."