Sean Swain: In Defense of Cece McDonald

I have read about the case of Cece McDonald, who was attacked because she is a transgendered woman of color. She is now charged with two counts of murder because she survived and her attackers didn’t. I don’t know, but I suspect no police were present to protect Cece when she was attacked. No prosecutors. No judges.

Cece was left to protect herself, so she did. She protected herself in the absence of police, prosecutors, and judges.
Now the same police who left Cece to protect herself have no problem with arresting her. The prosecutors– who also weren’t there– couldn’t protect Cece, but they can prosecute her. And the judge who failed to preside over Cece’s protection will undoubtedly preside over her trial without blinking an eye. They will all refer to the almighty “law” as their reason for attempting to take the rest of Cece’s life away from her, for succeeding where her previous attackers failed.

If the “law” they worship says Cece must go to prison, then I say the community is better off with Cece than with the law, and the law should be abolished. And while we’re at it, if Cece isn’t valued any more than that by these worshipers of the law, then we need to abolish the police, abolish the prosecutors, and abolish the judge. We’re better off getting rid of all of them and keeping Cece in the community.

Cece is not the problem.

But I suspect if we set out to solve the problem and we come up with effective strategies for abolishing cops, prosecutors, and judges, they will not go quietly. I suspect they will fight like their lives depend on it. I bet they will exhibit a particular ferocity and employ all means at their disposal, however brutal, to prevent us from achieving our aims.

Just imagine how they will fight if we try to abolish them.

Now, let’s use that as our example of how we need to fight to defend Cece. Let’s exhibit a particular ferocity and employ all means at our disposal, however brutal, to prevent them from achieving their aims. Let’s show them with our actions what if it comes down to it, we would rather keep her and get rid of them.

Let’s make that message so clear, the cops and prosecutors and judges don’t have the option of not listening.


Sean Swain
Mansfield Correctional
Mansfield, OH
February 8, 2012