A South Carolina family wants to spread a message they find very important to the community: No one deserves to be killed for who they are.
Days after 26-year-old Keshia Geter, of Eastover, was found shot to death at the Knights Inn Hotel on Boy Scout Road in Georgia, her family is raising awareness of the legacy she has left behind.
[. . .]
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office responded to the Knights Inn on Boy Scout Road after reports of an unresponsive person at 10:28 a.m. ETD on July 20. That person was Geter, who had been shot at least once, according to officials.
"This senseless killing doesn’t make sense," Jordan added.
On July 21, the Richmond County Sheriff's Office arrested Jaquarie Allen, 22, in connection with the murder of Geter.
Allen is being charged with murder, as well as possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, in connection with Geter’s death.
Geter’s passing is another devastating loss for her tight-knit family. Shante Bethel is Geter’s cousin. She was already grappling with losing her 18-year-old son Carlos Bethel to gun violence in August 2019. Bethel opened Fab'Los Boutique at Dutch Square Center, and published "PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens" through the Pain of Losing Los'" to cope with the tragedies.
She was very pretty. It's so disgusting that there are people out there who thinks it's okay to kill someone because they're transgendered or gay or whatever. How much hate has that person been raised with that they think this is okay.
Keshia Chanel Geter was an inspiration to others and an advocate in the LGBTQ+ community. She loved her family, and loved ones remember Keshia as “a light that shined brighter than most.” Keshia, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Augusta, Georgia on July 20. Keshia’s death is at least the 21st violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported.
Keshia’s mother, Michelle Jordan, said on social media that “no one should ever take somebody’s life because of what they are.”
Keshia was from Eastover, South Carolina. She was shot and killed outside the Knights Inn on July 20 in Augusta, GA, where she was traveling with her friend. The Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen ruled her death a homicide, sparking an investigation by local deputies. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said its Criminal Investigation Division is working on the case and a suspect has been arrested.
Tragically, interpersonal violence accounts for a significant number of fatalities against transgender and gender non-conforming people. A report by the HRC Foundation, “An Epidemic of Violence 2021,” found that between 2013 and 2021, approximately two-thirds of transgender and gender non-conforming people with known killers had their lives taken by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner. Intimate partners specifically accounted for over a fifth (21%) of all known perpetrators – and it is likely this may even be an undercount. To date, the relationship of the victim to the killer is still unknown for a plurality (43%) of all identified cases of fatal violence.
Additionally, according to the 2015 United States Transgender Survey, 54% of transgender and non-binary people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their life. Last year, HRC released a report, titled “LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence and COVID-19,” that details the increased risk of interpersonal violence faced by LGBTQ+ people which has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 10,000 hate crimes in the U.S. involve a firearm each year, which equates to more than 28 each day, according to a 2020 report from HRC, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Giffords Law Center and Equality Florida titled “Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns Are Taking Lives of Countless LGBTQ People.” The report also notes a marked increase in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes, especially against transgender people. According to the 2017-2022 Transgender Homicide Tracker, three quarters (73%) of all confirmed homicides against transgender people have involved a gun, with Black transgender women accounting for 73% of all transgender gun homicide victims.
In an injustice compounding this tragedy, Keshia Chanel Geter was misgendered in some media and police reports. Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment by some in the media, law enforcement and elected offices. According to HRC research, it is estimated that approximately three-quarters of all known transgender homicide victims were misgendered by the media and/or by law enforcement. In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on transgender people. HRC, Media Matters and the Trans Journalists Association have also partnered on an FAQ for reporters writing about anti-trans violence.
At the state level, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Georgia are not explicitly protected in state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, education and public spaces. Georgia’s hate crimes law includes sexual orientation but does not explicitly cover gender identity. Though we have recently seen some political gains that support and affirm transgender people, we have also faced anti-LGBTQ+ attacks at many levels of government this year. As of this writing, more than 270 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are under consideration in state legislatures across the country, more than 110 of which directly target transgender people.
We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels, while also considering every possible way to make ending this violence a reality. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Two bigots and bullies in Congress attack a Canadian online, there is no medical plan to address COVID in the US, Iraq announces a nominee for prime minister-designate (we're not even to the point of them having a prime minister-designate yet) and Turkey continues to deny attacking Iraq.
US House Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are an international embarrassment. The two hags decided to attack a man because he's gay. The man's Canadian, doesn't live in the US but they wanted to spew hatred. What they're doing is hate speech and in the US that's embarrassing. However, our northern neighbor that we share a border with? Well Canada has criminalized hate speech. So the two hags aren't just being bitches, they're being potential criminals in the eyes of Canada. There was no reason for the hags to pick on the man. Now they should have the curse they deserve which is they should reap what they sow, they should have the life they truly deserve -- never ending misery. May karma get them both.
I don't understand why Congress has an ethics review board if nonsense like this takes place. The two hags engaged in online bullying. Supposedly, that's something that's not supposed to happen. The man did nothing to them and they are encouraging attacks on him.
The hags are members of Congress.
How is this considered appropriate behavior?
From sick minds to sickness, US President Joe Biden has COVID 19. Benjamin Mateus (WSWS) reports:
At yesterday’s White House COVID-19 press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared, “As we have said, almost everyone is going to get COVID and because of the hard work we have done since day one turning around the disjointed COVID response we had inherited, we have the tools to ensure that people can go about their daily life and work.”
Biden’s spokewoman then added, “The president is fully vaccinated, twice boosted, and taking Paxlovid. His current health speaks to how Americans should avail themselves to boosters and treatments.”
This is a remarkable admission in that it explicitly states that the Biden administration has washed its hands of any attempt to stem a pandemic that has already killed a million people in America and 20 million around the world. “Everyone is going to get COVID” should be read as a statement of intent. It confirms that a policy of mass infection, mass death and mass murder is the agenda of the US president and the ruling class for which he speaks.
Hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb as BA.5’s dominance grows. Nearly 450 people are dying every day from COVID-19. This translates to 164,000 a year, five times the average killed by influenza and a toll that would have been considered inconceivable before the beginning of the pandemic. And this does not take into account the predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of another massive surge of infections this fall and winter.
Beyond the immediate death toll, one in five of those who are infected and survive will experience Long COVID, and a third of these can suffer from debilitating disease. Yet, with $1.3 billion given to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to study the Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (the formal title of Long COVID), there is not a single therapeutic trial up and running. The press secretary was not asked about this and would have had nothing to say.
Meanwhile, study after study has documented that even mild COVID-19 infections can accelerate the aging process in adults and children. Allowing everyone to get infected means a generation of children and teenagers who will be deliberately crippled even before they have ventured into the world on their own.
Hospitals across the country are facing drastic and unprecedented staffing shortages, which are further compounding worker burnout. Infections and reinfections are causing health care workers to fall sick and forcing them to choose between staying home to care for themselves or coming in to work and infecting their patients. Many hospitals are considering eliminating routine COVID-19 testing to cut wait times in overcrowded emergency rooms.
Moving on to Iraq, The attack by the Turkish government last week remains in the news. Of course, the government of Turkey denies the attack. The same way the government of Turkey denies the historic Armenian genocide. Iraq lodged a complaint with the United Nations Security Council and they want the council to hold a session addressing the attack. That session is supposed to take place today. In the meantime, ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:
The United Nations Security Council condemned in the strongest terms on Monday the attack on a tourist resort in Iraq’s northern Dohuk province on July 20.
The attack resulted in at least nine civilian deaths, including children.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured, and expressed their support for the Iraqi authorities in their investigations, read a statement.
The statement comes as Baghdad has filed a complaint against Turkey at the UNSC, requesting an urgent session to discuss the deadly artillery attack that Baghdad blames on Turkey, the Iraqi foreign ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry spokesman Ahmad al-Sahaf said Iraq's chargé d'affaires had been recalled from Ankara in the wake of the attack. Iraq's parliament also held a special session Saturday, with lawmakers deciding to form a committee to investigate the matter further.
Authorities in Iraq insist that the attack was carried out by Turkish forces, holding them directly responsible for the deaths and injuries of Iraqi civilians. Ankara has attributed the attack to members of the PKK terrorist group.
THE NATIONAL spoke to some of the survivors of the attack:
The National spoke to two families who lost two members, one an 11-month-old baby and the other a 24-year-old woman.
Some of the victims were from the city of Hilla, located in central Babylon province.
Durgham lost his first and only baby daughter, Zahraa.
“You can see me alive, but I am like a dead body,” he told The National.
“My daughter was less than a year old, the family and I were waiting and preparing for her birthday party, so, what kind of life would we live after this big loss?” he asked.
“I cannot forget her image, her voice while playing at home, or even the last phone call with her when she can only say: ‘Baba’”, he said.
“I had not seen my daughter since she went with my family to Kurdistan, she was killed with the same clothes she wore at home”.
Alex MacDonald Tweets:
Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes, "In 2016, Turkey established a permanent military presence in Bashiqa, about 75 kilometres from Dohuk." Turkey now has at least five military bases in Iraq, they have ground troops in the country and they attack with War Planes and drones. All of this takes place in violation of Iraq's national sovereignty and all of these actions amount to acts of war carried out by the government of Turkey against Iraq.
A 1984 protocol that allowed Turkish troops to pursue militants to a depth of five kilometers (three miles) inside Iraq and required them to pull out within 72 hours ended in 1988, when the two sides failed to renew it. Such an arrangement would have become irrelevant anyway, given the extensive web of Turkish military bases, outposts and checkpoints inside Iraq today as well as repeated air raids as far as in Sinjar and Mahkmour, lying respectively 160 kilometers (99 miles) and 218 kilometers (135 miles) from the border. Ankara has cited the UN Charter’s Article 51 on self-defense to justify its cross-border operations since 2017.
There is growing apprehension that Turkey’s actions amount to an expanding occupation. Statements coming from Ankara have not helped allay such fears. Presidential adviser Ayhan Ogan, for instance, warned July 21 that “if Turkey’s security concerns are ignored and, moreover, provoked, Turkey would create a new security belt all the way from Aleppo to Mosul.” Such a perspective points to an integrated approach on Ankara’s plan for a 30-kilometer-deep safe zone in northern Syria and its actions in northern Iraq.
Erdogan has taken advantage of the escalating tensions between Moscow and Western capitals over the conflict in Ukraine, to ensure the West remains silent over its escalating military operations in northern Iraq as it prepares to send its forces into neighboring Syria to target the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group that Ankara considers an offshoot of the PKK, while the United States considers it a strong ally.
It is speculated that Turkey, which is a member of NATO, agreed to the accession of Finland and Sweden on the condition that NATO looks the other way as Turkey launches renewed attacks against PKK militants.
Since the parliamentary elections in October last year, Iraqi political parties have entered into a fierce competition to form a new government. With continued political dysfunction, sectarian conflict and institutional corruption, the attempt to push back against renewed Turkish operations against PKK militants could be in vain before the formation of a strong central government. Until a permanent government is formed, Iraqi sovereignty will be viewed as malleable.
A permanent government? Back in October, Iraq held elections. The country still doesn't have a new prime minister or president. However, there is some movement on the political front. THE NEW ARAB reports:
The Coordination Framework, an umbrella parliamentary bloc including all Iran-backed Shia factions, formally nominated Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to be the new Iraqi prime minister, Iraqi state media reported Monday.
"Today, the leaders of the Shia framework met in positive conditions and they unanimously agreed to nominate Mr Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani for the [Iraqi] premiership," read a statement released by the Coordination Framework.
Al-Sudani, 52, is a Shia Iraqi lawmaker from the south-eastern Maysan Governorate. He has a Bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences. He has held several posts and ministerial portfolios in the Iraqi government, including the governor of Maysan, the minister of human rights in 2010, and the minister of labour and social affairs in 2014.
The following sites updated: