Alix Shabazz reports on the horrific death of a young Black woman in Wisconsin. Nathan Middleton, a year-old white man who lives in the house, told police that he picked up the Madison College nursing student after meeting Aprina on Craigslist, smoked marijuana and had consensual sex with her, before waking up the next day to find her dead body. He claims he panicked at this--but then carefully cleaned his home of all evidence of Aprina being there and proceeded to hide her body.
Aprina's mother, Alice Larrue, said in an interview that Middleton called her, using Aprina's cell phone, and admitted to her where her daughter's remains were located. Larrue said she called the authorities, and the Rock County Sheriff went to Middleton's home, where they found bones in the fire pit, precisely where he had told Aprina's mother they were.
Despite all of this, police proceeded to investigate the case as a death, not as a homicide. They claim Paul's remains were so destroyed that they couldn't yet determine how she died. Middleton was arrested on suspicion of a probation violation. His telephone conversation with Aprina's mother was dismissed and never spoken about in the media. FROM THE beginning, the police and media have tried to protect Middleton's reputation against any suspicion that he might have killed Aprina--as if the death of this innocent, Black youth was unimportant.
This country has a history of withholding justice to Black victims, but we have been seeing more media coverage around violence against the Black community since the killing of Trayvon Martin. We thought nothing could shock us again after the not-guilty verdict that let George Zimmerman, a man who admitted to killing the African American year-old, live freely without being held able for his actions.
The way Aprina's death was never labeled a homicide parallels with how it took months after Trayvon's shooting for Florida police to even charge George Zimmerman with a crime.
Now, after 15 long, tearful days, Nathan Middleton has been charged. But justice is still far away.
Middleton has been charged on a total of six counts: hiding a dead body, mutilating a dead body, failure to alert a coroner, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and soliciting a prostitute. Instead of digging into Middleton's past, the media have instead focused much of their attention on the reason Aprina Paul went willingly to Middleton's home.
Middleton claims he met her on Craigslist after she answered an ad he posted for partying. Reporters have called this teenager a prostitute and escort, and all but said that she deserved what happened to her.
This follows a common pattern: when Black lives are taken by white perpetrators, the reputations of the victims are slandered. By muddying their names, the media helps to justify their deaths.
A recent example took place during the Trayvon Martin case. Investigation of his murder included a toxicology screen of the high school student's blood, which the media reported as containing traces of marijuana--as if the fact that the youth occasionally smoked weed was relevant to his murder.
Similarly, investigators and the media are trying to find "dirt" on Aprina. As a community, we are here to say that whether or not Aprina was doing sex work is irrelevant, just as whether or not Trayvon Martin smoked weed is. No one deserves to die the way these victims did.
Aprina's killer was only charged with harming a body. Aprina Paul was more than a body.
She was an intelligent student. She was a kind friend, a nurturing big sister whose life was stolen. Enough with the sweeping of our children's deaths under the rug.
We want justice for Aprina Paul now. Activists rallied to free Ronnie Long, who has spent more than 40 years behind bars despite a racist trial and evidence exonerating him.
Cyntoia Brown, who has spent years behind bars after being convicted of killing her abuser, has won clemency thanks to activism. Attention is finally being paid to the case of a sex trafficking victim sentenced to life in prison for shooting a man in self-defense.
A member of the Central Park 5 talks about being the target of a witch hunt for a crime he didn't commit--something Donald Trump still won't admit. A new book tells the stories of four people who were wrongfully convicted and finally exonerated, but still suffer the consequences. The terrorist killings in a Black church is the product of years of slavery, segregation and racist violence that still shapes life and labor today.
Union members are mobilizing to protest the Janus case before the U. Supreme Court. SW asked three of our contributors about the stakes for labor. Intersectionality is defined in very different ways, but the concept as developed by Black feminists can help advance Marxist theory and practice.
Socialists have always fought for the widest possible expansion of democracy and political rights as an essential part of the class struggle. Five years ago, Occupy Wall Street erupted onto the political landscape--and gave voice to the class anger brewing beneath the surface of U. Material on this Web site is d by SocialistWorker. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and SocialistWorker. X Close.
Alix Shabazz. November 19, Alix Shabazz reports on the horrific death of a young Black woman in Wisconsin. Further reading Chris Black.
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