Sage Francis, Atmosphere, B. Dolan & Others Rally Behind CeCe McDonald, Trans Woman Who Was Targeted & Jailed in Minneapolis

I've spent a lot of time over the past few months complaining about so-called revolutionary artists who stay silent on the sidelines when the real battles are waged. Take, for example, Common, who I presume was dining with Obama last month during NATO, while protesters were being brutalized by cops with broad shoulders and small brains.

On the flip side of this spectrum would be the forces at Strange Famous. B. Dolan, Sage Francis, and company have for years pitched people-first, corporations-last rhetoric – and backed it up with a truly commercial-free hustle that's attracted a legitimately grassroots fan base. But over the past few in particular, they've stepped beyond even the most radical precedents that hip-hop has seen before.

In line with his noted history of staunchly supporting LGBT rights, Dolan is in Minneapolis today, where he'll spend the next two days demonstrating for CeCe McDonald, a trans woman of color who is being sentenced for allegedly murdering a man who attacked her. It's a story of unimaginable injustice that led to a plea bargain last month. (Read extensive documentation from advocates here).

Despite having been targeted by swastika-branded homophobes, McDonald has been further victimized by Hennepin county jailers and prosecutors. Ugly as it is, this scenario is not an aberration; according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “violence against LGBT people is up 23 percent, with people of color and transgender women as the most likely targets.”

Along with a horde of other activists and MCs, Dolan will be present at McDonald's sentencing today at 1:30 (CST), then at the subsequent press conference and protest later on, when she's scheduled to be incarcerated. He doesn't have that George Clooney star power, but hopefully with help from Twin Cities heroes like Slug, Dolan will bring some much-needed attention to this obvious tragedy.

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