Sunday 22 July 2012

Call Me By Name

Lyrics and music by Marion Parsons © 2008

True story of police brutality towards a transgender sex worker; see below for further notes.

They picked her up walking the wrong part of Memphis
In skin the wrong colour, the wrong kind of clothes
Her turn to be printed, an officer calls out
“Get over here, faggot,” but nobody goes.

    My name isn’t faggot, my name isn’t he-she
    You want me to answer, then call me by name
    I won’t take your insults, I don’t break so easy
    I’ll keep my dignity, you keep your shame.

McCrae wrapped a handcuff around leather knuckles
And struck seven times at her skull and her face
A cop held her down, the rest kept their distance
She got to her feet and he sprayed her with mace.


They dropped all the charges and fired a rookie
McCrae’s at a desk while they investigate
Just how did this happen, a man of his stature
And how did the news get a hold of that tape?


This song is based on the story of Duanna Johnson, a transsexual woman from Memphis who was arrested for prostitution.  At the police station, she was beaten by an officer with a handcuff wrapped around his fist while being restrained by another officer; this assault was triggered by her refusal to respond to homophobic slurs.  I was shocked at how little attention this story got in the media, especially since it was captured on surveillance video.  For further information, see this Youtube video of a newscast.

1 comment:

  1. Marion... this song has stuck with me for some time. It is very sad but full of courage. Thank you for writing about it and showing how cruel things can get sometimes when bigotry and power get in the way of common sense end decency. You are a gifted writer. May I add you to my soundcloud at some time soon?