Kim Kardashian West posted a photo to her Twitter account on June 13 in response to the murders of Riah Milton and Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells, two young, Black transgender women who were killed on June 9.
The only issue is: That's not a photo of Riah Milton.
If you want to make a statement like "BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER!" to elevate your social media activism, you better make sure they matter to you enough to at least — at the very least — find the right photos to use/doodle over in your post.
This is Riah Milton:
Milton was killed in Liberty Township. Investigators have cited she was shot during a robbery, having been “lured” by an unnamed 14-year-old girl and two men (Kaleb Marshall Tooson has been arrested; Tyree Jeffery Cross, remains at large) in an effort to steal her car.
Milton’s death has gone viral, chants to #sayhername expanding far beyond Cincinnati. Several public officials, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, brought light to the issue. “The murder of Black trans women is a crisis,” Warren tweeted. And plenty of celebrities have jumped on board — including the above Kardashian West.
In a press conference, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones was asked if Milton was targeted as a transgender woman. To which he replied, “No. Absolutely not.” In the same sentence, Jones continued to use incorrect pronouns regarding Milton, despite being notified otherwise.
And local media both initially misgendered and deadnamed Milton, some saying police reports didn’t clearly identify her gender. (Deadnaming refers to when a transgender individual is called by their birth name; misgendering means language that doesn’t align with one’s affirmed gender.)
Milton's sister Ariel Mary Ann posted a statement on Twitter saying that seeing news outlets misgender and deadname her sister “was like seeing someone just wipe her existence clean away.”
And now, she told CityBeat, she wants to get Kardashian West to remove that photo.
THIS IS MY SISTER pic.twitter.com/OWy2QUV3Kt— The Little Transsexual Mermaid 🧜🏿♀️🏳️⚧️ (@ABlackMermaid_) June 15, 2020
She's hoping the media attention will get Kardashian West's attention, because as of now, that incorrect photo is still up.
Mary Ann also directly replied to Kardashian West's Tweet, saying: "I am the sister of Riah Milton, one of the trans girls that was killed this past week. The photo on the right isn't my sister. That photo is of another family's mom who died AND IT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN DOWN IMMEDIATELY."
Ariel Mary Ann later clarified the photo is actually of another one of her family member's mom's — that woman is her aunt, who is also deceased.
I would also like to add that this makes it much worst bc my aunt passed away in April.— The Little Transsexual Mermaid 🧜🏿♀️🏳️⚧️ (@ABlackMermaid_) June 15, 2020
So not only has Kim K. posted the wrong photo of Riah Milton to her 65.5 million followers — who has been repeatedly misidentified in the media after her death — she has posted a photo of another dead family member...to her 65.5 million followers.
Some of Mary Ann's followers have reported the image to Twitter. And some have replied to Kardashian West's post directly telling her to take it down.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2019 saw the deaths of at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people in the United States due to violence, the majority of whom were Black. Milton’s death is believed to be at least the 14th in 2020.