Politics

Black Women Do Not Exist To Save You

In a narrow win, Doug Jones has won the Senate race in Alabama. And by narrow, I mean less than 50,000 votes.  So, before any of us break our arm off to pat ourselves on the back, remind yourself that this was a race between a man that prosecuted the KKK for the murder of 4 Black girls in a bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church and a man that is accused of being a pedophile. And it was still a narrow win.  Let that sink in. We are that far gone in America that people considered alleged pedophile Roy Moore a viable candidate for Senate. As the rest of the nation waited for the results, articles begin to pop up online about Black people saving the Alabama election. And many people jumped on this sentiment as if this was a compliment. Then the hashtag, #TrustBlackWomen, started to make the Twitter rounds.

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nappy.co

Admittedly, I have said Trust Black Women a million times because as a Black woman, I believe we hold the solutions to so many problems in the world. However, over time the mood and meaning of this hashtag started to shift for me. Trust Black women is now becoming synonymous with allow Black women to do the work that White people do not want to do.  Trust Black women is now becoming synonymous with allow Black women to do the work for little to no pay. Trust Black women is now becoming synonymous with allow Black women to generate creative work and allow White people to take the credit. Trust Black women is now becoming synonymous with allow Black women to clean up our mess. Let me be clear, Black people, particularly Black women, do not exist to save White America from itself. Black people, particularly Black women, were not placed on this earth to rescue White people from themselves.  To save yourself, you must take a long hard look in the mirror and put in the work.

Our existence, brilliance, creativity, strength, and ingenuity can never be validated by you posting a hashtag that means nothing when your actions do not support what you project online.  Trust Black Women means nothing if your policies and institutions do not seek to elevate Black women and help combat issues that impact Black women.

Liking a tweet and posting #TrustBlackWomen so that you can get likes means nothing if you go to the voting booth and vote for someone that said slavery was a time when America was great.  Quite frankly I feel like many of you post things that highlight Black women not because you genuinely care about Black women but because it garners you a lot of attention and likes. Your extent of concern when it comes to Black women is how many people will retweet your post because it’s cool to be “down” with Black women online. However, the numbers don’t lie.

Black women have warned you time and time again. And still, you do not listen. We warned you about Trump. You didn’t listen. We warned you about the Governor race in Virginia.  Still, you didn’t listen. We warned you about Roy Moore and once again, you didn’t listen.

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Exit poll results in Alabama. (Results from the time this blog was written.)

At this point, I don’t know what else you want. I don’t want to receive one more email from a White woman that says, “Not me” or “Not All“. I don’t want to hear one more buzzword like intersectionality. I don’t care how many Audre Lorde quotes you can recite.

Black women have done our share of the work.
Black women have carried the load until our backs have bent in agony.
Black women have smiled when all we wanted to do was cry.
Black women are tired.

Black women will no longer play wet nurse to White America.

At some point, you have to get off the breast and grow up.

We cannot nurse you through racial discord. We cannot hold your hand through fighting racism because both our hands are too busy fighting to save our lives and family’s lives.

Throughout history, we have left breadcrumbs of our resistance.  We have written the playbook on how to fight for liberation. From Oya to Vashti, to Harriet, to Fannie and beyond, we have drawn the blueprint.

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@CreatedbyJarrod at nappy.co

It is time that you move from just hashtags to action. While I appreciate that you want to Trust Black Women, start learning how to trust yourself and do the work that will be required to shake a nation.

 

137 replies »

    • I cannot explain that. I know many people wrote about this so I know there is information out there and of course a lot of it is based on opinions. Whatever the case may be, overwhelmingly, Black women did not support Trump who is in direct opposition to many of the things Black women support and believe.While I know many people spend their time pitting Bernie supporters against Clinton supporters,(not that you are doing that) I am not one of them so I would not be the best person to answer your question. I liked them both and hands down either of them would have been a much better option. I am sure a lot of people wish they could turn back time. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Really, must Black women do everything?

      Bernie Sanders did not support Black women. Or Black men. Or any marginalized person. He, like Trump, gave the majority of his sympathy to the white working class man-the “real Americans”- above all else. Did you even read the article? Black women are tired of being America’s wet nurses. Grow up and do it yourself. https://www.theroot.com/bernie-sanders-black-women-problem-1796995081

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    • Don’t we ALL exist to “save” one another? If not, that makes us a planet of selfish individualists. Sorry, I think we’re better than thaT. I am reminded of Martin Niemöller‘s famous poem:

      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      If we keep fragmenting ourselves, saying “it’s not my responsibility” to make the world a better place, then we cannot complain when things fall apart.

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      • Thank you for reading. I have used this very quote and I changed it to say First the came for Black people and the world says, “Who cares?” Perhaps if someone stood up then, the rest of that quote wouldn’t be needed. While it sounds nice to say don’t we all exist to save one another, we can look throughout history and see that is not the case then nor is it the case now. I would agree with you not caring about and attempting to help others does scream of being selfish. It also screams of many other things I have felt and could list but I believe you get my point. From my blog I believe you know where I stand on that- Black women have always cared about and taken care of everyone else often at the expense of themselves. I would challenge you to share your message with people that do not care about saving anyone but themselves and also share it with those that turn their heads when it comes to the suffering of so many people because they benefit from the suffering. It is time that they started caring for others as well. And that is how we make the world a better place.

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      • Exactly, but it’s EVERYONE’S responsibility. We shouldn’t have to depend on any one group to stand up for everything that is right. We should all be doing it ourselves, for all of humanity to benefit in the long run.

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    • Suffice to say that I (a Black man) am glad that the Black community in Alabama rose to the challenge of halting that racist sex predator from winning the seat in the senate. I would caution us, however, to keep an eye on Doug Jones as well. Yeah, he prosecuted the KKK bastards who murdered those young sisters in that church. But politics is politics and all politicians should be carefully watched. They need to know our votes are not a Christmas gift that they don’t have to earn.

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      • You are right and your statement is perfect ,we all have a responsibility to pursue in terms helping each other to make this planet a better place to live, thanks

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    • Jones prosecuted the KKK members who bombed a black church in Alabama that killed four small girls in the 1960s. He saught justice for a horrific crime that no one wanted resolved.

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    • The author is exactly right. Doug Jones prosecuted 2 KKK members for their role in the infamous church bombing that killed four little girls. To underscore her point, though, she should not have to explain this to you.

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    • Others have answered this question. Thank you, Desirae and Melissa. It was something that was mentioned often during the Alabama race. Something I didn’t know so I researched it. I visited this church in Alabama and spoke with a man (he was the janitor) that was there in the aftermath. He showed me where the girls were in the church that day (of course it is all remodeled now) and across the street there is a museum that has artifacts from that day. I remember one was a little purse and the shoes from one of the girls. My heart broke seeing those items. That day was frozen in time with these nondescript items that would become a part of history. Very moving. A horrible day in history.

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  1. Thurgood Marshall’s wife, Cecelia, told this story after Thurgood’s team of NAACP lawyers won a major case

    The triumphant NAACP lawyers flew back to New York later that day. “Everybody celebrated in the office,” Cissy recalls, though she doesn’t remember any toasts with sparkling wine. “I don’t think anybody had any money for champagne.”

    After a couple of hours of jubilation, Thurgood headed back to his office. He knew the fight to desegregate schools was just beginning, Cissy says.

    “ ‘I don’t know about you fools,’ ” she says he told his co-workers, “ ‘but I’m going back to work. Because our work has just begun.’ ”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/thurgood-marshalls-interracial-love-i-dont-care-what-people-think-im-marrying-you/2016/08/18/84f636be-54d5-11e6-bbf5-957ad17b4385_story.html?utm_term=.5e57af32e012

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    • I see the horrible white vote as mostly white a male replacement for Jim Crow power over others as now fuffilled by doubled down Misogyny. I think we can agree that if they are supposed one issue voters and that issue is supposedly abortion – then a huge population of Evangelicals of Alabama are very low information voters – – – – –
      I know they have guilt ridden sex leading to shitty marriages as their primary birth control – And so the real birth control is probably up to the woman who is then seen as a slut for not wanting to be eternally pregnant by a man they know want’s them as a slave – if only during sex and in the kitchen. Which in a so male stupid way said brainwashed male feels he can’t get fully aroused without such control just like dear old dad. Thus low info and Stockholm Syndrome sufferers as in relating to your tormentors both because if you do not you will be tracked down and punished and or shunned by other women afraid of getting worse. Misogynist (Jim Crow) Stockholm Syndrome as the only turn on they know – is the only polite way to explain their sick now primarily sexist cycle.

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    • And she spoke the truth. In this brief moment of what some would consider a win and it was, I am still reminded that this was not a landslide victory. Something is going on in this country that we need to face and have never faced and that is racism. There is much work to be done. The road to liberation is long and windy with few rest stops along the way. Take a breath when you can, get up to fight another day and when you have done all you can, pass the baton.

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    • Come on. Your compensation is the fact that a racist, oppressive white regime has been slowly crumbled. Oppressive, racist government has been holding back low-income POC in southern and central Alabama for centuries. It’s time to vote in people who are willing to change that.

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      • @Yendi. I don’t know if you’re a Black woman. If not, it’s not up to you to measure compensation. Alabama only scratches the surface. Only Black women get to determine if they’ve been fully compensated, whether it’s via power or resources.

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      • I think the reality is, if black women *didnt* vote, things would be worse for them now though, right? So black women in Alabama didn’t do it for me as a white person, they did it to take a stand for themselves. Personally, I’m incredibly greatful to them, that we don’t have that racist, lawless piece of shit in the Senate. And it’s just an extra reminder to me that I need to fight in support of issues relevant to black women. I get what you’re saying – that white people and the Democratic Party can’t keep taking the black vote for granted. So, when y’all deliver victory against a racist, unqualified moron, I hope we can all give you the thanks you deserve and I hope you realize that black women stood up for themselves and won. Im hoping this will energize all of us to tackle the mountain of work that still needs to be done.

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    • Precisely. The numbers don’t add up to the “movements” I see taking place around the world, particularly America. Black women since time was time have always been required, forced, etc to do the work with no pay or very little compensation. This can no longer happen. And we must stop giving our jewels away for free. A collective no can work wonders! I am learning that, “you teach people how to treat you.” And I will no longer allow people access to my talents and gifts to benefit them and not me. Thank you for reading!

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  2. Thank you for your post. I intend to continue thinking about the valid points you made. I can’t relate to other white people (women in particular) who voted for Trump, for instance. I sure as hell didn’t vote for him. I can’t speak for other white people, I can only speak for myself. In regard to this election, I celebrate because black women prevented that nasty SOB from having more power over the people of Alabama. Honestly, I celebrate y’all for just for being bad ass. You inspire me and I want, through my actions (voting, calling my reps, supporting the SPLC, etc) to show that black lives matter to me, that racist a-holes like Moore have no place in politics (or any position of power, for that matter.) I agree that too many white women support issues affecting blacks, in particular, when they (the white women) stand to gain from it instead of because we actually give a damn about fighting against the unjust and differential treatment of blacks in America. I will share your post in the hopes that your message will spread since it is important. Thank you for your honesty and directness.

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    • Thank you, Heather. And thank you for reading this blog and understanding the sentiment. Indeed, you are doing your part and that is how we change the world. What isn’t an option when it comes to changing the world is to do nothing. As a White woman, you have access to women that I will never have access to. That is just reality. And so we work all angles. Admittedly, it took me a while after the Trump (red wedding) election, to realize all Trump voters are not “those people”. I realized that many of them are just people and the basic human needs we desire for the most part, food, shelter, safety, etc are all the same. So while you cannot relate to them on some level on a basic level you can. And the work is finding that sweet spot and then branching out from there and that can be difficult. And it is going to require work and tough conversations. Your job at times is to just plant a seed. Allow someone else to water it and so on and so forth. Your actions you described are the seeds. Stay in the fight. It will make a difference!

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      • Hannah – I agree so much with what you said about planting seeds. A lot of people don’t seem to realize that almost 0% of the time, will you have a conversation with someone and have them right then and there admit they were wrong about something ideological. So many white people give up on trying to influence racist white people because they don’t see instant results.

        Heather – You just have to keep planting seeds and having faith that some of those seeds might sprout. I’ve also been thinking a lot about psychology and how to get people to become receptive to your message. One tactic I use is, instead of meeting their prejudice or ignorance (ignorance about anything – race, climate change, trickle down economics etc) with anger, I just ask them questions that they’ve probably never asked themselves, to get them to examine their own faulty logic, their lack of evidence, or the emotionally reactive underpinnings of their ideology. It kind of catches people off guard because a lot of times they’re not aware of how irrational and baseless their feelings, to what degree they’ve been brainwashed, and the things they take for granted as fact with no real evidence. I ask them why they believe what they believe, genuinely listen so they feel heard and let their guard down, and then they’re more open to me when I start questioning their assumptions. I try to detach myself emotionally, because getting heated or throwing out insults just makes them react emotionally and cling to their beliefs and protect themselves, as if they’re under attack. Anyway, those are just some ideas for how to talk to other white people in what I think might be the most productive way possible. Good luck ❤️

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  3. I believe that it is sad that such a talented writer would choose this negative, divisive narrative. I would remind the author of The Woman’s march, the largest protest in our history of Black and White marching “together” in “unity.” for and against the same causes represented in the elections referenced here. As a White woman I am grateful for the hard work Black Alabamans did to demonstrate that good always triumphs over evil. It made all the difference, but millions of us do not live in Alabama and could only send donations, not vote.

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      • That made me laugh. The “Not All” or “Not Me” argument I get is endless. It adds absolutely nothing to the conversation. It is very surface level and doesn’t get to the heart of the issue. I understand why people do it but it is tiresome.

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      • Linda, I have wondered that myself. It is easy to brush it off as being divisive and that is why people do it. If Patricia says I am being divisive, she no longer has to think about what I have said. She can put this article in a box in her mind that she never has to open again. People do this all the time because it is the easy way out. It is much easier to say, she’s divisive rather than, “Wow, there are some things I need to really examine in my life.” or “I need to have some tough conversations with my friends.” It is easy to say, “Well I don’t live in Alabama so what could I do?” This is bigger than Alabama. All people need to do is open their eyes and look around. Injustice is never so far off that we cannot see it. Some people just choose not to see it.

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    • What have you done since then, Patricia? Did you attend the March or are you simply using it to notallmen the author? This hurts because the truth hurts but it’s not harmful – again, it’s the truth. And the truth is, we need to hold up our bargain more than simply being able to afford a bus ticket or internet access.

      Without action our words are meaningless and patronizing. We are perpetuating the injustice inflicted on WOC for centuries and that’s the point. You are allowed to say that you are tired and frustrated without it being a threat.

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      • Thank you so much,Dizz. Especially for your last sentence. Being tired and frustrated is not a threat or divisive. It is simply being tired and frustrated. Especially to see this time and time again and let’s be clear, for MANY Black people, we didn’t wake up last November and think, “Oh wow, the world is racist.” This is something we live on a daily basis. We didn’t start fighting or resisting November 2016. I remember in July of 2016 I went to Dakar, Senegal. (I wrote about this and it is called, Dear White People: This Is Why I Will Never Get Over Slavery if you want to read it.) It was right after the murders of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling and I was just ready to go. When I got to Dakar it was the FIRST time in all of my living that I felt like I had a moment to breath. And I exhaled deeply for all the tears I cried, for all the murders, for all the hurt, for all the pain. I stood in The Door of No Return and the curator of the museum told us, “Welcome Back Home. You made it back.” And I wept. I wept for my mother that picked cotton in fields. I wept for my daughter that is fearful overtime she drives. I wept for everyone that I knew never got a chance and never would have the chance to come home. So am I tired? Yes, I am and I and many others didn’t just get tired a little over a year ago.

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    • Patricia, to toss in the word talented in a sentence with sad, negative and divisive leaves me wondering was I supposed to pause and think,”Wow, Patricia thinks I am talented?” Let me be clear, I do not write with the belief that most people will like and agree with my work. I write with the understanding that most will not. I was not put on this earth to write things that give people the warm and fuzzies. Believe me, some days I wish I was. However, that is not my assignment. I am writing to wake up a nation. If you go back to one of my very first blogs,(Becky, Ugg Boots and Pink Pussy Cat Hats I believe is the title) I wrote about the Women’s March. I was sitting watching it on TV wondering why the march was not resonating with me. Indeed, I support women, equality, liberation, etc and then I saw the picture of Angela Peoples with her sign that reminded the world in a sea of pink pussy cat hats that indeed, of the women that voted, White women voted for Trump. And that was my problem. That could not be erased with a march. While you do not live in Alabama, this is much bigger than geography. Because the time will come it is your state or like last November, your nation. Moreover this isn’t just about an election but how we treat, stand up for an advocate for People of Color on a daily basis. When you are ready, read it again, and see if you still feel sad, and that this was negative and divisive. Sometimes two coats of paint are better than one.

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    • She wrote the narrative because it needed to be said. As a white women who has shockingly discovered over the last year the amount of white women that vote, and continue to vote, to keep misogyny in power, I appreciate her perspective. I have been ignorant of how many white women I know who still work to keep misogyny in power…and I don’t live in the South. We white women need to start understanding the truth of what is happening rather than trying to gloss over it with unity, let’s all just get along. Yes white women and black women marched in unity for one day. That’s not enough. I understand what you mean and want women to unite as well, but we can’t do that until we are honest about what white women are doing. And I know, you’re not like that and probably most of your friends aren’t, but the fact is too many white women voted for Trump and as a white woman we need to push back hard on that. The first step in combat misogyny, racism, and bigotry is to call it what it is, to name it.

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  4. I understand what you are saying. But we who say Trust Black Women are the rest of America that did NOT vote for Moore, and the people who did not get to vote because we don’t live in Alabama. We didn’t say Trust Black Women, then run out and vote for Moore. We were praying someone would save the damn country.

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    • Thank you for reading, Melody. I believe if you truly understood what I was saying, then that is where the comment would have ended. “I understand what you are saying.” To follow that up with a “but” means you do not truly understand what I am saying. The title and blog content speaks against the very thing you have written in your last sentence, so you do not understand me. I understand that you are praying for someone to save the country. We are not here to save the “damn country.” America has never given any regard to Black women. Historically, this bears itself out. Yet time and time again, Black women are looked upon to nurse the nation and many of us are tired.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lord at this rate America will just be sitting there with no advancement because everyone is standing around waiting for something like they are entitled to something. NONE of us were around for the troubles of our ancestors. Only they have the right to feel as bad as you claim. As descendants, we have the obligation to pick up that baton and continue to work for the change and make whatever progress we can. Compensation is whatever we get out of making any change. So you and every other American in this country will NOT get a thank you nor a good job for something that you should be doing. Hopefully, it’s the right thing, and if not it’s our JOB to make it right. If anything, it’s about time… And this is for everyone! I don’t care what color you are or how much money you have/don’t. Right is right and its about time America gets to work for progress! Yes, I know there are challenges and inequalities that are insurmountable and even crazy but NOTHING is going to change if we don’t change it. Sadly this country is built on lies, crimes and all kinds of bad things to a wide range of people. If you want to get out of the black vs white you should’ve done your homework and showed how Alabama as a whole voted. Show Mexican Americans, Asian Americans and everything else that makes up Alabama and hold them accountable too, but no. You played into the narrow mind of those that place you into theirs. Here’s a new hashtag for ya #Get2WorkAmerica

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  5. That’s right! We need to get our butts in gear and do the work that will take back the House and the Senate in the next election. Sit at registration tables, canvass neighborhoods, make phone calls, donate money to progressive causes. We can’t sit back and hope the best candidates win. And we need to make sure progressive candidates win primaries so we can feel good asking others for support. We’re a two-party nation, so let’s make sure we provide candidates who deserve to win.

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    • Thank you, Peggy. You are correct this will require work. When people ask me what can they do, I always tell them, do your part. Everyone can do something. A call, a letter, make a protest sign, support legislation that empowers People of Color, have tough conversations with friends and family, call out people that make racist jokes, don’t tolerate divisive behavior, the list is ENDLESS! This is bigger than an election. Daily there are things happening all around us that we have the power to change. Keep up the fight!

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  6. White people do a lot of shit wrong. Daily. Probably hourly. Apparently white people can’t even celebrate the victory of a prosecutor of the KKK over a pedophile correctly.

    I’m white. I was born white, I’ll most likely die white, and white is the only race I’ve experienced. I try to listen, to imagine myself in other shoes, to think about how the world I live in is different for other people, an ask myself how it should change so that everybody gets to live in a better world. But still, I’m white, and I probably get things wrong all the time.

    I also try to read the experiences of POC. Maybe I’ll find something that will help me be a better person tomorrow, see something I was blind to yesterday. You know what message I take away often? “You’re white and you’re wrong. Every attempt you white people make is stupid, or wrong, or ignorant, and definitely always inadequate.” Why try, if all attempts are wrong and met with derision and condescension? Do I just make things worse whenever I strive to do better?

    I agree that what’s being done now is inadequate. Our society has a long way to go before we see true equality, respect, and love for one another. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem. But the message I often see is that by virtue of being white, I will forever be the problem.

    I’d love to read some writing that says, “You know what I saw? I saw a white person do A. It was small, it didn’t actually fix anything, and it was really only an imperceptible nudge in the grand scheme of things. But it was a small step in the right direction, and I’m happy I saw somebody making the effort, and I hope more white folks join in. And then I want to see B, and then C. I think we’ll see some real progress by the time most people are doing X, Y, and Z.” That would be both inspiring do do more, try harder, read more, and give me some concrete actionable steps. Unfortunately this was not that piece. My takeaway from reading this was, “don’t post #TrustBlackWomen because it’s another Wrong action for white people to do, a majority of you sick f*cks still voted for a pedophile.” Okay, I get it, you have every right to be angry about this sad state of affairs. But is the piece you wrote in anger actually going to galvanize and inspire positive change in the people you’re mad at? Or is it just going to dampen the already woefully inadequate efforts being made?

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    • Welp Val, you completely missed the point. Basically: “But what about the feelings of white people doing the bare minimum of not completely blowing it? When are you gonna validate me?” Again, here we are, another white person demanding free emotional labor from a black woman because they don’t feel centered in the discussion. How about instead of asking Hannah to write a piece giving you ally cookies and then telling you what to do next, you do the right thing without the expectation of reward, and then do more research yourself into the next actionable step? Is it really so hard?

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      • Sir Mookie, you are precisely right and I thank you for your comment. I baked some Christmas cookies yesterday that came out hard as rocks so I damn sure don’t bake ally cookies. However, if I did it be one part “truth”, 2 parts “this is not about you” and 3 parts “do the work”, sprinkle in some love and bake at a temperature of “I need to own this.”

        Doing the right thing often never comes with a reward, acknowledgement, or your name in lights. If you are doing liberation work it is almost never about “I hope people do things that make me feel good.” You just do the work.

        You asked, “Is it really that hard?” Yep! For some people when life has always been centered around them, it is hard to step back and say, “Wow, this isn’t about me.” It is okay for everything not to be about you. It is okay for things to be about other people. Because it isn’t about you doesn’t mean get defensive. Find out where you can fit in to help those that is about. It really is that easy. Sometimes we make it much harder than it has to be. Thank you for reading and for your encouragement.

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    • As a fellow white person, why do we deserve back pats for not being a terrible human being? That should be the ground level bar, not something to be applauded, not something POC are required to spend their emotional energy on, because we’re not being blatant, overt racists. If you’re doing the right thing and getting upset because you’re not being praised for it, then you’re doing it wrong. Just do the right thing.

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      • Thank you Julia Burke!

        Val, if you believe you’re doing all that “listening” and “reading” yet still thought it was appropriate to center the issues on your feelings and unload your white woman tears in this space, then—despite what your fragility may be able to stand—we’re here to tell you that, yes, you’re doing it wrong…again

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    • Val, you’re asking: “But is the piece you wrote in anger actually going to galvanize and inspire positive change in the people you’re mad at? ”

      Yes. Yes it is. It is going to galvanize me.
      I see that I need to roll up my sleeves and get out there.

      I thank all of you who have gone out there before me and have changed bad things into better things. A million times.

      You among them Val. And I do not believe this article is a criticism of you. You are doing your part, please don’t be personally discouraged and think “Why try, if all attempts are wrong and met with derision and condescension?”.

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      • Thank you, Ciggy. I am so happy to read this blog has galvanized you. That means everything!

        And you are correct, this blog isn’t a criticism of Val and I hope my comments to her resonate with her. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some day. I think this is a blog that some people will marinate on. Keep up the good fight!

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    • Thank you for reading, Val. Let me clear, this piece was not written in anger. I am not angry although often when a Black woman expresses her opinion the default label is, “Angry Black Woman.” As a writer, I take the time not to write in anger (if I can) because often you will say something you didn’t mean to say. I meant everything I said in this blog. In fact, there are some things I didn’t say simply because I wanted to keep the length of it reasonable. There was much more that could have been added.

      I do not applaud White people for doing the right thing. However, if you scroll through my blog you will see I wrote about a conversation with a White friend of mine named Chris. The blog is entitled Don’t Show Me Your Pink Pussy Cat Hat, Just Let Me Cry. Chris is a White male that travels the world using social media to highlight nonprofits. He is a millennial and seemingly the epitome of what many would say is White Male Privilege. We were having a conversation about something and out of the blue he asked me about the police shootings in America and I just started crying. Even writing this I tear up. I didn’t expect to cry that day. I was just holding all of this in at work, pretending, because that is what so many of us do. And while I was crying, Chris said nothing. He didn’t offer me any “not me” stories, he didn’t tell me “all cops aren’t bad”, he didn’t tell me to get over it. He didn’t say to me, “Well what about Black on Black crime?” He didn’t say, “I would like to hear stories that make me feel good about being White.” He said, “I know this may not mean anything but I’m sorry.” And that is ALL he said. And he just let me cry. And I did.

      This year, months after that conversation, Chris called me to tell me his friend was murdered and we could see how me this Black woman and this White man lives were inescapably intertwined impacted by hurt and violence and I let him express his hurt. Because sometimes that is all that is required.

      I am not here to write stories about the goodness of White people. Before you feel like, “woe is me” ask yourself, have I removed myself out of the center of this issue and tried to understand what another person is saying and feeling?

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  7. Reblogged this on explorations in the divine feminine and commented:
    Yes! Yes! Yes! White women, we have GOT to do better. It doesn’t matter that you have gifts to buy and halls to deck. It doesn’t matter that you have political fatigue. Black Women have been in this fight for centuries. They will have no pity on us for being exhausted after one year of work. Stepping away from your news feed for a few days to “take a break” is the epitome of PRIVILEGE.

    Yes, we should be grateful to the Black Women of Alabama for their votes. And we should show our gratitude by facing our white privilege and making sure that votes for Family Values includes values that truly do respect and protect Black lives.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Deb for reading and reblogging. I am a firm believer that people do not have privilege so that they can walk around and say look how privileged I am. I believe people are privileged to find a way to use that privilege to help others that may need it. When people think of privilege some immediately get defensive because they think of it as something they are getting instead of something they have already received just by the sheer nature of existing. Privilege does not have to be equated to money or a high accumulation of things. But people see it that way. Not understanding something as simple as it is a privilege to be able to drive and not worry about your safety. When my daughter drives and she is a college student, never been in trouble a day in her life, works almost every day, gets good grades yet she is fearful every time she gets behind her wheel. So much so, she bought this pouch with all her information registration, insurance, etc to stick on the dashboard of her car because she never wants to reach for anything she just wants to be able to point to it if she is ever stopped by the police. To not think about that everyday is a privilege and often not thinking about that, comes down to your race. She isn’t a criminal but she is Black and she understands that is enough in this world to get her killed. She is only 21 yet this is on her mind. One day she texted me and said she was pondering was she ready to die to fight for liberation since protesting could lead to death. Historically and even recently we have seen that. Those are hard conversations for a parent to have with their child. Privilege is never having those conversations. And when people can understand that then they can see the entire picture. Stay in the fight!

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  8. “when your actions do not support what you project online”. Perfect! I love this line because while so many fluff their feathers and talk big, they do not stand up, support or contribute in life
    Well written 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Someone posted a litany of hashtags on Twitter yesterday and I responded that these hashtags do not match what we are seeing. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for a good hashtag to spread awareness. Some of the best hashtags have rocked a nation. However to post (and this happened to me and you can see it in the blog I linked to this one, How NOT To Do Feminism) a hashtag and then do the complete opposite of that hashtag is at best self-serving and nothing else. Someone posted #ISTANDWITHHER, meaning Hillary, while calling me lazy, ignorant, a bigot, angry and the list goes on and on. So much for that hashtag. Clearly she doesn’t see me as part of the “her”. You know intersectionality and all. 🙄

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  9. Val, I wouldn’t reach such forgone conclusion and throw the proverbial “baby out with the bathwater”! The Author merely expresses a reality- in this case one that can only be seen accurately through a Back Woman’s ” lens”. Don’t be discouraged by her synopsis- be inspired! I Love & appreciate you, dear Sister! We Women need all the support we can offer each other! Take care, Val!

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  10. @VAL my heartfelt thoughts as written by BETHANY PK “white people, do not deserve Hannah Drake’s wisdom, words, or labor”. In other words, reread the blog. Read to understand. rather than to respond. THEN… DO YOUR OWN WORK!!!!

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  11. I see spreading #trustblackwomen as an important part of making sure that all politicians know that the Black vote is a powerful one so that Black voices are listened to in the future. I understand the frustration, but isn’t white people on social media acting to amplify the Black voice a net positive? Please (this is sincere) — what would you like white supporters to do instead, especially those in other parts of the country?

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    • Thank you for reading, Em o’line. Over the course of history even when enslaved Black people were considered 3/5 of a human the nature of this “compromise” was political (even though of course enslaved men and women were not voting). So, I will not sit here and allow anyone to pretend as if those in politics do not understand the need for and the power of Black people and politics. They understand it when they need it so no one is getting off that easy. What I would like White supporters do instead is direct people to Women of Color that speak to these issues on a daily basis which doesn’t require a hashtag. Many White people have shared this blog and it started a conversation with people I may have never talked to. People have read this blog all over the world and it has sparked a conversation. In my opinion, that was much more effective than just posting a hashtag. I always like to direct people to the source because people can continue to drink from that well and spread the knowledge to others. There are many Women of Color doing amazing work that some people in your circle may never know about. The fact you are even on this blog having this conversation with me shows the power of going to the source. Also, White people have many opportunities to stand with People of Color on a daily basis. Many people make this harder than it has to be. Justice is as close as your own front door. Support Women of Color beyond the hashtag. When you say, Trust Black Women, have you done something in your daily life to show that you Trust Black Women? When you say Trust Black Women do you support polices that seek to enhance the lives of Black women? When you see a Black woman online being railroaded for speaking up, do you support her? When you see a Black woman at work continually looked over for a promotion do you stand up and say this is wrong? When you see a Black woman fighting to amplify her voice do you shout with her? There is depth beyond the hashtags, the hashtag is just a hook, and we have shaped, molded and prepared the hook and placed the bait. There are some White people, like the 65% that will never bite and it will you, that helps draw them.

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  12. I’m a white, middle aged, graduate level educated woman. And I am chronically embarrassed by my demographic. Something like 54% of women like me voted for Roy Moore!! What the hell is wrong with us? White women have allied with white men since forever, and while we definitely get a swath of white privilege out of the deal, in general the bargain has been crappy. Because white men (as a monolithic group, obviously there are individual outliers) treat all women like crap. We’d do better allying with women of all colors over white men (maybe over all men) than we will shoring up white male toxic masculinity.

    It’s not black women’s job to save us. But I can be thankful when they do, and call out my idiotic cohort on their poor voting record.

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    • Sadly, Atomic Azalea last it stood even after this blog was posted, it is 65%. It is astounding! It is such a huge percentage, it could not be ignored. I do not understand it. I could go on and on about this because living in Kentucky I see this often where people vote against their best interests or vote in favor of race time and time again even at the expense of themselves. A book that helped me understand this better was The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I think it is going to take White people that are allies, that are aware, that care about justice talking to other White people to change this. Many people are so stuck believing that Black people’s sole purpose in life is to fight them. We are fighting for justice for ourselves and EVERYONE! Like in Kentucky when I was fighting for healthcare so many people were against this. And then things changed and now they are wondering, “Am I gonna have healthcare?” And I keep thinking, “Who did you think we were fighting for? We were fighting for ALL of us!” Whewwww girl. I get so tired. Some days its like busting your fist against a brick wall but my ancestors went through much more so we keep at it daily. Stay in the fight!

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  13. Okay well I’m glad black women turned out to vote in this election. But before we get too carried away claiming that any one group “saved” anyone else let’s note that black women made up 17% of votes. White women made up 35%of the votes. Now it’s true that black woken voted overwhelmingly for Jones and white women disappointingly only cast 35% of their votes for Jones. However, I don’t believe downplaying those 35% helps anybody. Suppose if those 35% of white woken voters stayed home and didn’t vote? Yep, Roy Moore would have won handily. So saying one group “saved” it? Nah.

    And as for the presidential election you might want to consider this:
    The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012. The 7-percentage-point decline from the previous presidential election is the largest on record for blacks. (It’s also the largest percentage-point decline among any racial or ethnic group since white voter turnout dropped from 70.2% in 1992 to 60.7% in 1996.) The number of black voters also declined, falling by about 765,000 to 16.4 million in 2016, representing a sharp reversal from 2012. With Barack Obama on the ballot that year, the black voter turnout rate surpassed that of whites for the first time. Among whites, the 65.3% turnout rate in 2016 represented a slight increase from 64.1% in 2012.

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    • Thank you for reading, Mimi and for the statistics. I am not above acknowledging and always fighting for more people across the board to get out and vote. We can discuss why some Black may not vote but I believe you can find that information online and do not need to reiterate that. If you think about the history of voting and Black people in this nation, it may help you understand. The same way I seek to find out why 65% of White women that voted voted for a racist, alleged pedophile, perhaps you can seek to understand and search for why some Black people do not vote. There is always something beneath the surface and maybe it’s the writer in me or too many nights sitting at home watching CSI that makes me want to understand, figure out, find out, and discover. I always believe we can always go a little bit deeper. Perhaps start with the history of Black people and voting in Alabama and that may tell you why the vote percentage is how it is. This didn’t start this week. I challenge you to go a little bit deeper. Thank you.

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      • Thank you for replying.
        My reply was not so much about black people not voting (or millenials or what ever other groups did or didn’t vote).
        My post was about pointing out that no one group can do it alone.
        I know others have said they found your article divisive or angry (I didn’t see the anger) but not acknowledging that it was not SOLELY black women is divisive and dismissive. And, in my humble opinion, is not what any of us need. We need to work together to change the current climate.
        I have no problem with black women, Asian women, Muslim women or any other women (or good men for that matter) who want to and are capable of leading well. But part of leading is coalition building and inclusiveness not just claiming to be the savior.

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      • Perhaps I misunderstood since a significant portion of your initial comment spoke about voting statistics.

        I would agree, no one group can do anything alone nor should they be expected to.

        For those that have found my blog angry and divisive, that is fine with me. It comes with the territory when you write about certain topics so I have learned not to let it bother me. I have been writing for quite some time and my main focus is even when I am afraid or know I will ruffle some feathers, to do it afraid. I challenge those to read it again and let it marinate for a few days. Perhaps they may think differently, perhaps not. I still will be here writing.

        I agree we need to work together and I am glad that you have no problems with women of different colors, ethnicities and religions. What I desire is for White women like you that have no issues with Women of Color or religion, etc, and that see the need for working together and liberation is to go talk to women that would fall into the 65% category. You have a doorway that truthfully I may never be able to enter. Keep up the fight!

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      • Here’s my quandary.

        I have tried to talk to the 65%. Some people just don’t think they need to be saved from themselves. Will I continue? Yes. Like you I don’t much care if I ruffle feathers.

        But I also think that while black women and other minority women deserve much credit, articles, blogs, and other FB posts that Ive seen that claim one group is a savior and white women are evil
        do more harm and entrench the 65% more into their beliefs based in fear and intimidation making it harder to reach them for those of us who do try.

        Just my 2 cents. Keep up the fight.

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      • I know many people have written about this topic and have their viewpoint. I did not, cannot and will not say all White women are evil nor will I ever claim Black women as Savior. Beyonce had a picture in her Lemonade video album that said, “God is God and I am not.” I loved that. The entire point of the article is that many Black women do not revel in being the Savior nor want that title, we want equity and justice. Save the titles. Thanks for reading my 2 cents. 😊

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  14. As many of you can imagine, today has been a busy day but thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. I am a firm believer that if people take the time to respond then they have said something they want me to read/hear and I will respond as well. It is great to see this conversation taking place. It is needed.

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  15. Eloquently written, and I understand your view. You are tired, with good reason. You are strong, having written this. You are amazing, having accomplished much. You see white America as a homogeneous historically repressive and lazy group. But please don’t lump white America together like this; you don’t want that done to Black America because you KNOW you are better than the image concocted by the haters. I’m a middle aged southern white guy. I am better than the image you portray here. I recognize and support decency, and I don’t give a rat’s ass about likes and hashtags. I am on your side. I’m clearly a minority, nevermind skin color or gender. Please don’t lump me in with them; please don’t divide us further.

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    • Thank you for reading, Jal. Your post, while avoiding the words, “not me” and “not all” is just that. I does me nor you any good to have a dialogue about “not all” or “not me”. It is very surface level and at this point in our lives I think we can start with the belief that unless someone says “ALL fill in the blank are” then we can reason that they do not mean every single last person. I understand your need for saying that. I do. So now that you have said that and we understand that you are part of the “not all” what else did you take away from this blog that may shift the thinking of those that do not think about justice for everyone?

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  16. Instead of empty gestures of gratitude by white people, I think we should back it up (I am a white womyn-I am Jewish with white skin privilege,not white anglo saxon protestant) by not only collecting Reparations for Black people to pay them for building this country during slavery but making it a mandate for services rendered without choice or pay. I have always been taught to give credit where credit is due.I think it’s high time to pay for slavery. That’s called “putting money where our mouths are.”

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    • Of course I agree and Lena, that opens up a can of worms America has never wanted to deal with. My friend and I were just talking about this the other day and she is a White woman and she wondered why the Holocaust and Slavery are treated so differently. And I said because what happened in America is so close that people don’t want to acknowledge it. It is surrounded by hatred, shame and guilt. It is a hard for people to acknowledge, we did this and by we I mean White America. The wealth, the homes, the building, the railroads, the “fluff”money (That’s what some call money gotten via cotton), etc still exist today. The money built this nation and still circulates today. Rarely do people pause and say, “Damn we messed up and we need to make this right.” So for those that can, they do it in their own way. Collectively, as a nation, I do not think it will ever happen. Maybe this nation will prove me wrong. 🙂

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    • Michael Eric Dyson advocates for individual, local reparations. Why should we should wait for the government to condone or mandate what we know is right? Suggestions include making personal reparations to scholarship funds for POC and/or (for example) paying a Black business double.

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  17. Nice article. I am very glad Jones won and very thankful to everyone who voted for him. I am, however, very disgusted with the white population of Alabama who saw everything Moore is, the allegations, the racism, the homophobia, and STILL voted him. It should never have been close. It should have been the biggest defeat in the history of politics.

    So, no. Black women aren’t here to be our savior. But, as some from neighboring Georgia, I am really glad that thousands of them and others got out and voted – because as obvious from Moore’s narrow defeat and Trump’s “win”, my white folks need to wake the hell up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading, Landmers. We keep shouting but at times it appears no one is hearing us. To see that vote this week was shocking. The numbers were huge! 65%! How?! Why?! What?! I wanted to believe so badly that after this year that something would make a difference and this was a blow to see it really didn’t. I am really pushing White people to really get on their post! If White people are about liberation some of these numbers need to reflect that. It is obvious we have a fight on our hands. Stay in the fight!

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  18. I understand your frustration. Knowing that Moore only lost by a hair is troubling. But expressing anger towards people did the right thing by voting for Jones is pointless. Turn that anger instead towards the people who voted for Moore and continue to support the racist system he symbolizes.

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    • Thank you for reading. As I stated before often when Black women have an opinion that doesn’t sit well or challenges people it is deemed as anger. I am not angry. Also, as an aside but still relevant, it is frustrating to have people tell you how you feel.

      I challenge you to read the blog again when you are ready and allow it to marinate a few days as you think and reflect. For the 35%, great. I challenge them to speak to the 65%.

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  19. Thank you for your insights. I plan to use a quote in a short essay I am writing about the election: “Let me be clear, Black people, particularly Black women, do not exist to save White America from itself. Black people, particularly Black women, were not placed on this earth to rescue White people from themselves. To save yourself, you must take a long hard look in the mirror and put in the work.”
    The almost 200,000 Alabama Black women who came out and voted did save the racist whites from themselves! But as a native Texan who grew up in the Jim Crow rural world of the 1950-60s, and now a resident of Ga seeing the continuing inequities and systemic racism, I agree that progressives of all races and ethnicities need to get out and do the hard work to fight for social justice! I look back on what Dad did, staying out of the limelight to bring voting rights to my rural county and de-segregate the public school, and remember a very salient incident as a young boy in the early 1950s: when my Dad had an African American man coming over to do some projects around our house, he called me over and said “this is MISTER Satterwhite! You will address him as MISTER and show him the same respect you would show me!” I try to live up to his legacy in what I do to keep fighting for social justice!

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    • Wonderful! Thank you, Terry. I would love to read your essay when you are done. I am sure it will be very insightful. Your father would be proud. When people ask me do I think racism will ever end, my answer is no. Not because I do not think we have the capacity to end it (we do) but because racism is continously taught. Ending or perpetuating racism starts at home. Your dad laid the foundation so it’s no surprise that you feel the way you do. You might be an entirely different person if your father had a different mindset.

      When I see pictures of lynchings, I always take note of the kids that are standing there with what I am sure are their fathers (sometimes mothers). It didn’t end there. Those kids grew up and had children and so on and so forth. I often wonder what do they teach their kids? When they tell stories of their youth do they tell their grandkids about the lynchings they attended? My mother tells me stories of her picking cotton as a little girl. That is her youthful story. And that makes me fight. I always wonder about the other stories that are being told and taught and instilled.

      Thank you for reading and stay in the fight!

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  20. As I watched the analysis of the election on Wednesday, I heard a pundit (I want to say it was Ari Melber, but I don’t totally remember) talking about how Black women had to take it upon themselves to shut down the nonsense about sending someone like Roy Moore to the Senate to represent Alabama. He said something like, “This news is a reminder of the power of Black women to…” and then he stopped and thought for a second and said “Well I guess this isn’t really news. It’s news to some of us, but Black women have always known this.”
    I haven’t stopped thinking about that comment since then.
    It’s no wonder Black women are tired and frustrated. The rest of us can get defensive and say “not me”, but in truth, that’s like standing by idly and watching someone struggle with a too-heavy burden over terrain strewn with land mines, and then congratulating ourselves for not deliberately putting a foot out and tripping that person.
    The rest of us can blame ourselves for coming late to the realizations presented here, or apologize that it took so long. But this means nothing if we continue to let Black women bear the burden of bringing this “news” to the rest of the world, while carrying their too-heavy burden over terrain strewn with land mines.
    Our job is to take some of the burden off their shoulders, and to neutralize the land mines – and no self-congratulations are necessary. Short of that, there is nothing else to say.

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    • Red Molly I really laughed out loud when I read your analogy about watching someone struggle with a heavy burden. Yep! That’s it! The pundit was correct, this isn’t news to any Black woman in the world. I have countless blogs about this on my site. We only make this look easy. It’s not easy. And this isn’t woe is me someone come rescue me because America has shown us time and time again, no rescue brigade is coming. This will require a fight. And we always invite ANYONE to fight with us because we are fighting for ALL of us! Thank you, Red Molly for your words.

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      • And thank you for yours, for the reminder and the encouragement. I’m passing it all along, to my friends, my neighbors, my students, to everyone. I know how to neutralize some of the land mines, and I’ll keep doing that. And I’ll keep asking myself how I can help shoulder some of the burden. There are countless ways that I haven’t yet thought of or seen modeled.
        It confounds me how anyone can feel smug or righteous, or even relieved, that we narrowly averted sending a racist pedophile to Washington to make laws for us. It dismays me that, once again, we had to rely on the work and wisdom of Black women to do the bulk of the work for us. It maddens me that it’s even necessary to point any of this out.

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  21. Aw, come on! Don’t you see the irony here? Please don’t deflect this not-so-common honor from our society. Can’t you feel that change in the air? All women united! Votes count!! Speaking out these days, not so much. It falls on stubborn ears scared to death of not being “the important ones” anymore. Keep up the momentum! I want my young-adult children to see there is hope. My whole family saw hope coming from Alabama. Your country counting on you is what it’s all about. Keep … up … the … momentum! Please! Let’s see what we can come up with in 2018. There’s got to be a better way.

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    • This is me personally and why I started the blog out how I did, while yes, Alabama was a win, there is no arguing that (well, Moore is but that’s another story). However, if you look at the final tally Jones won an election against a racist and alleged pedophile by less than 50,000 votes.(I believe it is actually less than 30,000) This was not a landslide victory. This, for me, was not a reason to break out the champagne and say my goodness we are on the winds of change! That doesn’t say change to me. That says Houston we have a problem. That says in this nation some people felt okay to elect the racist alleged pedophile. It’s astounding. My hope is that people acknowledge that and understand there is some fundamental work to be done. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Mary. Keep your momentum it will be needed.

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  22. Pretty arrogant and offensive opinion. Thank goodness Black… And white voters turned out in Alabama in numbers to defeat Roy Moore, a religious right wing and disgusting nut case. Thank goodness that people in Alabama decided enough is enough… This can only make things better in Alabama and in the country overall. That the votes against him were overwhelmingly black communities was noticed and cheered on. You are telling the people (both blacks and whites) that cheered your communities on that they still voted for racism?…That they need to be active?.. That they sent Alabama, and black women specifically, congratulatory messages in order to garner “likes” or appear “down” with black people? Do you actually think that any of the people that congratulated Alabama, black Alabama and Black women Alabama supported Roy Moore, his beliefs and twisted ideologies in any way? Do you know how many people, Black and White sent campaign contributions to overcome a candidate of Roy Moores ilk. It’s great that so many black women got out and voted against him.. Without their votes Roy Moore would have won. If you live in Alabama and did nothing to stop his election you would be hurting yourself. You saved yourself… You are not wet nursing anyone And no one needs you to hold their hand to fight for what is right. From the civil war on, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, both black and white in a battle for justice, fairness and equality. You don’t denigrate people who have or who are fighting for a just society that leaves no one out simply because you are offended that the news reported the tremendous effort of the black community and people wanted to commend that effort.

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    • Thanks for reading Jean. I appreciate and applaud your passion. I would ask with that same passion, you speak to women that would fall in that 65% category. They are missing your message and need to hear it.

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  23. Thank you for writing this. I’m white. I’m trying my best to be woke. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to do, but I think LISTENING to Black people, especially Black women, is a start. So thank you for being willing to talk to us. Because something has to change. I’m horrified by the white women who voted for Roy Moore. As I’ve said before, I’m never proud to be white, but increasingly, I’m ashamed of it.

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    • You’re welcome, Miranda. I am glad that you took the time to read it. I am always willing to talk with anyone if they are open to having a conversation. I agree with you wholeheartedly, something does have to change and soon. I am concerned about the trajectory of this nation. Very concerned.

      I believe that people should listen to Black women but what would really make me feel good is if people listened and then acted on what was said. I do not believe Black women have ALL the answers but I believe we have many of the answers and many of the things we fight for would benefit everyone. Especially if we ALL work together, hear from everyone and have each others best interest at heart.

      I will say, I do not want anyone, especially someone that is taking the time to learn, to be ashamed of being White. I have seen people online ask, “What’s wrong with having pride in being White?” I always say, “Nothing. It only becomes a problem when your pride seeks to tread on my humanity.” I understand that you are ashamed of their (the 65%) actions and behavior. Hopefully we will be able to change that because this is far from over. It will take women like you to help with the shift. I was thinking in the blog I linked in this article about intersectionality, a women like Gina would NEVER listen to me. Not a chance. But she would hear you. And that is why we need to work together. You and I could say the same exact thing and on the sheer nature that you are White people will hear you. I wrote a blog called Dear White People: Why Do You Keep Researching Things Black People Have Already Told You Were True? It is insulting and sometimes I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone but I realized some people will NEVER hear us no matter how loud we scream. (You may also want to read my blog How Many More Documentaries Will It Take?) Stay in the fight! One day we will get there.

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  24. I did as you asked in the article, that is I spent a couple of days thinking about this and thinking about the role I play in perpetuating racism as a white woman. My first reaction was of course anger, which I think is a normal reaction when anyone paints any group with a broad brush. In general, I don’t think that’s helpful to any group of people. However, after two days of introspection, I get it now and I am glad I waited to respond.

    After I got over myself, my thinking turned to “why do white people still feel racism toward African American people anyway?” So I thought back to conversations I have had with other white people, still trying to figure out “their” prejudice, not mine because of course, I am not one of them! Or so I thought…

    As I recounted these conversations with people I do not consider racist, it dawned on me… we actually do have some deep ingrained opinions we don’t face. The reoccurring theme in these conversations is “why do so many black youth act, dress and talk like thugs if they don’t want us to see them this way?” Please don’t get mad at me at this point! This is a conversation we rarely have out loud and certainly never with a person of color. I am sure if you asked any white person they would never admit to thinking this. I am ashamed just typing it here because I know better. I understand how the years of oppression have caused this vicious cycle of poverty in some communities, etc.

    So then I went online did a little more research to see if other people think this and don’t talk about it. I actually found a lot of forums of African Americans talking about it, but no white people. I even read an interview from Charles Barkley where he talked about this. No white people though, we just keep repeating the mantra to ourselves, “that’s not me, that’s not me…”

    How do I confront this stereotype with other white people? If I need to talk to other white people about this to drive change, I have to be prepared to answer this question. Frankly, I am sure these deeply ingrained perceptions cause a lot of the institutionalized racism. You were right, this is heavy lifting I had never really thought about. But if we are going to have an honest dialog these are the kinds of perceptions I will face when I try to have these conversations with other white people. And is it fair for us to ask what responsibility do African American’s bear for perpetuating this stereotype? According to the forums I read, it’s okay for African American’s to ask this question about themselves, but the minute a white person chimes in, it goes downhill fast. There is just so much anger on both sides. Each side wants to blame the other and if we can’t get past that we won’t progress. White people have to be willing to confront their own repressed feelings, I understand that now.

    I hope this comes across in the spirit I intended it to, because I am a deeply caring person and I want to do what is right. I think this is the conversation that is not happening though that needs to. I am also DEEPLY upset and angry at my fellow white women that voted for Trump and Moore and I am not willing to stand by while this happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very confused by your reply. I am by no means claiming to know everything but if you and your associates want to know why some young black people do something why not get to know them and ask? Why not interact with them?

      It always baffles me when people sit around discussing what another group does and why they do it. Why not just go talk to them and learn? I see POC on social media doing this all the time – white people do this or that. Saw a comment in this thread about how white women are in sexless or loveless marriages. Really. Same with white people about black people or Muslims or whatever.

      If we can’t get even speak to each other I have no idea how things will ever change.

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      • I will give that suggestion serious consideration. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that would not come across as offensive. I am a 49 year old white women in a pretty much all white area so I will have to think on a way to accomplish that given my circumstances. And I have seen how that comes across online, it brings out rage on both sides.

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      • I hope you didn’t take offense at my reply. I’m a 54 year old white woman but I live in a large city. There are people here of pretty much any race, religion, ethnicity, etc… I’ve had the privilege of working with, meeting, and interacting (at school events, kid events, church etc… ) with many diverse people. But I still see this. I think it’s misplaced fear but how to overcome it is the issue.

        I understand if you don’t live in a diverse area because I grew up in a small town.

        I hope you can find some ways to reach out. I think it makes us all better when we get to know each other.

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      • I’ll also just say I would not approach the conversation as a sociological or anthropological conversation but just talk to each and every person as just that. A person.

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    • Andrea, first of all I am not mad by anything anyone types here. I do not censor any comments. I approve them all. The only time I MIGHT censor something is if someone says the n word and that has happened here on another post but in the context I let it stay because it proved a point. Other than that, pretty much nothing you say is going to make me mad.

      I do have a question for you before I say anything else. You asked this question in your comment, “How do I confront this stereotype with other white people?” I want to ask you have you confronted holding this stereotype in yourself yet and dealt with that? Before you confront anyone else about it, have you looked in a mirror and confronted yourself?

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  25. I took no offense! I grew up in Nebraska in a town with literally no black people, none in my school, jobs, etc. There was much more diversity in Omaha, one of only two “cities” in our state. What I was trying to convey also probably didn’t come across well. Women I know from my childhood think most blacks grow up in the inner city, join gangs, shoot people, etc. That is the stereotype I have to confront when I talk to them. They have this perception because there is some truth to that in Omaha. I worked for a convent after college in a predominately black neighborhood and I heard gunshots on a regular basis. There was a lot of gang activity in that area. Women that grew up in small surrounding towns were not exposed to any other black communities, so they were quite jaded. It is my understanding from college courses and books I have read, etc. that is a result of decades of oppression and system that doesn’t provide equal opportunity to education and a host of other things. I am very aware of my white privilege.

    When you live in a really rural area, things are different and people are ignorant of the world outside their little communities. And this prejudice is taught to their children and so on. I have been fighting to get away from these people my whole life. I have had so many arguments with my own father about this, he is absolutely terrible on this issue. It’s not easy to talk to them or change their minds, in fact I have failed miserably at it. I just feel like understanding why they feel this way helps to address it.

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    • I understand. My mother is 95. She remembers when there were different drinking fountains etc… All I can say is keep working at it. If my 95 year old mother can change there is hope 🙂

      I understand about being jaded. I have a friend that works at the hospital system where the patients are primarily low income so she has a different view than I do having worked in a professional setting for international companies. And I see an entirely different demographic at church as well.

      As for why they feel this way I think it’s fear mixed with ignorance. But there are as many thoughts, opinions, and feelings as there are people so your results may vary. 🙂

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  26. I was relieved that Roy Moore was not elected but ashamed when I saw how narrowly he lost.

    I read your article, and I listened to you speaking it. Your words and voice are powerful. It made me want to cheer and made me want to cry. I’m a white woman, but I felt a real connection with your narrative. I have felt pain and abuse, been expected to work for free, been advised that my voice doesn’t matter, been accused of being a femi-nazi for not being submissive enough. Had I been of color, my life would have been utterly different, I’m sure. I did have entree into places that people of color didn’t. A potential landlord wanted to meet me before renting to me to ensure I was not of color. I didn’t take the apartment. But I could have. Why are people so afraid of each other?

    I cannot balance the books when they are skewed in my favor. I admit that they are. It’s shameful that they are, simply because of color, when we have far more in common that we have in differences. I want to be an ally. I agree with your words. Black women should not have to work for free, or alone, or in the face of the world’s indifference or malice. White women should own their privilege and see past it to the reality of the world. We are all connected, joined by pain, joy and hope. All of us are miracles, beloved, fashioned of starlight and capable of great things. A slight to one of us is a wound to all of us. Thanks for your words.

    Like

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