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.
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.
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.
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.