The Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines the word collision as the coming together of two or more things with such force that both or all are damaged, or their progress is severely impeded.
On the E! Entertainment Golden Globes red carpet Tarana Burke responded about the #metoo movement as she stood next to Michelle Williams, “This moment is so powerful because we’re seeing a collision of these two worlds,” Then, Burke paused and said, “Collision’s probably not the best word. A collaboration between these two worlds that people don’t usually see put together and would most likely have us pitted against each other. So, it’s really powerful to be on the red carpet tonight.”
I believe that Burke actually said the correct word when she said collision. The outcome of the November 2016 election coupled with the sexual harassment epidemic of Hollywood has caused a collision of two or more things colliding with such force that both or all are damaged or their progress severely impeded.With the Women’s March and the #MeToo Movement, we have entered a world where two or more things find themselves coming together with such force that we can and have left each other damaged.
Let’s just be honest.
We are entering a space where two roads would often never traverse.
We are navigating the road of the Have and the Have Nots, Black and White, Rich and Poor, Hotel Guest Executive and Housekeeper. The differences between us are glaring and overwhelming.
So stark that we never imagined that one day our worlds would collide and that is why we are grappling or as it is defined struggling with or working hard to deal with or overcome.
Let me be transparent and honest. Because in 2018 it’s time out for sugarcoating!
After the November election when the rose-colored glasses of so many White women were crushed, as a Black woman, I struggled in accepting White women as part of the movement. I was laser focused on the 53%. I was offended by this newfound dedication for liberation. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that Black women have been SCREAMING FOR YEARS and we were IGNORED! I was devastated that in this #metoo movement a Black woman was overlooked for starting the movement. A movement that was started since slavery when White women turned a blind eye and deaf ear to cries of help coming from the slave cabins. I was ANGERED that a White woman could hashtag a movement and it caught fire. Even more UPSET that a White woman could use a movement started by a Black woman to greenlight a reality show. I was INFURIATED that OUR TRUTHS needed to be whitewashed to be heard.
My longing for liberation as a Black woman collided with White women that vowed to stand alongside me that wanted to fight with me.
So how do I begin to reconcile this? How do I start to share my feelings? How do I speak my truth without White women that genuinely want to fight for the cause, feeling offended?
And I decided, I have NO OTHER OPTION but to SPEAK THE TRUTH and ASK MY QUESTIONS that I asked months ago and allow the chips to fall where they may.
Where were you?
Where were you when we screamed for your husbands to stop fucking us and raping our daughters?
Where were you when Recy Taylor was begging for justice?
Where were you when Anita Hill was vilified for speaking up against sexual harassment?
Where were you when a former officer and convicted rapist, Daniel Holtzclaw, raped Black women?
Where were you when we buried our sons and daughters?
Where were you when Dajerria Becton had a knee on her back and was assaulted by an officer?
Where were you when a young Black girl was thrown across a classroom?
Where were you when Alesia Thomas uttered, “I Can’t Breathe”, after getting kicked in the throat and groin in the back of a patrol car in 2012, before it became a slogan?
Where where you when Jaquarrius Holland, Ciara McEvleen, Jojo Striker, Keke Collier Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow and Chyna Dupree were murdered?
Where were you when we marched and shouted for Sandra. Rekia, and Aiyana?
Where were you when we demanded that Black women MATTERED in this fight against police brutality?
Where were you when this nation sterilized Black, Native American and Puerto Rican women without their consent?
Where were you when Michelle Obama was called an ape, evil, ugly?
WHERE WERE YOU?!
I DO NOT want any EXCUSES! I do not want to hear NOT ALL! I do not want to hear NOT ME!
What I want to hear is, “You are RIGHT. AS A WHOLE WE DID NOTHING! WE USED OUR POWER, PLATFORM, AND PRIVILEGE FOR OURSELVES. WE IGNORED YOU! WE TURNED A BLIND EYE TO YOUR CONCERNS! And if WE ARE HONEST, WE IGNORED YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE BLACK, YOU ARE POOR, YOU’RE THE SECRETARY, YOU’RE JUST THE HELP AND WE DIDN’T CARE. And WE ARE SORRY! We weren’t listening to you then but we are here and listening now. We are here working WITH YOU to bring about change. So we will use our privilege and platform, allowing YOUR voice, YOUR needs, YOUR concerns, to lead the way.”
THAT is how we MOVE from collision to collaboration.
Will it be easy? NO! IN FACT, COUNT ON IT TO BE DIFFICULT AND MESSY! However, most things that are worthy are never easy! Right now we are STILL in a collision phase-learning, maturing, growing, working towards collaboration. Allow this time of collision. Allow us this space to rub up against each other even if it causes friction. Because it is in the friction that we learn how to SEE, HEAR, UNDERSTAND and FIGHT for each other.
Featured Photo: Tarana Burke/Facebook