Current Events

The Bell Tolls For You- Louisville Women’s Rally

Women’s March
Louisville, KY January 21, 2018

James Baldwin once said, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.” So, today, I am just doing my job. I do not stand here to entertain you. Every time that I stand at a microphone I am speaking to shake this nation from its slumber. Consider these words the alarm.

We are at a critical point in this nation so, on this day, let’s not pretend. Reality is what reality is, and the reality is 53% of White women that voted in the presidential election voted for a man that boasted about grabbing women by their genitalia. And even after all that we have been through 65% of White women that voted in the Alabama Election voted for a man that is a known racist and alleged pedophile. Today is not a day for celebration but of self-examination. Let me be transparent and honest because in 2018 #TimesUp for sugarcoating and whitewashing the truth.

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 raping us?
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 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 were you when Jaquarrius, Ciara, Jojo, Keke Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee, and Chyna 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 we were screaming? Your silence was deafeningly loud.

I could not stand here in good conscience in a pink pussycat hat and break my arm off to pat myself and others on the back when right now in this nation people who have lived in this country for decades are being ripped apart from their families
Right now, the President calls countries in Africa, Haiti and El Salvador shitholes
Right now, a man is in office that brags and boasts about sexually assaulting women
Right now, OUR senator is using the healthcare of children as a bargaining chip
Right now, OUR senator refuses to have the courage to call a man that has been hateful, divisive a racist
Right now, laws are being written to allow doctors the freedom to discriminate against transgender individuals
Right now this year 4 Black lesbians have been murdered!
Right now, a White man can kill 58 people and injure 851 people, and it’s a blip on the TV screen
Right now, the reproductive rights of women are once again being challenged.

RIGHT NOW!
Here in Kentucky a former police officer of 20 years tells a recruit to shoot Black people
Right now, we have a governor that believes the cure for violence is praying it away all while instituting policies that seek to divide this state
Right now, here in Kentucky there is a proposed law for it to be legal to drive over citizens that are practicing their God-given right to protest all because they didn’t have a permit
Right now, a bill is in the Kentucky Senate to allow private businesses and public institutions the right to discriminate against people if they don’t align with their beliefs.

And now this swell of Women’s Liberation has brought light to the Me Too Movement- a movement started by a Black woman named Tarana Burke yet commandeered by the masses. So today I stand with Ms. Burke and flip this hashtag and say #YouToo
Because it was all good as long as it was not #YouToo
It was okay for Black women to be raped by a police officer because it was not #YouToo
It was okay as long as it was Indigenous women that were being raped and assaulted on their land with no recourse for justice until you realized it was happening to #YouToo
It was okay for Black and Brown workers to be paid less because it was not #YouToo
It was alright for Tamir Rice to be killed on a playground because it was not #YouToo
It was just fine when it wasn’t your reproductive rights because it wasn’t #YouToo
It was just fine when Sandra Bland  was dead on a jailhouse floor because it wasn’t #YouToo
It was all good when it was just their jobs that were going to be lost until you realized it meant #YouToo
It was all good that Trump was taking “their” healthcare because it was not #YouToo
NOW YOU SEE! TAKE OFF YOUR ROSE COLORED GLASSES! LOOK AROUND YOU! THE PLANE IS ON FIRE! AND THAT MEANS YOU TOO!

WE CANNOT SHOUT THIS ANY LOUDER!

WE HAVE DONE OUR PART!

MY SISTERS ARE TIRED!

THE ARC OF JUSTICE IS CARVED INTO THE BACKS OF BLACK AND BROWN BODIES! AND TODAY IS THE DAY FOR YOU TO TAKE A STAND! WHEN HEAR THE BELLS OF INJUSTICE RINGING, DO NOT ASK FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS? THE BELL IS TOLLING FOR YOU!

Featured Photo: Lucie Witt

Video: Greg Leitchty/Youtube

13 replies »

  1. Hi, Hannah. I really like reading your posts. I think you dig deep into issues, deeper than many people are willing to go. But I am genuinely curious, as a white woman, what exactly you want white women to do? I grew up in rural West Virginia, Tennessee, and middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. Surrounded by few minorities and many, many near-sighted conservatives. But still, I grew up believing every single person I met was my equal. I have never believed skin color, religion, socioeconomic status, and so on, should serve as a measure of one’s place in society. I have supported, from both near and far, every movement meant to liberate those who are marginalized. So can you tell me — or at least give me a starting place — how can I, as a white person who agrees with every word you say, do better? Seriously. I want to do better. But to me, I see all people of every color included in these movements. Yeah, a lot of white people are fucked up and have turned back progress in this country. But the rest of us, those that marched this weekend and have marched this entire past year, we are not those people. Sure, maybe we haven’t spoken up every time we should have. But we hold similar ideals. That we all deserve equality. And we want to walk beside you — not against you. So, how do I do better? Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with evanpetschke. Your speech was strong and questions where white women have been while black women struggled? If people continue to draw lines between races, doesn’t that still alienate people and disconnect us as a whole? Why not http://www.niceladies.com. In this day and age, many ladies are mixes of races. Just be inclusive PERIOD! We need to stand together and support each other, no matter the race. YES, I agree the black race has suffered and is suffering at the hands of predominantly white men (and the lack of all peoples standing up WITH THEM), but again, that is not by ALL. There are many who will stand WITH you. Many more, but again, do not alienate, but rather, ASK FOR UNITY SO WE CAN STAND AS ONE. I understand there is anger, and rightfully so. Latinos and others are suffering as well and at the hands of many races. ALL PREJUDICE IS WRONG. THE CYCLE HAS TO BE BROKEN. LET US RULE OUT “ALL PREJUDICE” ALWAYS. HATE IS WRONG. SO LET US UNITE AND CALL FOR THIS UNION to embrace us all as ONE, THE HUMAN RACE!!!!! BE INCLUSIVE and get rid of the lines that divide instead of unite. If we all unite, our strength is massive. We then, CAN and WILL make massive strides for the advancement of JUSTICE FOR ALL!!! LOVE CONQUERS, HATE DIVIDES!

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  2. Another point if I may, White women became enablers by their silence. Now they are trying to sensor the men, and rightfully so, who do these things. What did they think would happen when raping Black Women was no longer legal, and that in itself is a question mark.The behavior is used on them now and now it is their problem to solve.

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    • To be absolutely truthful, White men always behaved shitty towards White women, but used the excuse that the reason why they were doing it was to protect them from Black men, or that they should accept it because at least it wasn’t Black men doing it. Now, they can’t use those excuses for their behavior. Not that some of them don’t still try it.

      Liked by 1 person

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