Current Events

Maxine Waters Is More Than The Cool Black Friend

This week after Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke the uncompromised truth, and all broke loose. At an event at the Wilshire Federal Building, Maxine Waters said, “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents.” Later that day, Maxine told MSNBC, “The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the President, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.'”

Maxine Waters spoke of, as Congressman and activist John Lewis put it, making good trouble.  Her remarks come on the heels of several liars members of Trump administration being met by protestors while they dined or being asked to leave restaurants before they could order an appetizer. Many compared Rosa Parks Sarah Sanders plight of being asked to leave a restaurant to Black people fighting for Civil Rights.  Because Lord knows, Sarah-I-Lie-For-Sport-Sanders not being able to order a charcuterie tray is just like the oppression Black people faced in the past and now.  After Maxine’s comments many  in the nation wept and called for “civility.” Because we all know appealing to the moral sensibility of people that seek to oppress you, always works.

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It seems with this call for “civility” some people have amnesia, but I am not surprised.  That is always the story when Black women speak up. Just be civil and those that are oppressing you will stop. When has that EVER worked? I refuse to be civil to people that seek to harm me. Respectability will not save us. Respectable people were lynched. Respectable people were murdered.

Everyone loved Maxine when she was “reclaiming her time,” but the moment she said something that made people uncomfortable it was an issue. Protesting is not equal to harassment.

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For some White people, they are cool having a Black friend because Black people are all the rage. Being inclusive is the in thing now. Finding ways that the needs of Black women intersect with the needs of White women is the neat thing to do.

It is cool to learn Beyonce’s Everybody Mad dance break from Coachella and never once question why she was the first Black woman to headline at Coachella, sings Lift Every Voice and Sing in that space, or performed at the Super Bowl with her backup dancers dressed like Black Panthers.

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It’s cool for actress Monique to win an Oscar playing a cruel, heartless mother in the movie Precious, yet never offer a word of support when she demands fair pay for doing her job.

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It was all good as long as Michelle Obama was hanging out with Ellen buying box wine but the silence was deafeningly loud when Michelle Obama was vilified for simply existing.

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It’s all good to love an awkward Black girl like Issa Rae, until she says she is rooting for everybody Black.

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It is the in thing to take selfies with Ava DuVernay yet never sit down and watch her documentary 13th and use your privilege to help dismantle oppressive systems.

It cool to fangirl over Laverne Cox yet never say a word about the Black transgender women that have been murdered across this nation.

It’s cool to to share a hashtag like #TrustBlackWomen as long as you don’t have to help carry our cross, as long as you don’t have to DO anything that shows that you actually Trust Black Women.  As long as you can take from us and offer us nothing in return, its wonderful. It’s cool to be down with the Black chick as long as she doesn’t make you uncomfortable. As long as it doesn’t require any effort, it’s neat to be down with Black women.  As long as the Black girl is the finger-snapping, neck-turning, slang talking, sidekick, it’s lovely. As long as your Black girlfriend is the respectable Negro that can provide you with a modicum of entertainment, you love her. But the moment that Black girlfriend challenges you, it becomes a problem.

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As soon as that Black girlfriend recognizes that you are not laughing with her, but at her, you’re offended.  As soon as that Black girlfriend challenges you to look in a mirror and face your own racism, it’s a problem. As soon as that Black girlfriend demands fair pay for her labor, you no longer want to work with her. As soon as that Black girlfriend demands that you use your privilege for the betterment of Black people, it’s an issue. As soon as a Black woman makes you uncomfortable, you call for civility. Any time  Black women step up and say, “Enough is enough. We want justice!” we are no longer the acceptable Black girlfriend. As soon as a Black woman no longer wants to play the game, America comes along and replaces her with a Black woman that they deem as acceptable, a Black woman that will just be quiet and stay in her place or they slap labels on her like loud, ungrateful, and disrespectful. How dumbed down, quiet, and meek do you need Black women to be?

When I hear the term civil I hear, “Stay in your place, Black girl.” But I am not that go along to get along Black woman. It is my job to demand more of you. It is my job to make you uncomfortable. It is my job to make you see injustice. And if that means I cannot  be your “homegirl,” I am just fine with that. It only lets me know that as an outspoken Black woman like Maxine Waters, I was never your friend, I was merely your favorite slave.


More information if you are still uncertain where I stand:
Fuck Going High

5 replies »

  1. Amen! Last fall it was Sister Frederika, now Sister Maxine. I’m riding & PRAYING for both of them, & you, Sister Hannah. Silence is no longer an option. We are the ONLY WOMEN who have the cojones to SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER. White girls call the “police power” to SPEAK LIES. All day, everyday. And I’m blasting TRUTH on both sets in my hometown. Keep up the great writing!

    • Thank you, Queen Esther. Perhaps if people would have listened to us we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now. Black women are more than just the sidekick. We are dropping jewels! Not just for OUR benefit but for the benefit of this nation and the world. And people would rather “be offended.” Sometimes the truth is like medicine. It may not taste good but it will be good for you. Keep on writing as well!

  2. Amen! And if I haven’t told you lately, I totally appreciate your ability to speak truth. I love the truth tellers of the world, because far too many people are willing to ignore it!

    My White friends (all two of them!) know that I’m going to challenge them to think about racial issues. They know they can’t be my friends otherwise. That I am open, and blunt and without guile. That I do not back down from speaking my truth.

    I have one friend who is slowly learning how I am. She is taking it in stride, and trying. I dont preach t her, I just tell her, directly, how the world is for me, and let her know she can discuss racial issues with me (since so many of them are often afraid to bring it up at all.). She knows I wont get mad, but will be direct and truthful with her, and not mince words.

    You have to be truthful to who you are and speak your life as you know it without fear. That’s why I’m always gonna stan Auntie Maxine!

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