It was a typical night on Twitter as I scrolled through memes, funny videos and provocative comments about the impending confirmation of Brett
I Love Beer and Sexually Assaulting Women Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Make no mistake about it, I was never under the delusion that Kavanaugh would not be confirmed. Even as compelling and truthful as I found Dr. Ford’s testimony, I am a Black woman living in this nation and if I know nothing else, I know that White supremacy will always fight to preserve itself. So, I sat back and watched Twitter become enraged as the realization hit that White was going to do what White always does, insulate and protect itself. To be honest, it was interesting after months, even years of speaking about race and injustice, realizing that White people still just do.not. get. it. Too many well meaning White people are playing checkers while White supremacy is playing chess and Kavanaugh’s confirmation was the checkmate heard around the world.
I expected White people to take to Twitter in outrage because that is what people do that have been asleep at the wheel for the past 400 years. They make posts saying, “Oh my goodness I have NEVER seen such injustice in this nation,” or “I just ordered a rage pizza, this is no time for a salad” because nothing says let’s fight injustice like eating a pepperoni pizza.
The tweets were endless as White people particularly White women felt the safety of being feminine and White being stripped away from them.
And then Bette Midler decided to come online with her loud and wrong tweet.
How many times do we have to go over this? Women are not the n*gger of the world. EVER! PERIOD. On a White woman’s WORST DAY, she will NEVER be able to understand what it means to be a Black woman. People hightailed it to Bette’s tweet to tell us that she was taking the quote from John Lennon and Yoko Ono because of course, that makes it better. If we look beyond John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the loosely quoted phrase can be attributed to Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God when she wrote, “De n*gger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.” And even if they WERE trying to quite Hurston, she said the BLACK WOMAN was the mule of the world similar to Malcolm X’s quote, “The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” Lennon and Ono did NOTHING but WHITEWASH the quote and make it something free love, bra burning White women could swallow down. That is the SAME THING Bette did when she got on her
Ambien infused Twitter tirade.
After several failed explanations (because you know you can just explain away the n-word) and “apologies,” Bette conceded her stupidity and tweeted an apology and stated that she was an ally.
Really Bette? It rings true then and it rings true now? I know every day that I wake up I appreciate allies that haphazardly use the n-word to prove a point. It’s funny how many people NEVER want to acknowledge injustice that Black people endure daily but as SOON AS THEY ARE OFFENDED it’s “like being a n*gger.” You can’t have it both ways.
White women this ain’t it. It ain’t. Why do y’all do this? It’s like some of you take 2 steps forward and 3 back every single day. https://t.co/lKd68R0355
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) October 5, 2018
Many White “allies” Olympic LONG JUMPED over Black women that were explaining to Bette why her tweet was offensive, to tell her her tweet was just fine, because you know, any time I am offended I need a White woman to explain to the world why I am overreacting.
White people that have one Black friend that does their makeup love to claim they are an ally. Having a Black friend doesn’t make you an ally. Having a Black person that you sleep with doesn’t make you an ally. Having a Black person in your circle that provides you a service does not make you an ally. Inviting a Black person to your brunch where NO OTHER Black people will be present, does not make you an ally. We appoint the label ally. I can dance the choreography to Single Ladies all day long but until Beyonce calls me her dancer, I am a woman dancing Single Ladies in front of a full length mirror in my bedroom. So, fuck your mimosas and basil and thyme infused scrambled eggs. That doesn’t make you an ally. What I need to know is, are you willing to go to bat for me?
Are you willing to use your privilege for the benefit of others that do not have it?
Are you willing to use your resources on behalf of a Black person, without seeking credit?
Are you willing to stand up and use your voice to diffuse a situation?
Are you willing to advocate for Black people in spaces we aren’t in?
Are you willing to tell your husband, your mother, your sister, your brother that their racist jokes aren’t funny?
Are you willing to speak up online and say, “That is wrong?”
Are you willing to share an article or blog that may make your friends uncomfortable?
Are you willing to read an article or blog that may make you uncomfortable?
Are you willing to take yourself out of the center?
Are you willing to acknowledge history and how you benefit from the horrors of slavery?
Are you willing to sit through a difficult conversation without saying, “Not all White people?”
Are you willing to demand that Black people be at the table when the topic impacts our lives?
Are you willing to stand with a Black mother that has lost her child to police brutality?
Are you willing to support a Black person even if no one is baking you cookies for doing the right thing?
Are you willing to sit back, be quiet and listen?
Are you willing to let Black people lead?
Are you willing to advocate on behalf of Black women that are paid less and you KNOW they aren’t being paid fairly?
Are you willing to step aside so a Black woman that is deserving can have the spotlight?
Or does your self-appointed allyship end by inviting a Black person to an awkward brunch where they are going to be the ONLY Black person, and you think you have done something radical and revolutionary by serving gentrified, grass-fed chicken and gluten-free waffles with agave syrup?
If you be an ally than stand with me, side by side. Be tried by the fire.
I am not impressed by being invited to your brunches or your dinners. I am not impressed being on display for your friends and family members. What impresses me is this woman who had the courage to stand up.
Watch: A white woman steps in and defends two Spanish speaking women who were being harassed by another shopper, in Colorado. The original video went viral online, and the harasser was arrested. pic.twitter.com/Cz6kkMoZc4
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 4, 2018
THAT IS AN ALLY! Someone that is willing to speak up and stand up in the face of opposition.
Are you willing to do that?
If not, please don’t call yourself an ally. Just keep swallowing down your mimosas and eating your lox and cream cheese as you watch the world be engulfed in flames.