One thing that our current president has proven is that leadership matters. What his leadership is showing us is that racism in America runs deep like the San Andreas fault. His election was an earthquake that shook the nation and exposed the deep racial divides that have been causing earthquakes in communities of color not felt by most of America. Me being called the N-word after I signaled and made a turn in front of an angry white male driver? 3.0 quake. BBQ Becky? 4.0 quake. McKinney Pool Party Incident? 5.0 quake. Trayvon Martin’s murder, Sandra Bland’s death, Philando Castile’s murder, Tamir Rice’s murder – all registering as at least 7.0 quakes. Rolling back affirmative action potentially limiting access to a college education for people of color? An 8.0 quake for sure.
You get the comparisons, right? People of color have been quaking and shaking for generations, but too many white people are going along blissfully ignorant at best or actively engaged in the oppression of people of color at worst. Our collective fate as a nation is completely co-dependent. America will NEVER achieve her fullest potential until ALL Americans have equal opportunity. Like the geologists who have been warning that the big one is on the way if we do not stop the actions taking place in our country now, a fatal blow to democracy may be on the horizon.
Some say America is heading for the big one—a full-on civil war. How would this civil war unfold? Aren’t we already at odds with one another? Everyone seems locked into the dialogue of his or her tribe unable to even hear what other tribes are saying. Aren’t we already so filled with hate some of us can’t even see straight or make rational decisions? Is hatred behind all the white women calling the police on black people for going about our daily lives?
White women, haven’t you seen enough black people killed when you call police instead of engaging with us? Just because you have the righteous indignation of privilege doesn’t mean you should call the police. The data about how the president appeals to white women is both telling and scary. Stop putting black lives in danger. Ask questions if you must. How about allowing Black folks to live their lives in peace?
Instead of calling the police, seek to build relationships with people of color. Be a positive influence on your men. Help set a different tone in America. Join with women of color and save the nation from an administration that is seemingly hell-bent on taking away all civil rights. Please don’t forget that civil rights gains like affirmative action helped to open doors for women as well. They’re coming after people of color and while you nod in acceptance, realize that once they get rid of protections based on race, they will then roll back protections based on gender.
Without any sarcasm, I can honestly say I have many white female friends that I love as the sisters they have shown themselves to be. I won’t name names to protect the innocent, but they know who they are! To my white sister-friends, I beg you to please help me speak to the hearts of your racial peers—other, not so enlightened white women. I beg you to tell them about the sisterhood we share. Tell them to stop calling the police on people of color. Tell them to reach out to women of color as mothers, daughters, fellow laborers in workplaces hostile to women. Tell them that all women must work together to stop the very real and serious threat to women’s rights that is unfolding in our country right now. Remind them that women of color have seen the handwriting on the wall for years and have consistently voted for candidates that are working to protect women’s rights, including our right to choose.
Take your white sisters by the shoulders and remind them of the poem written by Martin Niemoller (shown below). Please use whatever means necessary to make sure they understand that women and women’s issues will only win the day if ALL women are united. There are no pathways to political and electoral success without women of color, especially black women.
Sisters of color, we can help. WE CAN asks you to please share this post with the white women in your circle. Start a conversation. Engage them in a heart to heart talk about what it means to walk with us and be in true sisterhood. We must appeal to them as our friends and sisters in the fight for equity.
It is not an exaggeration to say that if we don’t fight together, we are sure to suffer together.
Some of you may be thinking, I’m not down for helping the Becky’s do anything. ‘Becky ain’t here for us, so I’m sure as hell not going to be there for her.’ I can completely understand that perspective. But the stakes are way too high now for us to take that attitude now.
I’m not asking you to talk to the random, basic Beckys you encounter every day. Her growth is not our work. Instead, I’m calling on you to enlist support from your network of white sister-friends who stand a better chance at getting through to the Beckys. We need the Beckys to use their privilege like Dr. Joy DeGruy’s sister-in-law in the grocery store. Watch the story below if you haven’t seen it already.
Even though we are tired, we must be the bridge that helps save our nation.
Yours in the Struggle,
Founder and President