“Black Hacks” – Pay It Forward!
It is my desire when I write that black people will pass this (and any other posts I have written) on to their white friends & colleagues. Instead of doing what many of you feel is the source of much of your eye rolling these days as far as having to constantly explain things when you interact with non POC, you can say “just read this!” I came up with the whole idea of Black Hacks for that very reason. We have hacks about everything else to help us in life, why not some Black Hacks? Hopefully this will help in the understanding phases as we try to co-exist. As usual, you don’t have to agree with one word I say and some of it may even piss you off, but at the end of the day these are my opinions, feelings and humble ideas for solutions. Hopefully you will see them as such and take away whatever may be helpful for you moving forward.
With that said, this post is my version of a personal epistle to white women. I want to speak directly to you and share a common sentiment floating around in the black community. For those who are unaware, Black. Folks. Are. Tired. Black women especially, are well beyond the regular ‘end of a long day’ tired. WE TIED. Like sick and tired. Back in the day when my Mama said she was sick and tired… that usually meant I was about to get my ass whooped for something I had done.
I personally have not reached the point of exasperation that some of my sisters have and until that happens I will continue to try and do my part. Please be advised though that a lot, if not most other women of color are just plain fed up. Everybody isn’t interested in being your black folks rep. They are tired of explaining (to white folks) why things are wrong, racist, or just not cool. Tired of mourning innocent black people getting killed by police, tired of seeing white people get away with murder, tired of being told racism doesn’t exist and on and on.
When I have conversations with or read things on social media by black people, I get it and some days I ain’t trying to be bothered either. Catch me on the wrong side of the bed and I can have a more colorful vocabulary as well. On the one hand, I feel like if we don’t educate others, who will? Even BFR’s get sick and tired too though. Since I really feel that part of my purpose in life is to be diligent and do just the opposite of what I feel in those moments, I will once again offer my Jada-isms in hopes of helping SOMEBODY not get punched in the face…in these streets!
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a FB group for “Women of Color” and an in-person event was suggested to the group. It is described to “help all of us to share our stories, process our stories and each other’s stories and find healing as they relate to race and racial reconciliation”. A post that caught my eye was from the organizer about why more WOC were not signing up to be a part of this event. Apparently only white women had shown interest at that point. As I read the comments, one by one black women all sang the hook to the same jam. WE TIED! Here are a few responses:
“I will only speak for myself as someone who genuinely used to love having these conversations from high school through graduate school. I am hesitant to attend due to the following:
* Talking to “the choir” or whites who understand and have engaged in these discussions in the past. I find those that truly need to have these discussions don’t show up.
* Taking a break from “educating” white folks on racism and rationally presenting facts and teasing apart myths, generational perceptions, etc.
“Because I’m tired of lifting for other folks”
“In simple terms: I’m tired of talking to liberal white women about what they can/need/should do to fix things…I’m good with keeping my distance for now so my sarcasm isn’t a hindrance to whatever progress.”
“I’m not into it. Dealing with novice white ally’s is hard work. I’m not going to do it for free. Beyond tired of well-meaning liberal women who are racist. I am not responsible for overextending myself when I do not have the energy. And I don’t appreciate the cheerleading. I’ve dedicated my life to social justice. I’m pretty, happy with my contributions. This is not my job.”
“Being the sympathetic black woman gets exhausting. I feel like I live everyday trying to reeducate the majority about how to view black people. But mostly I just get a lot of, “Wow, you’re not like most black people.”
“I guess I would say that I honestly don’t feel angry, bitter, or hopeless. I am resigned that some people will be allies and open to change and others will never fully engage… I suppose in my head, I live a life centered around racial reconciliation and I didn’t particularly feel the need to join a group specifically for that purpose”.
“Personally I’ve just gotten to a place where I’m much more interested in focusing on solidarity with other people of color. My children are Black and Indian so I’ve got personal motivation. I kind of see racism as a problem that white people need to decide to fix amongst themselves.”
“Some of us [are] bruised by in person interactions and are weary.”
“I’m tired, as a mom of color- of 4, that has had to explain my identity & struggle to people of color and those that are not, that has had to basically fight to have people of color acknowledge my color even when we’re the same skin tone.”
Women have been fighting for equal rights since the 1800’s. The name that I’m sure everyone can agree on most associated with the movement and the fight for women’s rights, especially voting rights, was Susan B. Anthony.
Here’s what Wikipedia has on SBA, (yeah I know it’s Wikipedia, but it gives us a little foundation)
“In 1837, at age 16, Anthony collected petitions against slavery as part of organized resistance…In 1851, she played a key role in organizing an anti-slavery convention in Rochester.” So far so good.
In a speech in 1861, Anthony said, “Let us open to the colored MAN all our schools … Let us admit HIM into all our mechanic shops, stores, offices, and lucrative business avocations … let HIM rent such pew in the church, and occupy such seat in the theatre … Extend to HIM all the rights of Citizenship.” (http://www.wesleyan.edu/mlk/posters/suffrage.html)
Now I put all the male nouns/pronouns in caps to make a point. Was she only talking about black MEN? Just from the little research that I have done (and maybe I need to do more), I struggle with whether she truly considered black women her equal, but let’s continue.
“I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”
(INSERT RECORD SCRATCH)
Wayment! What about the Negro woman? Feel free to disagree, but I read this to mean “I’ll be damn if a black man gone get the right to vote before a white woman will!”
I think Sojourner Truth heard what I heard too because she had a clap back for Anthony. “I feel that I have the right to have just as much as a man. There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and colored women not theirs, the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before.” YASSSSS Sista Truth, now that’s more like it!
Historically speaking, relationship dynamics between black and white women have been always been “interesting” for lack of a better word. Consider for a minute the interaction between black and white women way back when it was trendy to buy and own other people. Crazy stuff went down like white women would have babies and the black “mammies” would breast feed them! I don’t know about y’all but that would throw me off if you forced me to breast feed your child. I mean I have to pick the cotton, clean the house and muster up enough breast milk for my kids AND yours?!
Black men were eventually seen as 1/5 of a person (after years of convincing others they actually were people just to count in the tally for voting purposes). Only 1/5th though! Black women? No fifths? Just property to either be another field hand, house Negro, maid or plaything for their owner. Don’t act surprised, where do you think we got all these light-skinned black folks from? “Massas” were definitely down with the swirl and whether you were or not as a black woman didn’t matter. I said all of that to say that as far as just about everybody was concerned, black women were of no concern. Our female ancestors had purposes, uses and that was about it. White women didn’t have a whole lot of rights themselves, but in their minds, at least they’re weren’t black women!
So, I can see where this weirdness between black and white women may have come from if these were the feelings back in the day. I have some unresolved issues about whether Ms. Anthony was fighting for ALL women. I mean she was all about white women being considered equal to white men. She was also down with the abolition of slavery and perhaps allowing black men a seat at the table. But her exact feelings about black women having that same equality…IOOOOONNNN know about that one.
Looks to me like the only people we as black women have EVER been able to really rely on to fight for our rights is US. This is still true today but if I am allowed an “I have a dream” moment, maybe one day ALL women can get on board with the business of progress for all.
White women and the 2016 election
Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women
Hatred of women
Wikipedia states that misogyny can be manifested in many ways including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, andro-centrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification. I’m sure I don’t have to tell any woman white, black or purple that misogyny exists and has since the beginning of time. Just like other things in our past have followed us into the present to haunt us, misogynistic ideas held by other WOMEN have trailed right along over the years as well. Hating your own as far as women are concerned is not new and is no different than light skin blacks discriminating against dark skin blacks. Yes, that’s a thing but we’ll have to cover that in a totally separate post, stay focused.
When it comes to our debacle of an election, I don’t think many have given the proper amount of credit to the fact that misogynist women are just as alive and well as the klan and they voted for 45 in droves. Yes, women can be misogynistic, not just old men who think women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Some women have and still carry the same ignorant ideas that their husbands, dads or even their mothers had. You know the type that says stupid ISH like “I don’t know if we’re ready for a woman to be President” or “just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean I have to vote for her”. And you know what ma’am? You’re right. Just because she is a woman, it does not mean all women should have voted for Hillary Clinton. You should have voted for her because she was the most qualified candidate in the history of qualifying candidates!
I heard some of them on TV during the campaign setting women back 300 years. “I’m not one of these feminists or being a feminist doesn’t mean you support every woman”. No but you passed on someone who could have very well been one of the best Presidents of the United States (outside of B.O. of course) BECAUSE she was a woman. Now look who’s living on Pennsylvania Avenue! We all know there are multiple reasons why Hillary lost but I will go to my grave believing that there would be no marches, no pink pussy hats, none of that if more white women had just…done better.
If Hillary was a man, 45 would be somewhere trying to sue and prove the election was rigged against him because of how bad he lost. But BECAUSE she was a woman, many women held that against her. And we know y’all voted for him because most of you don’t admit or talk about it in person. You didn’t then and you certainly don’t now. Come to think about it, you never have talked about it. It’s your “closet” moment and maybe one day you will come out. On second thought maybe you won’t, because this thing is getting worse by the day. I wouldn’t tell anybody I voted for him at this point either. Oh and please be clear a so-called protest vote for that idiot who didn’t know what Allepo was or Jill Stein who had dinner with Putin her damn self, equaled a vote for 45. Had to toss that lil’ nugget in there too in case there was any confusion.
All black women I know have been in a perpetual mode of SMH at the foolery surrounding the fallout of last year’s election. Our collective mantra has been “WE TRIED TO TELL Y’ALL!” Black women represent one of the most reliable voting blocks, especially for the Democratic party since we stopped being Republicans. We kinda owed that to Lincoln being that he set us “free” and all. White women on the other hand…speaking strictly about those who voted for 45 and/or “against Hillary” dropped the damn ball. POINT.BLANK.PERIOD!
November 8th 2016, also known as the first day of our current “WTF Era”, when we realized that 45 “won” the election. Benefiting from the perfect sh*t storm of Russian interference, voter dis-enfranchisement, sexism and what I call the Obama hangover. Sorry but there was no way you were ever going to get Black folks that crunk about a white woman like we were about Obama. Especially black men. EVEN STILL, whether it was a full-throated endorsement or a “hell let me go on and vote for her so this fool don’t win”, however we felt, BLACK WOMEN SHOWED UP!
Just like millions of other jackasses, you couldn’t tell me that Hillary wasn’t going to win and my reason every time was because and I quote “white women are going to show up and show out.” I pictured white women in droves standing in ridiculously long lines in the sunshine, snow and rain, singing we shall overcome, burning bras and bonding over the chance to elect the first female President in the history of ‘Merica. It was your chance white women but some of y’all, 54% of y’all to be exact, went into that voting booth and…Lord I can’t even say it. After all we knew before or learned about Cheetoh-lini during the campaign…you STILL voted for him WTF!?!?
I don’t know if it’s coming through, but it’s really hard for me being the smart ass that I am to hold back some of the negativity I feel in my spirit right now. However, since that might not be AS productive as intellectually expressing my point I will refrain. BUT PLEASE BELIEVE I am calling some of you names in my head.
Now I know that just as there are some WOKE white people, there are some SLEEP ass black women out there who voted Republican too. Not 54% though. Like Omarosa, Diamond and Silk (or as I call them Poly and Ester) and anybody who is in that same vein. They are non factors and not even enough to make a dent in the numbers. So they don’t even deserve another sentence. AND SCENE.
Back to my white sisters…what card do we pull for you though? Can’t play the race card, Hillary is white. Gotta play the misogyny card then. All women were just not ready to embrace and exhibit their own damn power. Emails you say? My ass. Even if we found she had emails and they showed she had actually done something wrong (which they never did), you mean to tell me that negates EVERY OTHER THING that made her qualified to run the country? Of course not, but the idea of a woman being in charge was too much. Just like having a black President was too much for a lot of white people. For men, I get it, but I will NEVER understand women having this sentiment. Why does 45 get a pass for _____ (insert one of his many offenses) but Hillary can’t keep her emails secret?Hillary stayed with ol’ blow job Bill and y’all gave her hell but he’s the “Comeback King”. If she had left him, she would have caught it on the other side too for not standing with and supporting her man. This woman has always had to worry about what she said, how she said it, did she smile big enough, was she laughing too loud, don’t offend anybody, cross your legs, sit up straight, cut your hair, let it grow, don’t come across too hard, don’t be soft, don’t play the woman card, don’t get sick, don’t look too perfect, on and on. AND SHE DID IT ALL. But some people were worried about her being likeable and you wouldn’t want to have a beer with her. Hell Hillz wouldn’t be my first text to go hang out and have drinks either, but I bet N. Korea wouldn’t be sending bombs over this way. I guaran-damn-tee she would have Putin’s ass in check too which is why he was hell bent on helping 45. Nobody works that hard against you the way he did with her unless you’re a threat to them or their agenda, trust and believe. Some of 45 supporters and not just the “poorly educated” ones either, got so hung up on stupid stuff, and here we are. One vote away from millions of people not having health insurance.
It’s a never-ending cycle of SMH. Like a GIF on a loop.
Now let me be clear, my purpose is not to bash white women. I do occasionally need to get out some aggression over my feelings towards any group so that my sarcasm over dumb sh*t doesn’t spill out in real life. This is especially true when it comes to women not seriously operating in their own interests. My real purpose for this post though is to clue people into the current atmosphere so that you can govern yourselves accordingly.
Do we have white female allies in the fight for women’s rights? ABSOLUTELY and we sincerely appreciate you. I respect your ability to just “get it” or your willingness to want to learn and do better. We as POC need your help though. White females only fighting for WHITE women’s well-being will still leave black women fending for themselves. Black women have been fighting since the boat ride and a little more help would be nice. Having a few more soldiers on the front lines that care about ALL women enough to learn about their struggles. Not force them to have to continuously educate you because you do or say something…un-educated…but be proactive in really trying to understand what it’s like on our side of the fence. Get you some black friends and stop worrying about how we get our hair to do this or that. Dig deeper and bring another friend along to do the same.
Hold people accountable and for the sake of whatever God you serve, or if you worship the sun, stop it with the self-misogyny. I don’t even know if that’s a word, but I think you get the picture. Let go of these archaic views of what women are and what we’re supposed to be, regardless of color. The same women who thought we would never see or who would never vote for a black man are probably the same ones who didn’t vote for a female President.
In closing, chew on this. The idea of a woman being President was so inconceivable and has been for so many years, that this country let a BLACK MAN do it first.