Earlier this week during Sunday night football, five St. Louis Rams players came out of the tunnel to take the field ahead of the rest of the team, arms raised in “hands up, don’t shoot” posture, in honor of the Ferguson protesters angry with the lack of indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, four months after his shooting of Mike Brown. The gesture was powerful, especially coming from influential athletes from the St. Louis community. And what did they get in return? A whole bunch of belly aching from the St. Louis Police Department, who demanded an apology, rightfully didn’t get one, and then still chose to pretend they did. What a world! Keep reading »
“You fucking stupid bitch,” a man screamed followed by the slam of a car door. Feet thumped and the passenger door swung open. The incoherent pleas of a woman could be heard.
Then the loud sound of skin making contact with skin reverberated through the late night, down the empty street. My brother, sister and I rushed to our window to peak through the blinds to see what was happening. My fingers pulled the blinds down and I peeped out into the darkness; I could see a young, dark-skinned woman, crying and begging like a sinner seeking forgiveness at the feet of a Jesus statue for some unknown, unrighteous sin. Except, the man standing in front of her wasn’t frozen in stone. With all the force he could muster, he launched a kick that landed square in her stomach.
“Call the cops,” my brother ordered. Keep reading »
I am at odds with feminism and my conflict is a “race issue.”
For White women, defining oneself as feminist is pretty simple. The need to advance a female political agenda — while dismissing male oppression — makes sense in a world where White men maintain the highest position and power. I understand that.
However, as a Black woman, I do not share that same freedom or privilege to so easily align myself with gendered politics. I elaborated on that notion sometime ago in a piece that I wrote about intersectionality. In summary, my existence is plagued by both White patriarchy and racism. Neither of those plights outweigh the other, though both do have their own implications that are divisive and confusing. Therefore, I, as well as other women of color, am constantly at odds with the struggle against racism and patriarchy. It’s a predicament where I must constantly defend my position as a woman who cares about women’s issues to Black men– and the Black community– who claim that the main political focus of any Black individual should be tackling racism and White supremacy. And, similarly, I must constantly defend myself to White women who expect that women will readily adopt a White feminist agenda that does not account for the particular position that women of color occupy.
This is my statement to both of these demographics: I care not for your acceptance or approval. I stand upon the platform built for me by my foremothers, the Black women who understood the various struggles that plague women of color and the truth that advancement for us cannot be realized without the release of our community — and men — from the shackles of racism. I stand beside Alice Walker, bell hooks, Clenora Hudson-Weems and the myriad of women who understand my struggle and advocate for progress for the Black community. Keep reading »
Yesterday, I did a brief post on the racism displayed in Kim Kardashian’s much talked about Paper magazine cover and photoshoot. I focused on Kardashian’s demotion from “Whiteness” in society because of her relationships with Black men; relationships that have essentially cast her into the realm of “Blackness” where her body is readily exploited and hypersexualized, in ways eerily similar to the vulgar treatment Black female bodies receive in the United States.
Many responded by claiming that Kim Kardashian is Middle Eastern and not White. The difference between ethnicity and race should always be considered when discussing matters of racism. Per the U.S. Department of Justice:
“White people” are defined as “people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.”
Keep reading »