Why I’m not a social justice activist. Please don’t mistake me for one.

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As much as I have a deep desire to become involved in social justice, I won’t. After years being politically active and observing the lives others, I believe it costs too much time and energy. For me as a Black woman, I see very little from it.

You’re probably thinking well social justice got us the right to vote even though we have to ask for a civil rights bill every few years.  We can to go to schools where we aren’t wanted. We can get jobs where it’s hard to get promoted.  We can finally move into communities where we are harassed. Finally, we can give our money to racists by shopping at racists stores and those things happened because of social justice. That’s all well and good, but from my perspective those are crumbs to me. Tiny ones since I am a Black woman.

If I’m honest with myself, we’d all have to acknowledge that every single Black civil rights movement has always been about the right of Black men to imitate White men. It’s why even in Black spaces like churches, in arts and entertainment, in our businesses, our communities, our families and even within our own homes White Christian patriarchal thinking reigns supreme.

And as in White spaces, in Black spaces, Black women are after thoughts to be seen and not heard. Our circumstances are ignored or minimized. We Black women are relegated to being on the front lines to be brutalized and beaten or seen as the broke help. Heck, some even think Black women are the enemy. It’s why almost every Black woman civil rights organizer has died broke in obscurity. Unlike like her, her male counterpart did well financially. He wrote books, ran for office, runs organizations and gets paid for endless speeches because of his work. The Black male civil rights leader’s wife stayed at home while Black women were beaten marching on the streets. And because of this, he is the only one celebrated. I guess Black women are supposed to struggle and sacrifice so that Black men can thrive. How twisted is that?

A recent and glaring example is the Black Lives Movement. I am not bashing them. What they are doing is noble, but I’m making an observation. The founders are gay Black women. Black Lives Matter was only triggered after the deaths of Black men by law enforcement. The irony is even after numerous Black women and girls were murdered by the police, BLM was and continues to be mostly about Black men. Black women only became an issue when people started demanding that Black women and girls be included. When I created a list of Black women who were killed by the police, I was told it was a distraction that took away from the plight of Black men. I guess Black women and girls don’t count as Black lives. But let’s look even deeper.

Even though the founders and organizers of the recent protests are Black women, guess who is on TV and are the faces of the protests? Black men! Who are getting jobs because of the protests? Black men. And guess who continues to do the work for free? Black women. This happened during the abolitionist movement, the suffragette movement, the civil rights movement, the Black Panther movement and still happens today.

Some might call what I say divisive, but what is divisive is ignoring the majority of the Black population who are Black women. But it’s not just those who ignore Black women fault. Here is one nasty pill Black women must swallow. It’s Black women’s fault too. The biggest mistake Black women continue to make is believing the Black man’s liberation is tied to her own. It’s not and if we look at recent history, it has never been. Black women are on our own. I understand why we do feel tied to Black men. These are our fathers, partners, brothers, friends and sons, however, trickle down freedom doesn’t work. It won’t work when one party continues to be invested in mimicking White male racist and colorist patriarchy.

Unlike those who are down for the struggle, I refuse to trade a White supremacist oppressor for a Black nationalist one in the name of faux race unity.  I want don’t want to die broke because of the struggle. I don’t want my work to be ignored. I refuse to be silenced. I’m not some follower.  I don’t want to be seen as some mindless worker. I want my womanhood recognized. I want what’s mine and that is my right to be seen as human.

I commend and appreciate those Black women who give up their time, opportunities, health, wealth, resources, youth and lives do it. They get little for it. As you can see for me personally, social justice just isn’t worth it. I’d rather focus on wealth building and that’s why this blog exists.

Thanks for reading. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself think and be limitless.

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  1. Don 2 December, 2015 at 09:33 Reply

    Do you realize that what you are doing, particularly with this blog and speaking out on behalf of black women and against patriarchy, IS social justice activism.

    • Char 5 December, 2015 at 15:29 Reply

      I agree, Don. Social justice activism looks many different ways, and people can stand up for what’s important for them in the way that feels right to them. Like this blogger has done.

  2. Jacque 2 December, 2015 at 09:49 Reply

    This is why I support your blog….a perceptive young sister who gets it
    I hope more will wake the hell up.
    I disassociated myself from the black church 30 yrs ago because of this. ….NEVER REGRETTED IT.

  3. Stephanie 2 December, 2015 at 12:20 Reply

    I agree and this is the very reason why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I am afraid that I have integrated my people into a burning house.”

  4. Chay86 2 December, 2015 at 13:49 Reply

    BBG I think a lot of Black women feel the same exact way, to varying degrees or another. But fear of rejection and fantasies of being given a seat at the table with the men keeps many of us/them from saying anything. And on “divisiveness”- I can’t recall where I heard this but: you can’t be divisive when things are already divided. But your blog and the many other writings and words of woke Black women have been invaluable for us, whether we agree on every issue or not.

  5. Von 4 December, 2015 at 07:01 Reply

    “Even though the founders and organizers of the recent protests are Black women, guess who is on TV and are the faces of the protests? Black men! Who are getting jobs because of the protests? Black men.”

    One name comes to mind, DeRay Mckesson. I’ve seen him in several white mainstream publications and on several news outlets. The women who started these movements only get background supporting roles.

    They don’t publically say anything for fear of the movement being seen as unorganized and having no unity, so they present this facade as if they’re all on one accord. We saw the infighting on Twitter over the summer.

    They attempt to silence many of us when we point it out, but everyone sees what’s going on, except them. They believe they are for the same objective and clearly they’re not.

    There are incidents like this, which show the occurrence of sexual assault in the movement:

    In 2015, I find that marching, begging and whining is a waste of time, we should be out there building and creating our own opportunities. People must stop having the need to be misled in circles.

    I’ll continue to donate my time and money to causes that actually empower people, instead of those only seeking attention and fifteen minutes of fame.

  6. linda 6 December, 2015 at 17:29 Reply

    I totally agree with you. Especially the second paragraph. I’ve always believed the “Civil Rights” movement was about black men’s quest for fraternization (with white men (and women)), and not freedom, like they would like us to believe. Thanks for saying out loud what many Black women have thought and felt.

  7. MT 10 December, 2015 at 08:03 Reply

    Wow, you’ve hit it on the head…nothing will be resolved until the black/white male patriarchal/christian aesthetic is mitigated and finally washed away to allow new voices, women, queers
    and outsiders to be heard and celebrated.

    and light

  8. Meag 19 January, 2016 at 11:29 Reply

    You don´t have to be apart of an organization to be part of change. Each of us has that power. And with your clout in the community, you could have easily created an org with a vision you say fit. All I keep hearing are excuses. There are plenty of people who fought for rights of those other than themselves, and those are the best types of people in the world–SELFLESS ONES. I am not gay or trans yet I have done canvessing and gone to congress in a few states for the rights of the community that now celebrates these rights nationwide as of 2015. I don´t have children yet I advocate for children in poverty.

    There is a universe outside of your little bubble. Perhaps try sharing with it a little. The best thing you can do is to say YES to life and helping people; The WORST is to find ways to say NO

  9. MiddleAgedStraightActivist 8 July, 2016 at 11:55 Reply

    The women who chose to be activists do so because there are more important things in life than “wealth building.” You sound like a very self-centered person and someone who hates men, both Black and white. I’m sorry for you for being so ‘bougie’ and small minded.

  10. MiddleAgedStraightActivist 8 July, 2016 at 11:57 Reply

    Also, THIS black woman is a Christian, and if you think Christianity is about right wingerism, then you need to study the Scriptures and get the truth! That’s the problem with so many young people today, they turn their backs on God.

  11. regina 11 December, 2016 at 01:08 Reply

    Great post so many women of minority groups are told to ignore our plights for ‘the better good’ when it gets us nothing in the end.All so minority men can have a seat at the table with white men. People are actually clueless about how activism doesn’t actually work. The emancipation proclamation ended slavery but the pig laws and jim crow reinstated it and our currents prison system upholds that. The suffragette movement helped women (middle class white women) vote and break political barriers but minority women were ignored .The civil rights movement gave black/minority men leeway to climb the corporate ladder but forgot to advocate for the rights of women. Title IX stopped legal discrimination against women but we still didn’t have autonomy over our bodies in fact black women were still being sterilized against their will. Just because gays and trans people can marry and adopt doesn’t mean they won’t still be second class citizens especially if they are a poor minority. The fact that social activists exist proves that nothing has changed but the names.White men have always been on the top of the ladder and the only thing that will change that is for the individual to make a way for themselves. Asking or demanding change wont have any effect on your life, going out and making that change happen for yourself will.

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