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.
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