I need to say a few things. I am a privileged white woman (white, educated, middle class) and I am tired, TIRED of my sisters of color getting treated like dogs. First, we are women together. We struggle with issues in this world as one sisterhood: rights to our bodies, struggles with underpayment for the same jobs and mansplaining, oh my God, the mansplaining.
But unlike my sisters of color, I am a protected class as a white woman.
Now, I am a white woman in an interracial marriage with children that span skin color, etc. But that doesn’t negate my privilege, it does alter it slightly at times. However, that is nothing, NOTHING to what my sisters of color go through on a regular basis.
Last week the president called Colin Kaepernick a “Son of a Bitch”. I’m done. Kaep’s mom is a white woman and her badass self tweeted to the world in response that she was one proud bitch.
(Side note: Jesus was once put in his place by a woman of color after he called her child a dog, and guess what he did, apologized!)
The term has been reclaimed, but used in this way is highly offensive (read this). Yes. Yes! the term really does revert women to animals, and in this country specifically black women as “bitches” really does refer to them as dogs. And yes, I do believe that’s exactly what he meant when he said it.
Which makes me dreadfully sad. It makes me painfully sad that specifically black women are still looked at by white men with a slave mentality, that they are dogs and therefore allowed to be treated as such. But this doesn’t stop at white men.
Last week a news story came out about two nurses who posed with an African American newborn baby. You want to feel sick, read this. “Little Satan” they snapchatted with a NEWBORN BABY! I wonder if they have a “Pro-Life” bumper sticker on their car…
These woman have taken a “do no harm” oath and were hired to care for and protect newborns and they do this. Yes, they got fired, but all the expletives! I hope those parents sue that hospital for everything.
When I read this article I admit my first response wasn’t anger, it was extreme sadness. I imagined the moment post-delivery when they wheeled my newborn out of the room. I was flooded with the thoughts of someone violating the fragile body as they “danced” the baby around.
Then the anger came, what if someone had done that to Thomas and Sophia at birth (although I wasn’t there) and never got caught? What if this were my son or daughter? Because this precious baby is someone’s child.
A mother carried her around in her womb for 9 months, struggled through labor and birth and was forced to trust a hospital staff with her care for a few short moments while they defiled the most precious thing in the world to them.
There are no words strong enough for the feelings that arise.
Sortly after I stopped crying there was another post that appeared on my timeline. It was an instagram post of Serena Williams of her daughter, and a written letter to her mother.
It is a beautiful letter of a mother wanting to protect her child but also naming some painful childhood trauma around body shaming. Body Shaming from one of the most celebrated athletes in the world.
“But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.”
We ask women of color on a regular basis to take all the shit of this world on their shoulders and then tear them down even when they respond gracefully, let alone try to protect their children in the most basic, human ways.
And finally, there was this:
A grandmother trying to protect her 13 year old grandson in a St. Louis mall while he had an asthma attack, was choked and arrested.
Women of Color deal, on a daily, hourly, and minute by minute basis discrimination on every level. I am outraged, I am disheartened, and I am deeply saddened.
So I’m here, we’re here, to support you, to encourage you, to lift you up and help in any way, but mostly, I’m here sisters to get out of your way because you are magic.