Black Women's Pain Is Not Funny
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
Malcolm X spoke these words in 1962; a declaration for black women who were sidelined in the fight for civil rights, and ignored during the feminist movement. His words still resonate. LOUD.
Almost four months after the killing of Breonna Taylor, we are still hash-tagging and demanding justice. Murals are being dedicated in her honor, and artists are capturing her image on canvas. She was gunned down in her home - shot eight times - while sleeping, after a “no-knock” warrant was executed. Officer Brett Hankinson has been fired but yet to be charged with any crime. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. For decades, Black women have endured violent acts of bias and anti-black racism. Breonna Taylor's death as sparked outrage but not as much as George Floyd's.
Two weeks ago, Megan thee Stallion was shot by rapper Tory Lanez, during an argument. Megan says that she was attempting to get out of the SUV she was in with Tory when he opened fire inside the vehicle. She had to undergo surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
In the meantime, people on social media are actually blaming Megan for getting shot. As if something she said or did warranted her life being put in danger. What’s more disturbing is that a lot of the comments came from Black men. To further add insult to injury, Black female celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Draya Michele made insensitive, stupid comments that downplayed the traumatizing incident. Megan had a response for Draya via Twitter:
The current narrative of Black Lives Matter focuses mainly on the killing of Black men and boys by white policeman and the like. This narrative almost forces Black women to be protective, or at least careful of what is said and thought of their male counterparts.
The outright hatred of Black women reduces us to objects who are assaulted, beaten, raped, killed – and no one seems to care. Whether it’s R. Kelly’s predatory war on Black women, Black women being murdered in the military, Black women being thrown in dumpsters, or Black women being shot to death in their own bed – Black women deserve better.
During slavery, black women were called “masculine” to justify hard manual labor, and “aggressive” to rationalize rape and the breeding of new human property. They viewed black women as lacking emotion to justify separating them from their family, and ignoring their personal agency. White people called black women “ugly,” “hard,” and “valueless” to differentiate them from white women. These traits that were built around Black women are still woven into our society now. We are not so far removed from slavery. In some ways, we are still enslaved.
In 2007, radio show host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which had eight African-American players, as “nappy-headed hos” immediately after the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team “hard-core hos.”
First Lady Michelle Obama was called a "monkey face" and "ape in heels". Romanian TV show host, Radu Banciu, said on the air that Serena Williams looks like a monkey. "Serena Williams looks exactly like one of those monkeys at the zoo with the red asses," Banciu said. "If monkeys wore trousers, they'd look exactly like Serena Williams does on the court."
The abuse and bullying of black women is disgusting. Black women deserve their humanity, protection, freedom, justice, respect, and protection. Period. When will it start?