Selective Hearing Of Black Women
When Joe Biden announced his run for President of the United States, I had mixed emotions. First, I realized that he was the most viable candidate to beat Donald Trump, as well as qualified to lead this nation. But then my thoughts turned to October 1991 and how I felt watching Anita Hill testify that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her while working for him.
At the time, Joe Biden was the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. Dismissive. Aggressive. The entire committee of white men treated Anita Hill like crap. They did not believe her. They didn’t want to believe her. They conversed with her as if to make her look stupid. And Joe Biden was in a position to do more and he just didn’t.
Rightfully so, Hill was one of the first people Biden reached out to offering an apology for what he didn’t do in 1991. He knew how he handled her situation nearly 30 years ago would be a mountain he’d have to climb, if he was going to survive the trenches.
Two weeks ago, Hill endorsed Joe Biden’s candidacy for President. Of course, social media’s collective opinion was of this being a healing moment. Hill’s support of Biden is significant but not everyone agrees her voice should be heard by all American voters. The issue is not so much with her endorsement of Biden, but rather a trend among white liberals who dismiss the opinions and expertise of Black women, except when it agrees with their agenda.
Angela Davis also announced her endorsement of Biden and again social media gathered that she must know something the world doesn’t. Davis has been ignored by white liberals, until she provided an agreeable statement they wanted to rally behind. It’s the same thing we are seeing with Hill’s endorsement of Biden; white liberals have made it clear that they are apathetic to the perspectives of Black women unless they can take advantage of them.
Black women are reduced to pawns when it comes to politics. Hill and Davis are just two examples of the persistent trend of selectively hearing and amplifying Black women when politically convenient. Black women have been the pioneers of just about every social movement this country has seen, are the Democratic Party’s consistent smoking gun, and have constantly contributed to the movement of this nation. Our voices still don’t matter.
Malcolm X said, “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.” Well, now is the time to hear them. Trust them.