Thank You, Black Women
As we look back over this year, it can be safely said that it’s been rough. We had to endure the loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, navigate through a global pandemic, and stress over an unprecedented presidential election.
Many of us have stressed more this past week than at any other point this year! There was so much at stake, and the country has been ready for change. Despite the hand that we’d been dealt, I believe that we all had the resolve to be in a better place.
Two years ago, Stacey Abrams lost the race for Georgia Governor to Republican Brian Kemp. America rallied around her with unwavering support. We all wanted her to win. It was an intense battle that had extensive irregularities, including the ugly head of voter suppression.
Stacey Abrams took that loss and channeled it into the work she had started years prior to organize and mobilize voters to break the Republican choke hold on state politics, and create a government that looked more like the Georgia. With her organization, New Georgia Project, she registered some 800,000 new voters in Georgia and propelled Joe Biden into the reality in which he stands now. Superhero work, indeed.
Black women leaders are essential to this democracy. Period. We keep dreaming and pushing and planning, even in the midst of a nightmare like Donald Trump.
As a Black woman, I have been absolutely horrified by the support Trump has received. His presidency has been rooted in racism and sexism, yet 55 percent of White women voted for him - even more than in 2016.
With the mantra of “unity and healing” that Biden has been speaking of, we are all absolutely ready for it. However, it remains to be seen that the 70 million Americans that voted for Trump want to unify with a White man who gave a Black woman a shot at breaking the proverbial glass ceiling. Kamala Harris cannot and should not take this burden.
Black women are and have been the secret weapon of the Democratic Party. Always loyal. Always dependable. Black women are the country’s most powerful political force. In times of political chaos and discourse, we don’t turn to political parties. We turn to Black women.
We pray. We scream. We plan and mobilize. We commentate the truth. We reconcile obvious truths for the greater good. We have the ability to support you and hold you accountable at the same time.
In 2016, I voted for Hillary Clinton, despite actions throughout her career that were detrimental to the Black community. I felt that she was the best option, and I couldn’t have imagined in a million years that Donald Trump would lead the free world. Admittedly, I had issues with this election as well. Even though Joe Biden addressed Anita Hill and his role during the confirmation hearings in 1991, and somewhat apologized for the 1994 crime bill, it was difficult for me to reconcile. And Kamala Harris’ “top cop” reputation of prosecuting and incarcerating thousands of Black men. I felt that supporting them would be ignoring the facts.
As activist Angela Davis stated, “If we want to continue this work, we certainly need a person in office who will be more amenable to our mass pressure,” she said. “And to me, that is the only thing that someone like a Joe Biden represents. But we have to persuade people to go out and vote to guarantee that the current occupant of the White House is forever ousted.”
It’s no longer good enough to put your pulse on the “lesser of two evils.” We don’t have to do that anymore.
Let’s be clear – Black women are not mules. Nor are we magical negroes that roll in with red capes. We do what needs to be done, because we want to live. We want to breathe and protect our bodies. We want to provide for ourselves and our families. We want justice, equality, and basic respect. What we do in turn helps everyone.
The lesson here: TRUST BLACK WOMEN. We get shit done.