An Opinion on How to Save American Democracy In 4 Days
Let me start off by saying, that I’m not discrediting any other race here, I’m only stating what I know from personal experience, as a black woman in America. I’m 42 years old, I am educated with a degree from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. I work, I vote, and I obey the law. Yet, increasingly and alarmingly for the past months, leading up the “Vote Heard ‘Round the World”, I’ve become dismayed.
We are literally in a cultural, economic and political war. You can call it what you want, but I’m calling a spade a spade. I know there’s someone out there thinking, “She’s 42, what does she know?”, or that I couldn’t possibly know what racism is like. You are wrong. While I’ve not experienced the level of racism that my parents or grandparents have, I know what it’s like to not get the job because of my first name. To have someone drop my change instead of touching my hand. While I don’t experience it daily, that doesn’t mean that I don’t see and feel what’s happening to other people who look like me around the country.
While we do have a few of those far-right conservative voices on among black women, If you do a poll, and ask hard working, educated, self-aware, black women, you will find the consensus is they feel the same as I do, often times worse. We can’t afford to just be champions for someone else. We never have been allowed that freedom. We have to be champions for ourselves and everyone else because it’s a part of our DNA, and of course a long history of colonization.
African American WOMEN played significant roles in all movements from the civil rights era all the way up until the creation of #MeToo by Tarana Burke to Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, who are the founders of BLM, #BlackLivesMatter.
Black women in this country have historically been quite familiar with the struggles, the bloodshed, and the sleepless nights that come with fighting for social and equal justice.
Garza sums up the title of this piece, “Think Like a Black Woman…Too”, with linguistic eloquence.
“What happens to black women is soon to happen to everybody,” Garza said. “The conditions of black women can tell us a lot about where this country is headed. We are caught in the cross-hairs of multiple forms of oppression.”
For centuries, black women have carried every community’s weight on her shoulders…not just her own. I speak from experience. I have sleepless nights. I worry about my husband and my son, my brother and every black child in America. I fear for the safety of every woman in my life…black or white. I fear that NONE of us are going to have health care, including my 1-month-old granddaughter.
I’m afraid that people cannot go into their places of worship, whatever their religion, and do so without being killed.
I’m afraid that we are infighting when we should be focused on what they are doing: suppressing votes countrywide, abusing the 911 system to harass innocent people of color, locking children in cages for going on a year now, and defending themselves in court, Robocalls to elected officials, sending bombs to elected officials and civilians, engaging in and condoning hate crimes…I can go on. But it is literally pure insidiousness, the quietness of the people who really have the power to make changes. What are we doing to save the planet? Do we even have time to make an impact when we’re just trying to stay alive day to day?
I’m afraid that people have access to guns who shouldn’t have it, and are being encouraged to take massive action by some extremists, far-right conservatives, and unfortunately even some rouge journalists and media outlets.
What will you do in 4 days? Will you vote for your pocket or will you vote for your country? Will you vote for your healthcare, or will you vote for a reality tv show? Will you vote for your children and their children and yourself? Will you vote for someone’s right to not be shot or killed because of the color of their skin? Will you vote for the right to do what you want with your own body? Will you vote to reverse the tax cuts on the 1% and restore effective and much-needed community programs? Will you vote for the person who can’t? Will you vote?\All I ask is that whatever decision you make, think like a black woman…too!