Saturday, June 6, 2020
“We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the pressing urgencies of the great cause of freedom…..a time like this demands great leaders.”
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In my most humble and professional opinion, every Black person is not qualified to speak on race because they recognize racism or identify with many issues Black people face.
“Souls that inhabit white bodies can be allies and accomplices in the fight against oppression, in the same way that black folks can be agents and accomplices in promoting, promulgating and protecting white supremacy. As my grandmother once said, conjuring Zora Neale Hurston, “All your skin folk ain’t your kinfolk.” Meaning that you can inhabit a black body and be an agent of white supremacy. Just ask Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, or any of the thousands of black Americans who are more concerned with white feelings than with black lives and bodies. Black folks don’t have the market cornered on being “woke,” and there is no agreement about how best to actualize the potentiality of the black community.” Lawrence Ware, The Politics of Being Woke
Unless they have done (and are doing) the hard work of decolonizing their minds, educating themselves, destroying internalized white supremacy and ingrained anti-Black prejudice, they shouldn’t be looked to as an educating voice on anti-racism. This is work. Real work and it requires investment, education and experience. I am in no way saying Black people don’t have a voice or a right to their own opinions, (we are not a monolith), but when it comes to anti-racism, every Black voice shouldn’t be taken as law. I don’t mind if you don’t listen to me (or my views)— I am not writing this to devalue or silence Black voices, I am writing to help steer the conversation in the direction I believe it needs to go.
We are nearing what I believe will be the second Reconstruction era America has seen, but if we are not careful, delicate and handle this unique opportunity with care and truth— we will fumble the bag.
Photo from: The Wall Street Journal
“That’s what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less… But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.” – Ben Carson, in his first official address as Housing and Urban Development secretary on March 6, 2017.
When it comes time to elect Black officials and reform our leadership in America, we must be careful not to pick the Candace Owens or Ben Carson. We don’t want a white America— we want an inclusive America that does justice by its citizens and neighbors in the world. We can’t let just anybody come into our house and we certainly can’t let just anybody run our household. What we will have on our hands will be white supremacist policies enacted in Black and Brown skin and we stand to be no better off than we were before unless we are careful and amplify true anti-racist voices. We will be given the unique opportunity to diversify our political sphere. We need genuine, valuable and meaningful representation in our politics.
“We have to move past purely identity-based politics…” Devyn Springer, If you think calling Kamala Harris a cop was racist, you need to talk to black feminists.
“To suggest that we should ignore the well-documented harm that Kamala Harris caused to communities of color as a prosecutor because she is a black woman is not only insulting and dangerous, but also anti-black,” Jalessah Jackson, professor of African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, told me. “Carceral systems structure and secure a racist and sexist society.” , If you think calling Kamala Harris a cop was racist, you need to talk to black feminists
For too long, elected Black officials, politicians and other government leaders have implemented policies that negatively effect Black communities. These Black leaders have often been used as tokens (if you will) to support and uphold white supremacist ideals.
We need leaders who value people over profits, justice over comfort and who represent America. The true America. The America we should be.
I would choose Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Bernie Sanders before I chose the other four mentioned above. I am not a democrat, a liberal, a republican or a conservative. I am an anti-racist Black woman of faith. This is not about endorsing or supporting certain politicians, this is about reshaping our perspective on what we want and what we’re going to accept from American leadership.
This is an example of a conversation about a Black figure that many believe is not creating true change for the Black community. I don’t know the figure or those having the conversation. This is just an example.