Introspective to how we got where we are

I just posted yesterday how this very issue is impacting the march in St. Louis… “The New Yorker credits a retired attorney, Teresa Shook, with coming up with idea for the “somehow controversial” march on election night after Hillary Clinton’s loss. According to its website, the march seeks to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” Acknowledging that “rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many,” its mission is to “stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” As rhetoric goes, they got it right. Were I not all too familiar with white women’s penchant for employing language ideal for crafting the appearance of a sisterhood not divided by the very real boundaries of race and class when the support and labor of Black and brown women was useful to their agenda, I would have been moved to join them. But actions speak louder than words, and as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” White women won’t pull me into their demonstration under the guise of standing for mutually-invested causes only to accuse me of being divisive and combative when I make known the struggles unique to me as a Black woman. And the former — the accusations of divisiveness — began almost as soon as the idea was conceived. The New Yorker’s piece details how disputes over the march began “sprouting like daisies in Facebook’s horrifically fertile soil.” The event’s other founder, Bob Bland admitted that “the women who initially started organizing were almost all white,” yet they had initially chosen to christen the event the “Million Woman March—a name originally claimed by the enormous protest for Black women’s unity and self-determination held in Philadelphia, in 1997.” After some Black women voiced their concerns over the appropriation of the name, one saying she would not “even consider supporting this until the organizers are intersectional, original and come up with a different name,” the name was changed to the Women’s March on Washington, an obvious nod to the legendary 1963 march for civil rights lead by Dr. King (confirmed by the claim that the organizers of the event “follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence”). To satisfy he demand for intersectional organizers, a Black woman Tamika Mallory, “a gun control advocate and board member of the Gathering for Justice,” an Arab woman, Linda Sarsour, “executive director of the Arab American Association of New York,” and a Latina woman, Carmen Perez, “executive director of the Gathering for Justice,” were brought on to help bring the event to life. Admittedly, that effort, to bring the racial diversity often absent feminist movements led or founded by white women, is somewhat inspiring but not enough, especially when Black and brown women raising issues of race is labeled “contentious dialogue.””