48 hours after Biden wins, black women get shunned — again
Eva Longoria, know your stats before you dismiss black women
Unless you have absolutely no black friends (real ones, not someone who is in the breakroom when you are), you’ve heard Malcolm X’s speech about “the most disrespected person in America is the black woman.” I know the speech well, but as a black woman, there are times when I really try my damnedest to block it out. I would be miserable most of the day if I just started counting the number of times we’ve been purposely overlooked and blatantly disrespected. But in less than 48 hours, I’m beyond belief at the immediate level of pushback I’m seeing regarding everything from black women voters to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and nationality.
It started off small. I retweeted a celebratory comment: “Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is making history on so many fronts: the first woman, the first black woman, the first Asian American, the first HBCU graduate, the first AKA and first member of the Divine Nine to be the VP-elect. She’s made history again and again and again.”
Of course I was expecting a comment from the usual non-black guy, who is notorious for appearing to preach on social media and in person about identity politics, summarizing it as “conglomerations of immutable characteristics” all while having a personal bio full of characteristics — “Anabaptist, Independent | Entrepreneur, Executive, Engineer | Cruciform Christianity, Science, Philosophy, Journalism, Politics.” It falls right in line with people who say they “don’t see color” but love to point out their womanhood, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, cheer for being “an American” and have a flag posted in the front yard. But black women loving being black women? Pssst, who wants that to happen?
I rolled my eyes and prepared to go back to celebrating until I looked at my replies. What made me stop cold was a comment from a fellow Medium writer — who actually asked me to write about racism and diversity for her publication, but I opted out —who immediately sent a tweet saying “Indian American, Indian American, Indian American, that’s important.” I paused over the correction, wondering if my original retweet missed the historical merit of Kamala Harris being of Asian descent, too. Nope, it didn’t.
Apparently the issue was that “Indian” wasn’t specified. Now normally this would’ve been met with a, “You’re right. Good point.” But I pondered on why this same user (a white woman) wasn’t making a big deal of talking about how “important” it was to mention Kamala Harris’ Jamaican descent, too. Her response, “Jamaican American too.” It was not a surprise to me that the “important” part was nowhere in that reply — and not typed three times for emphasis. Less than a few hours after the woman won as VP-Elect — and before she could make a speech proudly stating the significance of black women voters — even my own Twitter following is trying to erase the black off of her.