And no, they don’t come with apologies.
With the rise of reality television and social media, the shift in the perception of women has transitioned to a weekly dose of ‘that’s my man’ girl fights or ‘I can’t believe you cheated on me’ tears – should I continue? The notion of women in the media has shifted away from women as powerhouses, to simple surfaced beings. When we see women in the headlines it’s because of a failed relationship, pregnancy, botched plastic surgery, or other superficial reasoning.
Are we so far gone that an opinionated woman with facts in tow is cause for outrage? Introducing Angela Rye and Jemele Hill. Two women that have faced scrutiny in new America for being too “aggressive” when speaking up on social issues. Passion (which in some circles is mistaken with aggression) is accepted when it’s coming from the mouth of Donald Trump, but not these ladies?
For years we watched Donald Trump mark Barack Obama as a racist amongst other inappropriate slurs as America sat back and excused his obscene behavior as him invoking his first amendment right.
Why is it so heinous for Jemele Hill to invoke her right by saying he is a white supremacist? His comments, which stemmed from personal dislike and malice were accepted and brushed off as boys talk. Jemele, whose opinion was based on the comments and actions of her subject, led to the request of her removal from ESPN.
Facts are a scary thing, America. Facts make cowards run and hide.
I too, as an educated Black woman have been placed in the fire pit for being too conscious. Some call it woke. Are we to sit on our platforms and act as if our President isn’t an enabler of racism and white supremacy? As artists, it is our responsibility to speak out on social issues and be the voice of our community without fear of repercussion.
Why should we apologize for voicing our opinions on the social injustice Black people face in America? A country that was built on the backs of our ancestors. A country that legislated the buying and selling of our great-great Grandparents. A country that has always, and continues to tell us that we are less than. As artists, it is our responsibility to defend us.
Emmett Till’s Mom said, “Two months ago, I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South, I said, ‘that’s their business, not mine’. Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all.” We cannot be blind to inequality because we are “doing well” or aren’t directly effected by what’s happening around us.
White America can’t handle outspoken Black women. White America can’t handle our fearless approach, as their history is built on taking the cowardice route. Covering their faces with white sheets and hanging us from trees. Gunning down praying people inside of a Church. Shooting our unarmed men during routine traffic stops. All in the name of white power.
We will continue to write, speak, kneel, and whatever else it takes to fight injustice and spread awareness about the reality of being Black in America. We aren’t intimidated and we won’t be silenced by the guilty.
In the words of Issa Rae: