Jane Elliott said, “If we didn’t have all those years when Black lives didn’t matter, we wouldn’t have to have a Black Lives Matter Movement now.” Questioning whether we should support Black Lives Matter is like questioning the Civil Rights Movement that brought us thus far or like working against voter suppression because we think one vote won’t make a difference or whether we should support Black businesses or deposit our money with a Black Bank or support Black elected officials who are working overtime against great odds to just keep our heads above water! Isn’t the answer obvious? Don’t these questioners understand how we got to where we are today? Don’t they understand the sacrifices so many of our people made to bring us out of slavery, through Jim Crow, through segregation and so much more? If we knew our history we would not have to be convinced of the necessity to do business with each other and to be the first in line to vote on everything from dog catcher to President.
If you’re a Black person, I don’t care how much money you have, where you live or work, who your non-Black friends are, whether you attended Harvard or Howard, whether you have dark skin or light skin, to those 35-40 percent who still support the current person in the White House and any number of his cronies who are Senators, Governors, House Members, state and local officials, you’re still a nigger. I didn’t intend to say “the N word.” They don’t call you the N word. They call you just what they’re thinking, we must stop acting like saying the N word somehow softens the blow of what they mean when they call you nigger. Whichever paper prints my article and chooses to put n….r, that’s on you.
We’ve already done too much explaining and excusing the behavior of our so-called allies of another race or culture. Those allies we see in the street now aren’t the people we’ve known and worked with all of our lives. They’re mostly young people who have no fear of treating you like the human being you are. Many of them already have Black spouses and Black babies and truly want a world of equality for them. Where’re those so-called allies we’ve worked with for years on what they cared about? We often worked with some of them because often they were just the lesser of two evils—but we helped them to get what they wanted. Where are they when it comes to what we care about?
Well, have you been looking at these polls in the Presidential race where a majority of certain white people still plan to vote for #45 after all he has done not only to insult you, but to make life difficult for them? When #45 gets ready to disrespect us, he doesn’t leave some of them out. It’s clear he doesn’t even care about those poor whites who support him.
If another white person tries to tell me about how much #45 has done for this country, how much he’s done for Black people, so they’re going to vote for him, I’m no longer interested in anything else they have to say. They need not ever ask me to give my vote to anything they think is important if I don’t see it as important to my community.
Why does any Black person have to wonder for whom they’ll vote this year? Just compare the records of the candidates on things that should matter to you, and you shouldn’t have to be still thinking about for whom you should vote for any office.
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women. She’s also host of “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW-FM-89.3 FM.)