By Tami Warren
Today I am doing something I don’t often do – trusting white women will vote with humanity not hate, with truth not tribalism, for our future and not for fear. Since fighting for and earning the right to vote, Black women have a shared experience of understanding what needs to be done when it comes to voting. Each vote represents the sacrifice of Sisters with courage, who were not detoured, and kept their eyes on the prize for all of us. Today is epic in American elections, for it will either reflect an awakening of white women to the fundamental connection we have to one another or the weakening of our human connection.
When I was growing up, there were no strong anti-bullying measures in schools, allowing for a consequence free environment, where kids said and did awful things. I’ve been called more racist names than I want to remember. Most girls encounter body image issues, as did I in high school, where I practically loathed my own ass. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit. One day I called my MeMaw, telling her how my skirts didn’t lie flat like the skirts of the white girls I went to school with, and the pain of hearing their comments about my shape. I will never forget what my MeMaw said to me, “Baby don’t nobody want a bone but a dog, and all he’s gonna do is bury that. Love who you are.” Once I entered the professional working world, I observed white women play the role of identifying with Black women as fellow working women when it benefited them, only to experience the sting of racism from the same white women, as they sided with white men for advancement in the rat race, only pretending to see me as a colleague and an equal. As Lily Tomlin said, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
Even after experiences of denigration and duplicity in my girlhood and womanhood, at the hand of white women, I am cautiously optimistic that a majority of white women will finally vote for something greater than the ill-conceived notion of preserving the illusion of caucasian conservatism, masquerading as patriotism and security. White does not mean right. My optimism is supported by hearing the words of white women reaching out to convey in essence, we are with you – white women who are not byproducts of bigotry, who are instead heeding the call to action to course correct our collective crossing on this pale blue dot.
I would not have guessed I would quote a white woman who endorsed and worked to elect Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President, however as it goes in life, we all have far more in common than we realize. Nicolle Wallace, host of Deadline: White House said, “Can we talk about the importance of Black women in the time of Trump. They are the only demographic that never fell for Trump, even more than Black men, even more than white single women. I mean white single women, I think, voted for Trump at higher numbers than all Black women. Black women had Trump’s number. Black women are the ones that are going to dig us out of the hole Trump put us in.” We saw how Black women in Alabama, saved the Heart of Dixie via an organ transplant with their own Yellowhammer, and we will continue to see Black women across America casting votes to propel the nation forward.
For every important element white women are challenged to obtain, like equal pay or protection from abuse, Black women encounter tenfold, we make less than white women and we know calling police for protection can actually put our lives in danger. Being a woman is not a pre-existing condition, healthcare, safe schools, clean water and access to resources are rights, not privileges, we all deserve regardless of color.
Let’s work together to get out of this Trump Trap. The pseudo sanctuary afforded to white Americans through systemic racism will implode or be aptly dismantled. It’s time to end the sojourn with sisterhood and build a sempiternal sisterhood, where the transgressions and the iniquity of white America are acknowledged and enact remuneration and restitution.