Malcom X once said that the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. This statement was said in 1962 and in 2020 it is still more true than ever.
This past week we watched as three police officers — Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — got away with killing Breonna Taylor. We also witnessed Tory Lanez release an entire album about his alleged shooting of rap star Megan The Stallion. In this, we watched a Black man profit off the harm he brought to someone and instead of ‘canceling’ him, people, moreso Black men, engaged more.
For as long as we could remember, Black women have had this burdening label of being strong and needing to save everyone, but it is time that someone be strong and save Black women.
Black women have long been the butt of jokes and non-sense for a very long time. We are part of comedy routines. We are judged by the darkness of our skin by the men who look like us while still being expected to be on the front line the minute one of them gets hurt.
It is time Black women start putting themselves first and time for everybody to get behind it. I am tired of feeling alone in this world. I’m tired of feeling as though it is my job and my job alone to make sure I am safe.
Stop being hypocrites. Don’t have ‘protect Black women’ in your bios on Twitter while streaming and passively supporting Tory Lanez’s new album.
In the summer, Tallahassee was rocked with the disappearance of Oluwatoyin Salau. She was found a few days later dead. This woman spent her last days protesting the unfair treatment that Black men face at the hands of police, only to be killed by a Black man.
After her death, a lot of people were screaming to protect Black women but have done nothing to do so. If you truly mean protect Black women, it is important to actively dismantle misogyny in your everyday life.
When it comes to cases like Megan The Stallion, a lot of people find it so hard to believe that women are victims of crimes. Black men bullied and pressured her into telling the entire world who shot her and revealing photos of her injuries only for her harrowing story to be reduced to her being a “snitch.”
Give all Black women justice when they are hurt. Earlier this year, three Black trans women were harassed, beaten and bullied by Black men in the middle of the street. All of this was caught on video by the assailants. And instead of helping, they ignored them. A police car even drove by and ignored their cries for help.
Tell the women in your life you love them. Give them a shoulder to lean on. Let them know they don’t need to take on every single problem by themselves. Allow Black women to be vulnerable. Allow us to make mistakes and cry over those mistakes. Allow us to be angry without putting the label of “angry Black woman” on us.
If you’re not going to stand in front of us when we have been hurt and ridiculed, you could at least stand next to us.