Race and gender require intersecting analysis

Race+and+gender+require+intersecting+analysis

Mariama

Why isn’t the world fighting enough for Black women? This is a question I have constantly asked myself. After the murder of George Floyd, we watched protests consistently throughout the country and all parts of the world. Powerful companies started speaking out and discontinuing racist products. People all around the world started having ‘uncomfortable’ conversations. After the brutal murder of Breonna Taylor, we saw many of the same things, however her killers have not been arrested or charged, nor was she given the same national attention or energy from the world despite being shot and killed in her home state. The reason being that she was a Black woman and to be a Black woman in this country means you are never top priority.

In addition to all the in-person protests, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and so many more celebrities, athletes and politicians have spoken on Taylor’s murder and demanded justice. Although it is great for such powerful and influential people to be speaking up and using the power that they have, more than anything it makes me upset. Is this what it takes for a Black woman to get justice? Will celebrity influence make police officers reconsider their use of violence? Does the law only protect the white and privileged?

Oppression, racism and discrimination were some of the building blocks of this country and often we forget that we live in a patriarchal society. 

Black women’s voices and lives are not valued or respected in different social, political and economic circles. Black women have to carry the weight of this world on their backs and in return, Black women are constantly hypersexualized and at the same time criticized for not fitting European and Western standards of beauty. 

 Whether it is the police force, the under representation of our voices in high political offices, or the societal expectation that Black women are constantly strong and unbreakable, these are all battles Black women are still fighting every day. 

Black women have to carry the weight of this world on their back and in return Black women are constantly hypersexualized”

Why does it take video evidence of a Black man being killed by the police for the world to suddenly wake up to the noise and violence of police brutality? The continuous showing of Black Death on social media should not become ‘normal’ or desensitized. Officers that are supposed to “serve and protect us” are doing the complete opposite to Black people. Even worse, it subconsciously normalizes within our psyches and creates a dangerous culture of anti-blackness sustained through the proliferation of images of Black death. Black women across the world shouldn’t have to have their pain and suffering replayed over and over on the internet for attention to finally be directed on the anti-black and misogynistic violation of our bodies. There is no doubt in my mind that without the social uprising we have experienced in the last couple of months, George Floyd’s murderers would not have been charged and Breonna Taylor’s story may never have been made public. According to the New York Times, one of the Police officers involved in this case has been arrested “on charges of endangering neighbors with reckless gunshots, but no one was charged with shooting Ms. Taylor in her Louisville apartment.” However, achieving the bare minimum does not mean people should be even close to satisfied. We as individuals need to realize the power that we have, especially power in numbers: Black women are tired of being the only ones fighting for Black women.  Why is it that when three Black women start a movement named Black Lives Matter, four years later they’re all called out for creating a terrorist organization that’s attempting to bring chaos in the U.S.? Why is it that we can always find the energy to fight for others when we see injustices in the world, but seemingly most of the world isn’t willing to lift its finger when we’re being targeted. Even when Megan thee Stallion was shot, peoples’ first instinct was to create memes and make the whole situation a joke. The suffering of Black women is not a joke.  

In 2015 #SayHerName was created, the goal of this hashtag is to dismantle the perception that Black men are the only victims of police brutality, systemic racism and oppression and victims of the prison industrial complex. 

If you’re truly fighting for Black women, speak up and speak out. Black women deserve, want and need to be listened to,  heard and included in society now, yesterday, and for forever. 

Go check out my podcast episode on The World Through Our Eyes titled ‘Black Women Periodt’ where I dive deeper into these conversations.