I was added to the group (formerly) known as the Million Woman March. Once there I protested the appropriation of a name with historical significance for the Black community. I shared the herstory/history of both the Million Man March and the Million Woman March. My comment was deleted by the female orchestrating the march. However, only after several protests from myself and others did a name change take place. While there I found myself engaged in serious battle with some women whitesplaining, and an Asian woman who assigned herself the role of protector. Protector of what? Her tone was one of extreme anger. She said, I disgusted her. It was clear she came to argue and mistakenly thought she could gather the troops to attack this Black woman, namely me. This failed. No one engaged with her. She left after her verbal attack on me. She resented my having the audacity to share my truth. I was her embarrassment. I was not willing to be obedient and melt into the background, becoming the traditionally appointed backdrop.
Unlike her, my life goal while there, or anywhere was not to gain anyone’s friendship and comradeship, at the expense of selling my self respect and dignity. Nor was I on board with a pedaled mythological sisterhood, calling for all women to unite. A vagina and breast does not automatically make us sisters. I’ve been betrayed by women of all hues who called me sister. I do not know the organizer, her politics and agenda, nor the politics of the women in the group.
While there I authored and posted a comment. It was removed by the organizer-ADMIN. Clearly, she was not in the mood to hear about oppression, all of the isms, entitlement, and privilege. My body was wanted, but not my truth. My oppression will not be used as the backdrop and as an opportunity for this camp to gain public notoriety. Nor will my presence be used to give this camp and their personal agenda color and legitimacy. To some my posts were looked at as being divisive. It resulted in whitesplaining and others speaking about voting for HRC and the wonderful things they were doing for POC. Some members owned their entitlement and privilege. Eager to learn, listen and desiring a dialog in earnest. Needed are people on the frontlines doing whatever is within their means. Whenever, we speak our truth we stand the risk of being misunderstood and vilified.
I’m not blindly participating in any activities, because someone says I should. I’ve been down this road before. It was HRC’s white female constituents that failed her. It appears the banner under which this march is being held is primarily the opposition of the newly elected president, and rightly so.
True allies must come center stage and give voice to the oppression visited on others, and the privilege and entitlement you live safely in. People of Color are asked to place our bodies in this march and at risk. My position is freedom comes with a price. However, POC when participating in demonstrations in DC or elsewheres. Make certain your voices are placed center stage, speaking your truth. This is not the only march in town. Come with your banners and for your specific purpose. One alternative is to organize a separate march or become a part of a coalition, demanding to be heard.