COMMENTARY: Can a Woman’s Coalition Survive Petulant White Women?

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com
Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com

By Julianne Malveaux

I have had about enough of some white women! First, fifty-three percent of them vote for an odious genital-grabber. Then, they organize a woman’s march with momentum from the #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke, but co-opted by white women like the wanna-be activist Alyssa Milano who was a mediocre actress back in the day. Then, bunches of them support Roy Moore, an Alabama pedophile who would be Senator. Then the majority of them vote against progressive candidates like Georgia’s Stacey Abrams and Florida’s Andrew Gillum. Meanwhile, the four women who lead the Women’s March – Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez – are organizing for a January 19 march, and the self-proclaimed “founder” is demanding their resignation. Really?

Theresa Shook is the Hawaii grandmother who put an idea on Facebook in the wake of the 2016 election. “We should march,” she said. She did little else, and activist Bob Bland picked up the baton and ran with it. She recruited other women, seasoned activists in their own right. Tamika Mallory had led a march from New York to DC to stop gun violence. Carmen Perez has worked on criminal justice reform and has worked on Harry Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice, now serving as its Executive Director. Linda Sarsour, a former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, has worked with Black Lives Matter and on police brutality issues. The four co-chairs of the Women’s March are the very picture of intersectionality and multicultural cooperation – white, Black, Latina, and Palestinian, they are the rainbow!

So where does Teresa Shook get off asking these women to step down from a movement they built? She, along with wannabe activist and has-been actress Alyssa Milano have demanded that the women’s march leaders “denounce” National of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. Why? They object to his anti-Semitic rhetoric. They object to the fact that Tamika Mallory attended his annual Savior’s Day this year. They say that anti-Semitism is hateful and dangerous, and they are right. But it wasn’t the Nation of Islam that shot up the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh! White people’s hatred for Minister Farrakhan is irrational and, might I say, racist. He is the only person, the only human being that Congress has censured. No David Duke, no Charlottesville murderers, none of the hatemongers that have caused the racist tension in our nation. Just Minister Farrakhan. But then our society is consistent with its double standards and its demands that Black people bend over backward to prove that we, too, sing America.

With the fraught history between Black and white women, with their complicity in our rapes, and in the lynching of Black men, white women have no right to demand anything of Black women, let alone that leaders like Tamika Mallory “denounce” Minister Farrakhan. For the record, the Minister, a man who has the unique power to galvanize Black people, especially Black men, really doesn’t care what people outside of the Nation of Islam, think of him. He understands this nation so well that he would accept any “denouncement” and keep it moving. But anyone demanding a denouncement of Farrakhan has no knowledge of American history, of African American history, of context, or of the unequal treatment that African American people experience that is a constant in our nation. And white women have consistently had little empathy for the way history has treated Black women.

Shook and Milano remind me of antebellum white women, hoop skirts and all, stomping their feet when they don’t get their way. Milano says she won’t speak if Tamika Mallory doesn’t denounce Farrakhan. So, stay home, Alyssa. We won’t miss you. Other white women say they won’t march. Hundreds of thousands of others will. And Teresa Shook, the so-called founder, says she is demanding resignations. What is she going to do if she doesn’t get them?

Shook and Milano are the antitheses of coalition building and intersectionality. In an intersectional world, we come together to work on issues we agree on, in this case, the treatment of women. We decide to disagree on other matters. And sometimes, we agree to walk a mile in another woman’s shoes.

Black, white, Latina, Asian, Native, Palestinian and other women have starkly different experiences. We are joined by our gender but separated by the status of the men in our race, and by the differential privilege that some women experience. Miss Ann knew that enslaved women were being raped. She didn’t care. Now the descendants of enslaved women are willing to work with them, not FOR them, but with them. And the descendants of enslaved women have had enough foot-stomping white woman privilege. No more.

There will be no women’s coalition if there is no mutual respect. Alyssa Milano and Teresa Shook and the other white women making foot-stomping demands have shown the hard-working Co-Chairs of the Women’s March a corrosive disrespect. They set the notion of a women’s coalition back decades. But they have also moved us forward because they have reminded us how important it is to consider history and context before we attempt to build a movement. White women, after all, are the mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives of the white men who practice oppression. Those who consider themselves “woke” need to check their sisters who are not.

Meanwhile, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Bob Bland need to stand their ground. They built something powerful and beautiful, even though there were fissures beneath the surface.The struggle to dismantle patriarchy, racism, and predatory capitalism continues.

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com 

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About Julianne Malveaux 4668 Articles
Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com

13 Comments

  1. Per usual Dr. M, you are on point! My sentiments exactly. Who are white women to dare tell Black women who to denounce. Denounce trump,the PIG occupying the white house, and then come back and make your suggestions. We MIGHT entertain you but understand that Black Women take orders from no one! IJS…

  2. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is the undisputed heavyweight champion for Black and oppressed people in America and all over the world. He has always stood for us, never compromised or sold us out! Thank you for going to bat for a man, a brother, friend who has always been there for us.

  3. Black people are going backwards in America and have been since MLK. I supported Thomas and helped him squeeze through. I supported W Bush when he beat Gore by only a few hundred votes. Lately, I have decided, the Dems and the Liberals are right and the other side is white racist, so let me join with them and let’s fight for Dr. King’s dream. This article reminds me of why I often support the other side. Blacks will continue to go backwards and whites will flee from blacks living in their neighborhoods until we drop this stupid asinine behavior of thinking that pimps and con men who exploit black people are fine, so long as the said pimp or con man is black.

    Farrakhan is a blight on the black community. Everyone is so mad about Trump, but all white-racist, stupid Trump had to do was holler about how much he hated black people and then the whites understood what there were fighting against. Black America’s fading leadership has to choose. Either keep with the old ways of loving black hate cults and Negro ponzi schemes or we act like normal people and teach our children to stand up to hate and cult behavior. In about ten years, this is the only article I have seen like this, so I am hopeful, but I swear to you, I will take a white racist over a black racist any day. I say it openly, while the immigrant blacks (West Indians and Haitians) are smiling in your face, assuming you are stupid and working with racist whites behind your backs. I am amazed that there are black people this dense that we even talk about a choice.

    Farrakhan spent his life rejecting MLK and killed Malcolm, but you got the nerve to sit here and fight for him?

      • Blacks go backwards and backwards some more, cause too many of us got an addiction where we love light skinned straight haired black men who are really half white. If Farrakhan had dark skin and kinky hair, we would not even be having this conversation. How sick is the person that talks about hating whites and Jews, yet can only love and follow a black man who has the pimp look of the 70s? The country is about split in half. Brown people are now America’s number one minority. Our historic neighborhoods are being taken over through gentrification, while black incomes have gone backwards since the Great Recession. Don’t you get tired of doing stupid stuff that does not help black people?

        • This poster posted the same BS on a different site. Didn’t it ever dawn on him that if the white power elite could’ve in any way pinned the murder of Malcolm on Farrakhan, he’d have been railroaded into the gas chamber back around 1968?

    • Perhaps you missed the interview when MLK said his dream was a nightmare.. I know a young man.. now in his late 70’s who worked with Dr. King…he TOLD ME…the dream was a nightmare…many people DID NOT support Dr King’s idea of a peaceful movement when they were being beaten in the streets..and the “upper class Negroes”…did not support him either…I suggest that you READ THE ENTIRE..I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH… pay class attention when reading the part which begins…”IT WOULD BE FATAL… most people actually never read the speech… and pay attention to the way BLACK WOMEN were treated on that historical day.. as non were ALLOWED to speak..not even Rosa Parks was not allowed to speak…I am sure you heard of her..she was the seamtress, and secretary of the NAACP… who was arrest for not giving her seat up to a white man even though she was sitting in the COLORED SECTION of the bus…and because of this…MLK was moved into the spotlight.. Its funny how black folk act like they loved Malcolm.. white folk loved MLK too…AFTER HE WAS ASSASSINATED…

      • I miss the thinking that demands black people shout useless stupid things that do nothing to advance black people. Integration has always been the goal ever since Frederick Douglas. If you don’t want to live in peace and harmony with whites, the white man allows every citizen to buy a passport, get a visa from a foreign country and leave! Don’t sit here in a white man’s country hollering about how evil whites are. Leave. Go. No one is making you stay here. You say MLK was wrong or changed his mind. But those of us who are not black and crazy are here trying to live, work with and marry those same white girls Malveaux is hollering about. When we get the chance we rush to live in their neighborhoods. Farrakhan ain’t going nowhere. He been hollering “separate” for over 50 years, but sits his light-skinned behind in a mansion in Chicago. He ain’t going nowhere. It’s a pimp game. Black foolishness is not cool.

  4. Greetings Dr. Malveaux. I pray that our sisters understand that the White founders of the Women’s March had settled on the name “Million Woman March” which was the name of the gathering in 1997 that was inspired by the 1995 Million Man March. Because of the backlash from co-opting the name, Ms. Shook and Ms. Bland had to switch the name to the Women’s March. However, the damage was done and they, ironically, had to reach for the co-conveners of the Farrakhan-led 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March aka Justice Or Else, in the persons of Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour to save their floundering effort. Now, Bro. Farrakhan is being used as a political tool to break the the unity that Black people have forged from our past and current efforts. We pray that Sisters Mallory, Perez and Sarsour remain vigilant and fearless in the face of those that do not have our common interests at heart.

  5. I bet one million dollars….not a single one of the above mentioned women will ever go near that hateful black pimp again. So really all this talk is a waste of time when we should be discussing what is really in the realm of possibility (as in reality). Sansour and Mallory got the memo. Guess it’s late getting here?

  6. Excusing and glorifying their own prejudices will not earn these Pseudo-Progressive Doppelgangers of the Far Right anything except a well-earned reputation for hypocrisy and personal lack of self-awareness.

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