A Pro-Black Feminist? Maybe

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As I look at the current social climate of the United States I see a country being torn in two again behind many issues that were thought to be resolved years ago.
Racism is alive and we all know that. Not just racism against blacks but of any race that isn’t Caucasian. I can remember walking to the store as a little girl, maybe I was 9 or 10 years old, and seeing the Ku Klux Klan marching through the streets of Thomasville, North Carolina. As I watched the parade of white sheets march through the center of downtown what stuck out most was the black officer that was there as an escort. I can remember wondering why in the hell he would protect them. By that I don’t mean why he would protect the people marching, but how could he “protect and serve” the hatred that they stood for? So yes, racism and discrimination is still thriving and often our encounters with them shape who we are, what we will stand for and what we will fight against.
I ask that you take a deep breath in and out right here because this isn’t me attempting to pull the race card.
This is me attempting to explain why the card is still in play, along with others from the deck of Hatred.
I admit that I’m Pro-black and there is nothing wrong with that. It needs to be understood that being Pro-Black in America isn’t being anti-white.
Let me say that again….
BEING PRO-BLACK IN AMERICA ISN’T BEING ANTI-WHITE.
Being Pro-black is about appreciating your roots, your culture and your background. It’s about supporting your brothers and sisters in their endeavors and wanting to see them all achieve their dream in a system designed to prohibit them. It’s about honoring your heritage (the same way some feel like flying the Confederate flag does) and values it birthed before someone with a different skin tone came along. It’s about needing to see a race of people do and want better for themselves and their children.
It’s about strength within a culture that is often told it’s not strong enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, or mentally capable of competing and excelling on the same level as their Caucasian counterparts.
That’s being Pro-Black. Not Racist.
But I’m so much more than Pro-Black.
By definition, I’m a Feminist because I aim to break down barriers that women of both black and white skin face on a daily basis. I want myself, my daughter, and my neighbor to receive the same amount as our male co-worker’s for doing the same amount of work. I want us to be recognized as getting the job done in a pair of slacks and pumps. I don’t want our breasts and behinds to get us a promotion but the work that we submit is so damn good that we can’t be denied one.
By definition, I’m Anti-Police Brutality but that doesn’t mean I’m against the police or their profession. I have different relationships with law enforcement officers on different levels and I know that all of them are not bad or biased. I know that they aim to do their jobs and return home safely. I also know that there are some officers who give their brethren in blue a bad name by applying their biases to their job. I know that there are some officers who get off on exerting power over the powerless, using more force than necessary and harassing people as a form of intimidation.
By definition, I’m Pro-Motherhood/Pro-Choice. I want to be able to breastfeed in public. I want to be able to take sick days or work from home because my child has the flu without penalty. I want to not be afraid to ask to leave when my work is complete so I can catch the PTA program or be able to eat lunch with my kid at school without my boss thinking of a trade-off for me to do it. I want to not have to choose between my obligations as an employee and a mother. I also want to keep the right to choose between being a mother when I’m ready and having an abortion if I’m not.
So what exactly am I?
To me it sounds like I’m simply an advocate for a better life. I care enough about different social issues to pay attention to how others are treated and by whom. I care enough to try and leave a better world for my children, grandchildren and future generations. I care enough to not settle for the status quo and instead raise the bar.
If that makes me a fist-raising, bra-burning, injustice protester who pumps breast milk on lunch and has a few diapers in the car then so be it.
However, if I must be given a label I would prefer one that embodies all of the above. Something that could be universally recognized without being forced into the many silos of activism. Something that allows me to not be limited to one particular group or cause.
For now, I’ll go with Game Changer.
I’m Just Saying.

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