First, I am an African American woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I am a friend, lover, cousin, sister, associate. I am a Democrat. And I love myself, and have many women friends, who I also love. Very much! Too much to continue to sit back and watch what is being done to us, as women, as a result of the policies, and politics, of the Republican Party.
We are being battered, torn asunder, beaten, and left for clinically dead by a party to whom many of my friends have sworn allegiance. Needless to say, this has brought about many love-based arguments about the rights of those who govern us to take away rights that were fought for, earned, and won, many years ago.
I shall always remember the bra-burners, the marchers, the speech-givers, and the men who supported us….but only later, as they discovered we were serious about being taken seriously! I remember those turbulent times with a sense of accomplishment and awe. We did it! But, as an African-American woman, my battles were being fought from a totally different perspective at that time. But again, we did it! Rights that others took for granted, we had to fight for….and we did….and we won….we thought!
Then along came Barack Obama, a Black man, who ran for, and won, the Presidency of the United States! Remember how proud we were? Remember how we all felt a sense of pride that this country had come so far…in OUR lifetime? Remember how we thought we all suddenly “made it?” Well, we didn’t know about the meetings before, during and after, the meeting, i.e., the Inauguration! We didn’t know that the Republicans, the elitists, the racists, and the big business “brains” had other plans for us. Although we should have known, and we should have been prepared; but we weren’t. We should have guessed that they would not allow this country to move forward with a Black man at the helm. We should have known that success for all of us was not in their bag of tricks. We should have known that they would throw many, many wrenches into the machinery. But we were operating on a much higher plane than they were. We were hoping that America had really reached its potential, had finally paid up with the promise of liberty (and justice) for all. ALL!!! Black, white, green, purple with pink polka-dots, yellow, brown, and all in between. Women, men, educated, uneducated, children, the ill, the infirm, same sex lovers, rich, poor….ALL!!
And, boy, were we surprised when it didn’t work out that way. When the Republicans, and some Democrats, managed to hold this country and its people hostage because they didn’t want to be perceived as providing any assistance to the “Black Guy.” Yeah, it’s ugly, but true. And I am sure there were even uglier things said at meetings held in the booth in the back in the corner in the dark!
And we women were getting the brunt of negative attention from the Republicans. We were being told that health care, for us, was not a major priority. Our health care issues were being systematically delegitimized, made unimportant, and legally challenged. We were being told that Roe v. Wade may be the law of the land, but there is law, and then there is “law.” And “law” means states can pretty much do what they want, as long as women are on the receiving (or not!) end! Our rights to choose and to receive vital medical care are all being trampled by the “law” as viewed by some states and their governance!
It is beyond me how any woman can then, support, and vote for, anyone who puts us in the position of being “nothing,” unimportant, unable to make our own decisions, and being thought of as “less than.” Been there, done that…and have no plans to go there again! How can we throw our support behind someone who wants to dictate to us what we should feel, think, services we should obtain, how we should obtain those services, and to whom we discuss our medical priorities?
Women, Republicans and Democrats alike, conservatives, tea partiers, liberals, ultra-right-wingers, ultra-left-wingers, and whoever I left out, need to think this one through. I mean really think it through! Do we really want a party in power who so blatantly wants to separate us from our humanity, ourselves, our rights? Do we really want to go back to being told “what’s good for us,” by people with penises who pat us on the head? Do we really want those penises to dictate what we can and cannot do, with our own bodies, our own brains, our own thoughts and feelings?
I love you, my sisters, and I am worried that you do not take this assault on “us” seriously. I am worried that you think you might be able to change the status quo. I am worried that you are laboring under the delusion of “it might not be as bad as you think!” I am worried that color will out. I am worried that politics will out. I am worried that you don’t understand what is happening around this country to rights that we thought we won many, many years ago!
Yes, I’m worried….and you should be too!