My good friend Dick Gregory says that when America suffers an “economic cold,” Black folks suffer economic pneumonia. So it is in every major facet of life here in our country.
We’ve heard a great deal about the “War on Women.” This conflict features government intrusion in the affairs of women and their doctors, such as legislated invasive medical procedures, pay-inequality and a host of other inequalities that tilt the scales of fairness against women.
The facts of this war are irrefutable. I don’t minimize the impact of this violent campaign on my white sisters, but think of how much greater the impact of this war has on Black women. Too often, despite our best efforts, the good we do goes unrecognized, and the negative things we experience from society are often trivialized. We are rarely seen as the victims of wrongdoing.
In recent weeks we’ve had dramatic examples of the War on Black Women that transcend any harshness meted out on white women or discussed on local news.
In Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Renisha McBride had an automobile accident and, in her desperation, sought help. She was profiled as a threat and, for no acceptable reason, was shot in her face. Similar to the Trayvon Martin murder, Renisha’s murderer was not arrested for several days, and then only after a major public outcry.
Marissa Alexander, an “on the record” victim of spousal abuse, attempted to protect herself from physical harm and the stated threat to murder her. Instead of taking the life of her abuser, she fired a warning shot into the ceiling that ended the assault. For the compassion shown by her to her abuser, she was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison!
In contrast, Mary Winkler, a white woman who killed her abuser by shooting him in the back, only served a few months. She’s out. Marissa who injured no one has been in prison 3 years, had her case overturned by a Court of Appeals, and is still in prison!
Suffering in their grief for the unjust killing of their sons are the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Sabrina Fulton has had to watch the psychotic bully who killed her son escape punishment and, then, proceed to flaunt his perceived invincibility while violating laws and abusing others. Jordan Davis’ mom, Lucy McBath, has not yet seen the murderer of her son have his day in court. Sadly, no outcome will return their sons to them.
Some acts in this war are so egregious that even mainstream media criticize them! Oriana Farrell in New Mexico fled to escape the fury of the police, yet for a simple traffic stop, fell victim to officers threatening her family, savagely breaking out her car window and firing shots at her car endangering her children. Since airing the dash-cam video, all law enforcement consultants have criticized the impropriety of this act. I’ve not seen the lives of a white mother and her children endangered in such a callous manner.
In DC, without the benefit of due process, JC Hayward was denied an opportunity to practice her craft by WUSA-9. Instead of being able to demonstrate her expertise developed in a distinguished 40+year TV career, WUSA-9 has allowed rumor and innuendo to serve as the basis for her absence from the airwaves.
Black women come out strongly in favor of our party’s candidates every election, but others get credit for the victories--with a rare mention that it was the strong support of Black women who help candidates cross the finish line.
What do we have to do to end this war and receive justice? We must never give up—never stop fighting until victory is finally won.