Get Out of My Damn Chair.

Apr 1, 2016 · 3 min read

There have been a wave of think pieces about Black women and electoral politics (many of which are brilliant, and that I read obsessively, like here & here & here) where compelling data and narratives on our nuanced place in our political history are argued, but I have to be honest with you: this is not one of them.

I’m here to get what’s mine and I’m not begging you with perfectly articulated language. Black women demand a chair in the United States Senate.

I am not going to make an argument about why we deserve it. Nah. No thank you. Mark me down as sick and tired.

There are ZERO Black women in the United States Senate right now. None. Just to make it plain, there is not one human who identifies as a Black woman with the title of United States Senator.

During the crafting of the Affordable Care Act, no Black women’s voices.

During the longest confirmation process of an Attorney General candidate in the history of the United States, not one Black woman got a vote.

During any damn thing that has happened in the last seventeen years in this country in arguably the most powerful legislative body in the world — Black women are missing from the United States Senate Chamber.

I shouldn’t have to put our faces on a milk carton for you to look for us.

No more dragging ourselves up to your table on your terms. I’m not asking you to “make more room”. How about you get out of my damn chair?

If you are working for a progressive political organization or making any political decisions that aren’t clearing the path for Black women to win a seat in the United States Senate — then could you spare us with the flowery words on panels and in empty word speeches about Black women and political diversity?

Hi again, it’s me, we have the CHANCE TO CHANGE IT RIGHT NOW.

Get out your calendars. Voters are voting for Congresswoman Donna Edwards to join the US Senate in her Maryland primary on April 26, 2016 and for California Attorney General Kamala Harris on June 7th, 2016.

Yes, I’m contributing money and supporting Congresswoman Donna Edwards for the US Senate in Maryland because she is a Black woman. Yes, you got me, I’m supporting California Attorney General Kamala Harris for US Senate because she is a Black woman. Cause you know what? Black women are brilliant and the vast majority of us are more progressive on a slow day than anyone sitting in those chairs. We are resilient and loving and the backbone of every damn movement for justice in this country over the last 100 years. I want that for my elected bodies. And I don’t owe you an explanation for what I know to be a fact.

Historically, the way that people from underrepresented communities (*cough* anyone but White men) win elected positions in this country is through the primary process. So Democrats and progressives alike, choose a side. Choose Black women.

This is about the legislation that affects our lives. Stop staring at excel spreadsheets looking for the best argument to include an entire community of people and the clinch voters of the Democratic Party. Oh, and the water cooler gossip section of your endorsement process? Spare us.

Don’t come back here unless you have answers. Until then we see you, and our memories are long. You can pretend to care but you can’t pretend to show up.

Now, get out of our damn chairs. I’m not going to ask you again.


Written by

Principal of Three Point Strategies. People of color candidates, voters, and political operatives are my jazz.