Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Owe 53% of White Women A Damn Thing, But She For Sure As Hell Owes Me

original photo taken by Gage Skidmore

I’ve seen a lot of white women sharing posts about Hillary Clinton not owing nan a body a damn thing.

I have to agree that Hillary owes nothing to the misogyny-laden campaign trail, to the FBI Director James ‘I Deserve A Kick in the Shins’ Comey, and for sure as hell not to any of the folks who constructed the online targeting that exoticized sexual assault and the mass incarceration of black people to gain votes for Trumpismo. She owes nothing to them and I hope they all stub their pinky toes on oak kitchen table legs while holding a skillet of dirty grease tonite.

But you know what I don’t agree on? I don’t agree with the idea that Hillary doesn’t owe anything to anyone. That’s just not true. Hillary owes me and the 94% of Black women who came out in droves to support her, despite sound reservations. I sat for awhile and asked myself what it was that bothered me about seeing so many white women share these thoughts about Hillary not owing anything to anyone. And then it came to me. It bothers me because Hillary lost because of white women. She lost largely in part because 53% of white women did not show up for her. More than likely, these were women who hierarchically had the most to gain from her presidency. And still, they did not show up. And now I see conversations among white women who rebuke women of color wondering aloud about the whereabouts of Hillary Clinton. What I don’t see are white women asking other white women how and why this happened and why they, of all groups with the most to gain, chose sitting over standing. I think it’s far easier to look at women of color and frown angrily than it is to look internally and pose, ‘Why did women with privilege like mine vote against a woman who promised us support?’ Maybe they will admit that it was because of race and maybe they won’t.

Hillary ran a strong campaign on the idea that she would stand for the rights of all, in a way that she had never before stood in her entire career. Lest we forget, the campaign trail in the beginning was rocky. People saw Hillary as a Republican in blue who accepted large donations from big banks and corporations and who had long ago forgotten how to show up for the most marginalized in our country. She learned quickly that the public wanted an upheaval. The people clamored for a progressive stance on race, poverty, and employment. Hillary’s campaign changed swiftly to meet that clamoring. So swiftly in fact that there were blunders. The ‘I’m just like your abuela’ commercial had Latinx people turning off there televisions. The ousting of the Black Lives Matter protesters at a fundraising dinner moved Black women to ask if Hillary was really here for them and wondering if she would follow through on her promises to see them and act on their behalf. The truth is Hillary lost to a Deviled egg sexual predator with the depth of a newt and the political prowess of a flee caught in a trap house. And that sucks. It’s despicable that that happened, On qualifications alone, she should have won. But you know what? Hillary’s loss does not relieve her of the moral responsibility that she claimed the second she promised to use her power on behalf of those without it. It is a moral responsibility that is not unlike that of white women in this country. The day after November 9th, unless I’m mistaken because who knows maybe I’m wrong, Hillary did not awake as a Black women with a PhD making 30,000 a year. She didn’t wake up and grab her Burqa before preparing breakfast and helping her children get ready for school. She didn’t wake up from her slumber as a transgender woman in an urban, homophobic community of marginalized people. She awoke as Hillary m’fn Clinton, a woman with power, privilege, and influence — the two p’s and one i that sit at the crux of white dominance in this country. And you mean to tell me that the very best we can expect from her on the behalf of the most marginalized she promised to show up for are tweets and a nap for a job well done on the campaign trail? When was the last time a white woman told you that Angela Davis needed a break? When was the last time a white woman told you that Harriet Tubman should have had time to rest? When was the last time a white woman told you that James Baldwin could have relaxed his pen and his mind and slumbered? This is not a time for fatigue. We are literally in a fight for the lives of Black people (a fight that has lasted for centuries), for Native people (a fight that has lasted for centuries), for Muslim people (a fight that has lasted for centuries), and now you mean to tell me that a woman who has claimed to be on our side of the ring needs a break because the campaigning she did was difficult? You ask me to give Hillary Clinton a break. I tell you that I won’t ever do that. Because to give her a pass would be to give a permission slip to white women everywhere that says that because they leaned towards doing the right thing once they are now done with their work because they are tired. I tell you to go to the graves of those oppressed into a brief existence and ask yourself if a break is what we need to be giving to white people with power right now. Go on. Go to those graves, sit awhile, and ask yourself that question. I’ll be here, waiting for you to return.

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