The Power of Black Women

Black women saved the democracy, again.

The power of Black women isn’t going anywhere, but we live in a country that will try to make us disappear.

Black women continuously show up and show out for this nation, & yet we are met with hate, violence, and dismissals.

I am no stranger to these behaviors, none of us are.

We woke up on Wednesday and watched as another president took office.

It felt like we could finally exhale, but could we?

The last four years were filled with hate filled nonsense, and Black women fought hard to ensure we didn’t have another four years with a proud white supremacist leading the country.

However, this scenario reminds me of after leaving an abusive relationship, I was so over the moon to have decent human interactions that I fell at the feet of anyone who dared to be kind to me.

We have not solved for racism, we are not even close.

We have not solved for violence, we are not even close.

We have a Black woman in the White House, and many people will use this singular example to attempt to disprove the hardships of Black women in America.

Our fears will continue to be dismissed in droves.

Little girls can now dream of being in the White House, but we must also ensure that they will be safe to dream, safe to speak, and safe to exist in a world with monsters lurking behind all corners.

Black women are still asked to provide receipts, to prove our trauma, to blame ourselves first.

We must fight for a better future for the little girls dreaming to follow Kamala’s footsteps. We will not require the next generation to relive and reprove their trauma over and over until it is tattooed on the walls of their souls. Regardless of how many receipts we show, there will always be people who believe the world is “cured” of racism, of hate, of violence.

Black women continue to be collateral damage in the fight for a better world, we always have been.

We are treated as if we are disposable. We are not disposable, I am not disposable, the next generation is not disposable.

The more powerful Black women become, the more the world recognizes the power of our magic, the more danger we are in.

I recently received an email that said,

“Madison, you, and anyone who agrees with, or supports your violent, evil, insane, bloodthirsty views, deserve to be pissed on, boiled alive, imprisoned, and ENSLAVED for life….Where are your chains slave? Who unchained you, slave? Don’t you have a master to report to, slave? How did you free yourself of your chains, slave? Did your superhuman strength allow you to escape your chains, slave? Did you fuck your master to get out of your chains, slave? Where are your chains, slave?“

We live in a world where anti-racism work puts our jobs, relationships, and lives at risk.

How can we be a nation crying out for unity when Black people are still screaming out for justice?

If we want to provide safety and equity to the next generation, we must see justice.

Justice will never come without accountability.

We can not say that accountability exists in this moment, not when Black women openly receive death threats without protection. The police disregard us, and tell us “well, you should be less controversial.” If we are to move forward, as a nation we must be able to acknowledge the threat of white rage to our very existence.

However, how can we expect accountability to come from the same bodies who attack us? Calling the police has always been something I have struggled with. Living with a white abuser, I know too well the lengths they are willing to go to protect their own.

In 1962, Malcolm X famously said, “Black women and girls are the most unprotected group in America.” This still rings true.

We are not safe, this is not new. Black women are killed at a higher rate than any other group in the US. A report done by Georgetown showed that Black women who report abuse are less likely to be believed because Black women and girls are not seen as “innocent”. This perception starts in childhood and follows us into our adult lives.

Breonna Taylor was murdered in her bed while she slept, and white America has still chosen to place blame on her, to blame her dating choices.

Sandra Bland was murdered by police and instead white America chose to blame cannabis and a psychotic break.

48 Black women have been fatally shot by police since 2015.

How many of us will become martyrs for white America’s guilt before they realize that we are not the problem? How many of us will become hashtags before white America stops fearing our power?

People keep saying they’re tired of hearing about “race”, yet we are tired of our Black skin being a threat to our own humanity for no other reason than the fear and entitlement of white people.

I am tired of having to prove that my life is valuable and that I deserve to survive encounters with white people. I am tired of having to hold my breath when I drive police officers.

I am tired of turning on the news and seeing faces that resemble my own on the other side of the screen beside a police officer’s mugshot. I wish for a day when it is no longer acceptable to watch the murder of Black people live streamed on our TVs. Trauma porn has been so prevolent in our culture, that society has become numb to the murder of Black folks, while our hearts are constantly stuck in our throats, our realities frozen every time the phone rings.

We are tired.

We are shaking tables and breaking barriers, but we must also break the barrier that is fear, and we cannot do that without accountability and justice. We want the same rush to justice that we see for white murder victims. We want the same humanity we see for mass murderers who are handheld and served burger king when taken into custody. We want the same peaceful interactions we saw when insurrectionists stormed our capitol.

Where was that humanity for Breonna, Sandra or the 47 Black women murdered by police?

We want humanity, period.

We want to no longer have our lives valued on a sliding scale.

However let me be clear, there is nothing that would shut us up or shut us down.

We will continue to take our space and ensure the generations after us know that there will never be a space they don’t belong in. Most importantly, we will fight to ensure their safety.

We may have a new administration but we have a fight ahead of us, and will continue to climb mountains that seem insurmountable, we will continue to break barriers, and face white supremacy head on.

We demand justice, safety and humanity- and we will get it.

Bonus: Black women are magic and we are no longer dimming that magic to make people comfortable.

Buckle up, we’ll only get more powerful from here.

-Madison Butler

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