“My emancipation don’t fit your equation”
This past Tuesday, Hillary Clinton received enough pledged delegates to make her the first woman to win a nomination for President from a major party.
The reactions that followed were predictable.
In one corner you have Republicans, who continued to use their ignorant, hate based diatribes as a means to rally their political army.
Then there were Hillary supporters.
Millions of whom took to social media to exclaim their joy at being able to witness this historic moment.
I’m a civil rights seeker, pursuer of justice and as a man, I have no problem identifying myself as a feminist. I’ve grownup in communities wooed by the sweetness of Clinton rhetoric but wounded by callousness of Clintonian politic.
So my reaction to these posts and tweets was quite natural.
The knee-jerk coronation of Hillary Clinton is not only laughable, it’s also troubling.
Despite a resume that includes support for destructive policies and a proximity to elite powers that have contributed much harm to the lives of women, children and other disenfranchised groups far too many are too eager to embrace a symbolic face of progress while failing to critically analyze the dubious substance (or lack there of) that lies beneath.
“Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well, thats all right because I love the way you lie”
Our inability to separate the real from the fake should not be surprising.
We live in a world where we accept scripted reality shows as truth.
Magazine racks and our own social media timelines are bombarded with meticulously photoshopped, and surgically perfected pictures that make us feel inadequate even while we acknowledge that the pictures we’re looking are not a reflection of reality.
To some degree, I understand our society’s desperate need to feel apart of a moment even if the substance is hollow. But I am troubled whenever a historical narrative is altered in the interest of expedient, feel good remembering.
It actually angers me that one of the most important struggles of today, Women’s rights is being repackaged so that Hillary Clinton can include herself on the mantle of truly heroic women, despite the fact that she’s arrived at this moment by leveraging power and pain.
I am deeply offended by this because of my reverence and love for the greatest force of nature that God created outside of Mother Nature herself; Women.
In my objection to Hillary’s place history as a shero,
I summon the strength of my ancestors both pre and post-slavery.
I am particularly fueled by the women and girls who were systematically subjugated, sold and raped in-part, because they were brought to a country where many hesitated to end slavery because they felt that freeing these slaves wasn’t politically or economically convenient.
Today’s politicians would have told them that their dreams of freedom weren’t realistic
I can hear Thomas Jefferson now..
“ohh. ummm…uhhhh…. We’d love to free you people but the Congress won’t work with us so we won’t even try. Sorry, slave-friend.
Now get back to work ******er”
To this day, the bones of slaves cry out from their ocean and plantation graves, eternally saddened by idea that their liberation was not deserving of the kind of bold reform that modern day, establishment Democrats seem to be afraid of.
In my refusal to distort Hillary Clinton’s place in history, I call on the strength of my foremother Harriet Tubman, whose greatest challenge wasn’t in freeing slaves but in convincing some of the enslaved that they were in need of being freed in the first place.
But alas. The conditions of oppression can become so routine, that often the victim begins to forget that they are indeed being victimized.
I wonder if Harriett would appreciate today’s women and African Americans who have become corporate apologists for stagnant social justice, passed off as mature pragmatism.
I speak on behalf of my deceased grandmother Helen, who as a self-raised wife, mother, educator, prayer warrior and 5 star chef, showed me the incomparable strength of the female backbone.
My non-compliance is in the name of another deceased grandmother, Goldie Mae- a woman I never got to meet but who has taught me to defend the honor of the Black woman and of all women, as demonstrated through her son, my father.
I speak on behalf of my mother Marla – who teaches me the transformative power of love, music, selflessness and the potency of quiet wisdom that always turns out to be more impactful than the ramblings of any big-mouth, bombastic man.
But most immediately, I speak on behalf of my daughter, not yet conceived.
If God blesses me with the honor to raise a daughter of my own, Hillary Clinton
is the opposite of every value and example that I wish for her to follow.
Right now I’m imagining her at the age of 9 or even as a teenager.
I wonder what her room will look like and all of the sheroes posters that will adorn her wall.
She will have a picture of Fannie Lou Hamer,who despite losing part of her sight after being beaten and savaged by racist police in 1963, still had the vision to fight for a better tomorrow for women and American African Americans.
Fannie Hammer was deeply invested in the struggle against social barriers
while a teenage Hillary Clinton, a proud Goldwater girl, supported Barry Goldwater – a fanatical, steadfast racist who wanted to preserve those same barriers.
My love for Fannie Lou Hammer- my admiration for her bravery renders me physically incapable of celebrating a politicians of convenience.
My daughter(s) (and my son(s) for that matter) will know the name of
A woman of profound integrity and strength, Berta was one of the most brave environmental and social activists on the planet. She was brutally assassinated in her home because of her mission to speak out against repressive regimes and environmental injustice.
I’m with Queen Berta. Not Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary of State
helped to create and exacerbate the social unrest in Honduras.
I’m With Berta. Not Secretary Clinton, who edited reprints of her book “Hard Choices” in order to hide the truth about her role in the Honduran coup.
Berta faced death threats on the daily but she stood by her cause until the end.
Her beliefs did not afford her the luxury of redacting her words to save her life, much less political favor
Next to Berta’s poster, my daughter will see the shining face of Malala Yusef.
Malala is the Pakistani teenager who has fearlessly advocated for the education of young girls and the betterment of children across the globe since her young teenage years.
For daring to seek a level the playing field, Malala was placed on a target list by the Taliban and one day she was shot in the head at close range by someone wishing to cease her cause.
She survived her cowardly assailant’s bullet. And to this day continues to raise her voice for the vulnerable in her native Pakistan.
It should be noted that while the United States is certainly not the cause of decades of fighting since Pakistan’s birth in the 1940s, American foreign policy has greatly exacerbated the level of unrest by way of drone strikes (many of which cause civilian casualties) as ordered by President Obama and supported by his Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton.
My children will grow to respect the contributions of
resilient Native American activists like Suzan Shown Harjo, Sacheen Littlefeather, Madonna Thunderhawk and Winona LaDuke. All of these women have dedicated themselves to the preserved dignity and the restored vitality of their people.
My daughter will be inspired by women like Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Degeneres.
Women who use the privilege of their lofty platforms to make change and to spread love.
Johnetta ‘Netta’ Elzie
Bold women who use the power and beauty of words to challenge status quo and to be a unifying voice to the broken.
“I can no longer be a Hillary Clinton Supporter in the name of feminism
There are certain things that I don’t want to cosign in the name of feminism
that I think are militarist, Imperialist, white supremacist…whether they are conducted by women or men.”
The Dixie Chicks.
These will be icons found on her wall, in her music collection and on her book shelf.
(Ok.. Maybe not The Dixie Chicks.
Although that would be impressive)
Theirs are the ceilings for which my child will reach.
These women didn’t wait for the results of surveys and poll tests to decide which side of the fence they’d stand on.
They didn’t immediately abandon their positions based on the allure of corrupted money. They didn’t come up with infinite excuses as to why they weren’t able to do what’s right.
They had a moral compass and followed it. Period. End of story.
Hillary Clinton has made millions of dollars speaking to and protecting large financial institutions that are responsible for the economic instability that women and children are most vulnerable to.
She has championed the kind of anti-family welfare reform that should make Republicans giddy and has advocated for disastrous trade deals that cater to the wealthy.
As Secretary of State and Senator, Mrs. Clinton has supported war-hawk regime change that makes the lives of women in places like Iraq, Honduras and Pakistan even more volatile than they already were.
She has been funded by the private prison industry; a network of companies that push for laws that make the over-zealous disruption of low income families a source of great profit.
How is potentially becoming President via these ill-gotten gains supposed to be an inspirational or teachable moment for young girls?
Why is Mrs. Clinton being allowed to disguise a track record of catering to wealth, war and power and sell it to us as evidence of one woman sacrificing herself for all women?
Women are the physical and spiritual cradle of humanity. The wombs that are designed to protect, support and crate human life are indicative of their priceless role in human kind. Whether a woman gives bitrth to children or not,at their purest spiritual core, women are protectors. They are nurturers. They are fighters. They sacrifice their bodies in order to sustain unborn children in the most precious stage of the human life cycle.
By engaging power hungry, predatory and routinely dishonest economics and politics that oppresses the vulnerable, Hillary Clinton betrays the most beautiful essence of womanhood; a selfless love and instinctive calling to fiercely protect the vulnerable.
Her ascension to power has less to do with her defying the rules of a rigged game created by the boy’s club of politics and has more to do with her mastery of that game at a level of that game.
Her bravery is bull$***.
Celebrating Hillary’s nomination as a victory for women isn’t only frustrating but it is dangerous.
When context and critical analysis are ignored or removed from the person in question, then we set ourselves up to have the movements that we so deeply care about to be stolen and corrupted.You’re allowing a wolf in sheep’s clothing to run free in your pasture.
It’d be like handing Ben Carson the keys to the NAACP or making
Ann Coulter the head of Planned Parenthood.
Sure. Go ahead and be foolish enough to assume that a figurehead that looks like you is always going to be the a trustworthy ambassador for your cause.
As my Pastor and family friend, the prolific Rev. Jeremiah Wright has said many times before:
“everyone who looks like you isn’t for you
and everyone who doesn’t look like you is not against you”