By Christian-Alexis Bacon, Contributing Writer
Posted 9:30 PM EST, Fri., Apr. 21, 2017
In January, the day after the inauguration of now President Donald Trump, the National Women’s March took place in Washington D.C. Nearly a half million white women came to the area in support of the movement.
On the Women’s March website, the goals and objectives of the organization are listed: “We must create a society in which women – including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
Photos of sanitary napkins with various anti-rape and traditionally feminist statements circulated through the Twittersphere. Writing various anecdotes and catchy girl power phrases seemed like an awesome idea, aesthetically.
As we fast forward to March, the hashtag #FindOurGirls went viral showcasing the numerous underrecognized cases of young black and Latina women going missing in the District of Columbia. The same Women’s March snatched a seat at the table stating “We will not rest until they are brought back safely. #BlackGirlsMatter #FindOurGirls”. Ironically, their last post with the hashtag was published the next day. This same organization who had so much to march about a few months prior, showed no signs of an upheaval for the thousands of black girls and boys across the globe who are being kidnapped and trafficked each year.
The aftermath of hashtags and retweets never falls short of astonishing. While the startling image of a bright pink milk carton was on everyone’s Instagram feed and Twitter timeline last week, it now seems that Black trauma has been compartmentalized into simply being apart of life. The dehumanization and criminalization of the black body has caused this atrocious and widespread desensitization. Seeing a hashtag is no different from seeing any other tweet on a feed now.
Seeing another missing Black child has become just as commonplace as seeing the selfies of peers. To white feminists, the heart wrenching town hall videos featuring mothers and fathers begging for their children back breaks their heart almost as much as seeing a sad, cold puppy while “Angel” by Sarah McLachan plays in the background. Saving whales, rescuing dogs and reserving their spot at SoulCycle is more important to them than the real issues facing the black and brown HUMAN beings all around you. Activism is a sport, a hobby, an extracurricular for white women.
So the next time a Women’s March promotes ideals of equality in hopes of drawing a more “diverse” crowd, it would behoove them to keep in mind the historical impediments that prohibit us Black women from supporting a march fueled by a movement that doesn’t truly understand, value or support us — the same ideals that probably fueled Alice Walker’s coining of the concept, ideology, lifestyle and movement known as Womanism.