White Pussy Always Trumps Black Lives

‚ÄúOn Friday, speaking right here on ‘First Take’ on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career.‚ÄĚ Two years ago, that sentence began the¬†ingratiating apology¬†of ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith for comments he made during a discussion of domestic violence in the NFL. Smith outrageously proclaimed that women should protect themselves from abusers by learning about the “elements of provocation.” That proclamation rightfully ¬†and expectedly earned him a one-week suspension from ESPN.

The humble¬†expression of regret¬†showed a starkly different Stephen A. Smith than the one who had just a few months earlier¬†obdurately¬†declared that he did he not “give a damn”¬†about the backlash he received from African-Americans for defending Mark Cuban’s admission that he crosses the street when he sees a Black man in a hoodie.¬†Smith¬†cemented his unambiguous contentions with a declaration that¬†stood by everything he had said “100 fold” and was “not interested” in the Black community’s disagreement,¬†doubling down on¬†his controversial comments¬†with a¬†tirade that further echoed and endorsed racist stereotypes about African-Americans. The popular sports analyst ended his rant by advising the Black community to stop playing into the stereotypes that set them up for failure.

Smith’s arrogant dismissal of the justifiable outrage from African-Americans¬†is particularly infuriating when¬†juxtaposed with the unconditional apology he issued in response to women’s rights activists who lambasted him for his dangerous rhetoric on domestic violence. Infuriating does not always mean shocking, though. As¬†a Black woman, I learned very early that my racial oppression, even as it relates to its intersection with my womanhood, is always an after thought at best.

That’s why when recordings¬†surfaced¬†of¬†Donald Trump bragging¬†about grabbing beautiful (read white) women “by the pussy,” I knew the response would be¬†uncompromised¬†outrage. I also expected Trump to immediately issue an apology. I was right on both accounts.¬†Within hours of the story breaking,¬†Trump released a recorded statement¬†in which¬†he, in the most quintessential¬†display of white mediocre male arrogance, preceded to barely apologize for his comments and committing sexual assault (because contrary to popular opinion, grabbing a woman’s sexual organ uninvited is just that), and instead ranted about how American’s losing jobs overseas (never mind the¬†Americans who’ve lost their jobs here due to his failed business ventures) and Bill Clinton’s history of misogyny and adultery were the bigger issues.

And as¬†white women¬†and Republicans who’ve stood cheering, or at least stayed silent (Where I’m from, if you don’t condemn it, we assume you endorse it.), while¬†Trump toured the country inciting violent racists with his rhetoric about how Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization, how the police are always justified in murdering Black people, how Black people collecting food stamps is the reason for the U.S.’s economic peril, ¬†how he plans to round up Latinos who’ve lived and worked in this country for decades and put them all on buses back to Mexico because they’re “stealing jobs,” and how Arab Muslims represent an imminent threat to American liberty,¬†lined up to condemn Trump’s disgusting conduct, I was reminded of what I already know: White pussy always trumps Black (and brown) lives.

Trump was fine so long as his bigoted fear-mongering politics¬†were limited to the¬†Black and brown people his supporters see no humanity in, but his desecration and defiling of ¬†the sacred white yoni is indisputably repugnant.¬†Condoning his supporters jumping a Black protester¬†were not cause for pause, but Republicans having to imagine him inflicting violence upon white women’s bodies was too much. While his¬†unverified and blatantly racist assertions¬†that Mexicans (read Latinos because when you’re a fucking idiot, all Latinos are Mexican) are rapists and murderers, escaping to the U.S. to commit crime unchecked, wasn’t enough to solicit human decency in his party,¬†Former Republican Presidential nominee John McCain finally realized he couldn’t stand by Trump when he realized one of his daughters could have had Trump’s hands on her vagina, saying he “thought it important” to respect Trump because he won the nomination, but that Trump’s “comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

Most enraging, though, is watching white women, Republicans who’ve championed racist politics for years, now expect solidarity from women of color because they are now the objects of sexual violence. White women have always been free to¬†focus solely on their oppression as women, as Black and brown women are straddled with fighting as both racial and gender power minorities. Their outrage is not because Trump assaulted women. It is because they are virtually certain that the objects of his violation are white women. After all,¬†their mouths weren’t agape and they weren’t sickened when Trump was¬†threatening to¬†physically fight¬†Black women from Black Lives Matter¬†if they showed up to his rally.

They’ve either stuck their fingers in their ears or nodded their heads for decades while¬†their male counterparts have spewed the racist vitriol that drives the institutions that impoverish, exploit and murder Black people. They’ve sat on CNN and Fox defending invasions of the Middle East even as stories of American soldiers raping Arab women came light. They’ve been all to happy to exploit Latino women desperate to survive, paying them poverty wages to clean their homes, all while peddling their anti-immigration politics.

A few weeks ago, a white woman admitted to me that she loved her grandmother in spite of the fact that her grandmother was unapologetically racist. When I retorted by asking her how she would feel if I told her I loved my grandfather despite the fact that he was an unapologetic rapist, she told me, “There’s a huge difference in shitty thoughts and racist actions.” Therein lies the problem.

White people are free to believe that they’re entitled to their racist opinions. They’re free to pretend that those feelings don’t translate into laws that disenfranchise Black and brown people. They’re free to be more offended by “pussy” than they are by “nigger.”¬†They’re free to believe that their racist uncles, mothers and friends are harmless. They’re free to believe that their racist beliefs don’t represent unrelenting violence on Black bodies.

But then, but then…When white bodies, specifically white female bodies, are the target of the kind of dehumanizing, demoralizing, inhumane violations that are inflicted on Black and brown bodies routinely, the rules change. Then those white men, who’ve made fame and fortune from promoting the inherent inferiority of certain¬†beings, who’ve justified the systemic oppression of certain¬†beings, who’ve cashed in on the violent persecution of certain beings, and who’ve shared the spoils of t

heir capitalist, racist, homicidal colonization with welcoming white women, must be stopped.

Note: This is not endorsement of Hillary Clinton. #fucknoimnotwithher

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