Also, if you are not following her, she is a must! She’s not only smart and funny, but her writings on the law and reproductive justice are fantastic! She works for Rewire.news and you can hear her 4 times a week on the indispensable #TWiBPrime with Elon James White.
Happy Birthday Imani!
When I picked out this quote, it was before we got video of the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Their murders have affected what I am writing. Now, I am working on something to discuss the police issues, so I will not be touching on that today. Also, we just had a major win in reproductive rights. There is so much that still needs to be done even with this victory.
If my art can help in anyway to reestablish places where women can get the reproductive care they need including abortions, please contact me. I will be glad to help.
Now that that’s out of the way, time for some rage.
I am not always the best writer. I make these pictures because people like Imani Gandy express ideas I have better than I ever will. A better writer than me could have magically linked the ideas of Imani in this image with what has transpired this week and write something inspiring about black feminism. I write these because I try to explain why I post these. Today, I’m not feeling as inspired to write on just black women’s issues now that we have two snuff films of the police murdering people. This affects women, too. From the pool party in Texas, where “Officer Barrel Roll” sat on a girl because she was swimming while black to Sandra Bland who was murdered by the police because she didn’t use her blinker. I hope I can succeed in this.
It’s time to call out conservative hypocrisy out for what it really is. Racism.
Much like the anti-choicers who use Margaret Sanger, Martin Luther King, Jr., and #BlackLivesMatter as a cudgel against black women, it exposes the dark underbelly of what they want to do. Looking at the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and frankly, all the men and women’s deaths who were not filmed but were killed in the process of me writing this, we see this happening with black life in general.
So I am going to make this really clear: If you think #BlueLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, then you are a racist. Nobody ever said their lives don’t matter or black lives matter more, however, it’s that black lives are undervalued, so it is radical to say they matter. You are thin skinned and you need to take a look at yourself.
If you, and to take the words of Mychal Denzel Smith, “If you are using the words of [Martin Luther] King as cudgel of the maintenance of the status quo, then you are doing it wrong. You are completely misreading his legacy. You are completely misreading history.” If you do that, then you are racist.
When it comes to abortion, we don’t know exactly what King’s thoughts were. Again to quote Imani:
As for Dr. King, we don’t know whether he would have favored access to legal abortion or not. We know his wife did during her lifetime. We know that he wrote about the importance of publicly funded family planning programs. We know that in 1966, his wife accepted a Margaret Sanger Award on his behalf, bestowed upon him by Planned Parenthood “in recognition of excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and reproductive rights.” We know that he served on a sponsoring committee of a Planned Parenthood study on contraception in 1960 and wrote, “I have always been deeply interested in and sympathetic with the total work of the Planned Parenthood.”
But what else could we possibly claim to know about his views on abortion? Nothing.
When it comes to the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Dr. King said in his day, “We can never be satisfied as long as the negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
If you say anything about “the content of your character” I will smack you.
Obviously, anyone who focuses on that line like conservatives have, need to sit down and do some reading, or listening. His speech at Stamford, my second favorite speech, and more relevant than the speech at Riverside, my favorite, is something you should sit down and listen. It is 45 minutes of King discussing black rage. It’s nuanced and wonderful. He said:
Many in moments of anger, many in moments of deep bitterness engage in riots. Let me say, as I’ve always said, and I will always continue to say, riots are socially destructive and self defeating…but at the same time, it is as necessary for me to be as vigorous to condemn the conditions which cause persons to engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots.
Finally, if you are trying to control black bodies, you are a racist.
Anti-choicers want to control black women’s bodies by denying them access to birth control and gynecologists. Guess what Planned Parenthood mostly does? Gynecological exams. If you are so petty to accuse black women of being “welfare queen,” then you should give them access to abortion. In fact all your lame claims that the Bible is against abortion are lies. In fact, every argument used is refuted in the Bible!
White people have used the law and police to control the bodies of black people. That’s why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were shot. This is also why we need to rewrite the Second Amendment, the last vestige of slavery still in the Constitution. The police have become that standing army our founding fathers worried about.
As I said before, I wish I was the writer that could link these two parallel ideas together in a brilliant way and put a black feminism cherry on top. I'm not. I’m someone who is learning how to be a better human being while using his art to spread ideas. Let’s stop using white supremacy to justify police murders and to prevent woman in general, but black women in particular, from getting the healthcare they need.
As a follow up to the Septembre Anderson piece, a brilliant CanadaLand Shortcuts just came out featuring her. Canadaland Shortcuts is a show that analyzes Canadian media. Sometimes on Shortcuts, Jesse Brown, the host, jump into a subject that all Canadians should know but as an American, I’m lost. Beyond that, the show is fantastic! To have Septembre Anderson talking about the coverage of #BlackLivesMatter Toronto, you should listen to this one.
As I borrowed from Canadaland: If you like this, support it.