The #MeToo movement and Black Women

Sun, 12.23.2018

The #MeToo movement and Black Women

Let me begin this blog with the disclaimer that I am a black man commenting on black women, therefore I’m on the outside looking in per the #MetToo movement. In America, the lives of black people, in general, are not as valuable as the lives of white people. This started with a legal document, the “Articles of Confederation.” Article IX, paragraph 5 says that the profits that America reaps from all endeavors are to benefit its “white inhabitants.” When we compound racism with sexism an added layer of being devalued comes to light. During white America's Agrarian commerce dominance of the 15th thru the 19th-century black African labor was imperative to its success. Chattel Slavery was a foundation of providing 400 years of workers and black women were the abused, expendable commodity to produce the labor of this white business model.

Regarding the 21st-century #MeToo movement, it becomes more complicated with both acknowledging assault and reporting it for black women. There are so many variables at play. Many black women have this mindset like they have to protect our black men. They (black men) suffer from unchecked power in the hands of the police. But black women seem to prioritize that like they don’t suffer the same abuse, and their pain is not prioritized.

But I still just see more white women speaking about it. I wonder if black women are equally as empowered yet. I don’t think black women are running around saying “Me too,” even though the movement was started by a black woman. There is this different manifestation and whole cultural issue that affects black women. 

That issue in part comes from the embedded moral interpretation and view of blackness through slavery. Our overall value is less than whites and this is a muzzle on the empowerment of #MeToo through the abuse of black women. 

Public white statements such as “go back where you came from” ring again in 2018. Black Africans in America are still working their way through apologizing for our very existence with white society. In general, whites tell us that we are ungrateful or even out of our preordained place in society for speaking up about racism. I wonder if black women have just felt unheard for such a long time. They still lack enough empowerment to come forward from a deeper place. it’s more than being a woman and more than shame. It’s not being nurtured to know there is power in speaking up; they’re conditioned to think power never cycles to us. Finally, there remains the ever-present breast nipple of racial privilege that white women continue to nurse on. Their silence is the greatest ally to the evil breach of the #MeToo sisterhood.

by B. Mchie