It makes sense that people would question the veracity, the sincerity and the commitment of a sleeping entity that suddenly leaves it slumber. So those questioning the commitment of tens of thousands of women who have been fairly silent until now on some level are justified. But upon further examination those throwing rocks of judgment must keep in mind that they too had to crawl before they walked.
In other words, no revolutionary, no significant change agent sprung into the world out of whole cloth, thoughts fully formed, analysis complete. They, like us, gradually came to consciousness and of course some claiming to be “woke” are just partially so.
All over social media young Black women were putting the question to their White would- be- sisters (would- be because Sisterhood, like Brotherhood is a choice). Some Sisters will have to commit class suicide before they become full- fledged members of the “woke” fraternity. The question: Will you be there when the next time the police shoot one of us down in the streets? And the implied ancillary is, will you stand up for us when the conversation turns decidedly racist? Will you speak up when the boss says he doesn’t hire Black folks?
However new the protest was, it did take place in space and time. Despite the skepticism women did march. Despite the doubts, a new chapter has the chance to be written. Despite the critique, women, thousands of women at least stood up for themselves. Everyone should stand up for themselves, their group and their rights. Standing up for oneself is not a bad thing. It’s how everyone comes to some kind of political and social consciousness.
We should be careful not to push too hard and not be too critical, lest we become self- righteous and even worse, create the conditions for our critique to become self- fulfilling prophesy.
Never forget that the hallmark of activism is optimism!
For women sexism, misogyny, patriarchy serve as wake up calls. For the LGBQT community homophobia and rejection serve as the wake-up call. If you are Black or Native discrimination against your color serves to remind you that you are not as American as everyone else, despite what you may want to believe. If you are an immigrant, ostracism from the longer established immigrants (that is squatters and settlers) tends to open one’s eyes.
If we are to be fair, we have to see Saturday as a starting point for many of our fellow Americans. And like all human beings, one has to walk before one can run, this adage applies to politics as well.
Not only do folks have to crawl before they walk, usually but they have to be nurtured and encouraged to take that next step.
Like babies, the idea that one should stand up is foreign to a lot of folks, who have gotten quite comfortable nursing on the pabulum of US propaganda, which consistently feeds all of us the same lies of mutual well-being. While some marched out of fear that cherished rights, choice, may be taken away, many others rights have already been curtailed, some have even had their lives taken by this beast.
The system will remind them that taking that next step could be perilous; they could fall on their face. Or they could find a friendly hand across the aisle encouraging them to continue on.
Few people can name a successful revolutionary or change agent activist that did not receive some encouragement along the way.
Furthermore some of the naysayers, finger-pointers and rock throwers live in glass houses. While some dutifully oppose police violence and support and advocate for Black rights they don’t stand up for the rights of those outside their group. Some who support Black Lives don’t support LGBT rights or are callous to the suffering of immigrants and are quiet while US Imperialism harasses and scapegoats their African and Middle Eastern Muslim Sisters domestically while bombing and murdering them overseas.
And yes some fighters for Black rights don’t dare mingle with and in the hood. And while we consider ourselves down, we aren’t really down if we are just protesting for OUR piece of this rotten pie. If we aren’t advocating for an end to the real source of our problem, the very root of what ails us, US Imperialism coupled with White Supremacy and patriarchy, then we aren’t as down as we think.
Its right to challenge the formerly sleep. No doubt many were moved by narrow self- interest, but it’s just as likely a percentage will open their eyes for good. Let’s not only challenge them, but also ourselves and like the prophets and prophetess’ who came before us, work to deepen our analysis and understanding by continuing to read, study and analyze.
Forward ever backward never!
justice then peace