Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Why pro-life? Because black children deserve to eat pizza!
You know what's boring? The whole black genocide conspiracy theory. It's hardly worth talking about, except as a person of color I feel obligated to defend against such ludicrous proselytizing. I don't understand how blacks, by and large, can support affirmative action on the premise that black folks in this country need a leg up, but are horrified that there are minority funds for abortion care.
IT'S THE SAME THING!
If poor black women should not be allowed funding for abortions, neither should they be allowed funding for higher education. But heaven forbid the NAACP should stop providing scholarships, or HBCUs recruit non-black students. All hell would break loose. But if you fund an abortion for a poor black woman such that she can actually attend school, you call black babies an endangered species. Stupid.
I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I went to a pretentious school on a hefty grant only because I checked a certain box on my application, and because the historically white institution wanted to shake things up a bit. I get that, yet it doesn't anger me. Because I have a funny sounding name, and because I went to a public school, and because I never studied Latin or ancient philosophy, most elites are wont to turn up their noses. But I was given a chance to see and do things that I had never done before, all because a nice group of white folks wrote a little mutt from Nowhere, USA, a check.
I wonder how pervasive this movement is. Not very, at least in my neck of the woods. Seems like a kooky southern/rural thing to me. But if this thing starts making serious progress on the anti front, it might indicate a poor outreach mechanism in black communities. Who knows. Do you think a change in strategy is in order?
This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.
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It's complicated. I get the feeling that black women probably find it insulting to be told that they're naively helping Planned Parenthood, or whomever, conduct "genocide." I'm not black but also identify as a woman of color, and it does piss me right off when people appeal to (their idea of) my racial or ethnic identity to convince me of claims that are completely against my actual values. Maybe they think that all we non-white non-male persons think about is "who looks like me" -- that would explain Georgia Right to Life's strategy of hiring Catherine Davis to head their "minority outreach" and defend their partnership with the "Black Babies Are An Endangered Species" billboard guy. But it's frustrating to see that kind of tokenizing, when women of color have been organizing for their freedoms on their own terms for quite some time and just get dismissed, ignored, or selectively misquoted by organizations like GRL (thinking of SisterSong here, but it applies to many others).ReplyDelete
Plus, I think a lot of anti-choice sentiment in the black community is the same old anti-woman stuff that we get from patriarchy anywhere else. Seems likely that dudes would be more easily swayed by the genocide stuff (think male leadership of Black Panthers!) than the women they in turn try to sway. Just a guess though.
Anyway, a part of the problem here is the very idea that "we" (some pro-choice monolith ostensibly representing white women) need to do outreach or (ick) "education" among black communities. I don't know what the answer is, but it surely involves respecting the ground that women of color have already broken. Sorry this comment got so long - clearly I have lots of thoughts and not a lot of conclusions.
I see this as race-baiting where the antis are exploiting and distorting the facts to serve their own agenda. Even in Allentown PA, we see stupid, old white folks telling women crap about MLK stopping his niece from having an abortion (no doubt the yarn spinning of Alveda King). You don't hear them wailing about injustices in our society, our schools and our penal systems. You don't hear the truly disgraceful realities of health dispariities among women of color and their children.ReplyDelete
What you do hear is, once again, using people of color to promote a predominately white man's agenda. And the really pathetic thing about pulling the MLK card, is the fact that while the man was a colossus in the civil rights movement, his virtues don't have the same panache it once had with young men and women. There's too much competition in the world of celebrities and media makers.
Urghhh, check it out, they're planning to roll out Insulting Atlanta Billboards Part Deux: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs505.ash1/29869_407807056032_87331701032_4384371_7886514_n.jpgReplyDelete
Um, I started to write another comment but it got so long I think I'll make a new post out of it!ReplyDelete