Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Who will hear my cries?

My heart aches for the family of Trayvon Martin. I've thought of my grandson and I've offered multiple kisses and extra hugs. There was  moment when I then questioned how sexism has creeped its way into my psyche. I've only briefly thought about my daughter and her blackness and her safety.  I haven't thought about - what if Trayvon was a black female and what impact that would have if Trayvon was my daughter.  Could this happen to her?  Would she be heard?  What scares me is that these questions were secondary to my fear of what this world would be for my grand SON.  My thoughts of how racism would impact my grandson and not my daughter speaks volumes to how we talk about the issue.  I've been conditioned to think this way.

Black women and girls have to overcome both racism and sexism without fanfare or acknowledgement.  Affirmations of our victimization rarely comes.  Just to say that we have been victimized goes against the mantra of the "strong black woman" which we must recite and  live to be a part of this society. It is our place. We must not acknowledge how racism and sexism challenges us daily.  We must overcome. Right?  The fact remains: I am a Black woman who has been a victim and more importantly, a survivor of racism. Everyday, I survive.  I am a Black woman who has been a victim of sexism at the hands of my black brothers who deny that sexism is real for me.  I survive nonetheless.

Enter Marissa Alexander.   She is a Black woman.  She was a wife.  She was a mother to be. She was abused.  She fired a warning shot to keep her abuser away and she is now incarcerated for 20 years.  Where are all of the Domestic Violence organizations who continue to raise their voices about Chris Brown and Rihanna? Their interest was more about Chris than Rihanna but that's another blog. Where were the civil rights orgs when her case was going to trial?  How did Marissa get lost in this?  Are we paying attention now because we want something to compare to George Zimmerman and in this comparison, Marissa's blackness still outweighs her womanhood.

Do we care about the abuse of Black women and girls?  Are we secondary? Who will hear my cry when I'm victimized?  Do we acknowledge how racism and sexism adversely impacts women and girls?  Is our attention to assist Marissa really about finding some justice for Trayvon to soothe our pain of that outcome?  I don't know.  I really don't.  I want Black women and girls to be included. I want our pain and hurt acknowledged. I want our healing to begin and supported.

My heart aches for the family of Trayvon Martin and all of our sons.  My heart aches for all of our women and girls who cries have gone unheard. 


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