Atlanta-based attorney and Black Lives Matter volunteer Tiffany Roberts lambasted white women Jan. 21 at the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women for failing to care about President Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward everybody else until he turned and attacked them.
“Yet this question remains, why was it not enough when [Trump] attacked Black women and our children?” Roberts asks the crowd.”Some of you did lift your voices. We see you and we appreciate you. But to those of you who chose not to, you must answer the question of why.”
Roberts, who serves as an adjunct professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, invoked musical group Sweet Honey In The Rock’s “Ella’s Song.” Written more than 30 years ago, the song, inspired by activist and civil rights stalwart Ella Baker, challenged white people to hold the lives of Black people in the same regard as they hold their own. And as the once-energetic crowd grew silent, Roberts reminded them of the song’s central theme.
“Until the killing of Black men, Black mother’s sons is as important as the killing of white men, white mother’s sons,” she says, “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
The crowd erupted in cheers, but Roberts wasn’t finished. She reminded the majority-white audience of their inaction on various issues including police brutality and the War on Drugs.
“It means that you can’t look at me and call me friend if you can overlook my child’s body in the street as long your child’s body was not next to hers,” she says. “It means you cannot call me sister if the War on Drugs only matters to you now because of the suburban heroin epidemic.”
Roberts was not alone in her assessment of the women’s march in particular and the white feminist movement in general. Rapper Azealia Banks took to Instagram to point out how white feminists were silent to the suffering of Black people prior to Trump taking office.
In a now-deleted post, Banks wrote, “Now that some white dude has taken office who simply said something silly about grabbing a p—y, they want to march in the streets under the guise of ‘standing up for human freedoms.’ But where the f–k were they when Black folk were getting shot down every day last year?”
Banks said intersectional feminism does not exist because their feminism only caters to the needs of white women.
“Intersectional feminism only exists in our heads lol. The proof is in the pudding. Feminism only cares about and fights for white women. Feminism is basically white women protecting each other and keeping all other women out. Look at the numbers for that march, look how much power and strength white women have when they join together. White women could save the entire world if they TRULY wanted to but they don’t. If Taylor swift said to Vogue and told them to give equal opportunity to girls who don’t fit the privileged white girl image what do you think would happen? DIVERSITY. If white women were on the front of America’s race issue and actively worked to level the playing field – racism would be gone. That’s is how much social power white women TRULY have. We don’t have true diversity and transparency amongst women as a cornerstone of mainstream feminism because white women don’t want it !! They like their power and want to keep it. It’s dangerous to involve yourself and consume all these blanket statements about what women need deserve and want because the list of grievances doesn’t TRULY represent all women. What a lot of mainstream feminism stands for is dangerous because you have these very privileged and entitled white women speaking on behalf of all women and it shouldn’t be.”