After Bette Midler riled up Twitter users Thursday by tweeting a reference to a John Lennon song likening women to being the “n-word of the world,” the singer and actress has issued an apology that’s fallen on deaf ears.
“‘Women, are the n-word of the world.’ Raped, beaten, enslaved, married off, worked like dumb animals; denied education and inheritance; enduring the pain and danger of childbirth and life IN SILENCE for THOUSANDS of years They are the most disrespected creatures on earth,” Midler tweeted Oct. 4 in response to the FBI investigation into Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when the two were teenagers.
The message stirred a flurry of irate tweets that slammed Midler for the comparison. She doubled down on the post, saying it was a quote from a 1972 song Lennon wrote with his wife, Yoko Ono. Detractors, however, pointed out the lyric is a take on a quote from Zora Neal Hurston’s 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
She wound up deleting it with the following explanation.
“The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me,” she said. “Angrily I tweeted w/o thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize.”
But the apology was not enough.
“Black women don’t suffer ‘by being black.’ They suffer from anti-Black racism. Their Blackness isn’t an affliction. ALSO, no one gets to call themselves an ally. Please read more. And listen.”
“Naw save it! You basically said that because you are a white woman you shouldn’t be treated like us & are shocked to be treated like a n—–. Black slaves bore the stepchildren of white women’s husbands, & breastfed yall’s babies conceived in marriage and ours conceived in rape!”
“The most irritating part of this Bette Midler shit is that she’s quoting Yoko who STOLE it from Zora Neale Hurston but not before ERASING Black from it. I’m tired. Y’all need to do better.”
The quote from Hurston’s novel reads: “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”