Activist Bishop Talbert Swan didn’t hold back in his fiery rebuke of liberal white feminists he’s accused of “hijacking” Black social movements for their own benefit.
The confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court this week sparked outrage across the nation, as GOP senators seemingly brushed aside sexual assault claims leveled against the newly-appointed justice by different women.
Feeling angry and unheard, white women’s rights activists vowed to get their point across. So, snatching a page straight from Colin Kaepernick‘s book, 1980s actress Molly Ringwald called on celebrities like Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera to “sing the National Anthem on bended knee.” It wasn’t long before similar suggestions took root, encouraging every girl or woman to take a knee the next time the national anthem is played in a show of resistance against rape culture.
Swan decried the idea as an act “white supremacy in the name of feminism.”
“White women kneeling during the anthem to protest ‘rape culture’ is [sic] highjacking a movement you took no risks for,” he wrote in lengthy Twitter thread Sunday. “You didn’t kneel in solidarity to protest the murder of Black people, so don’t co opt & make it about your victimization.”
Swan, who heads the Springfield, Mass., chapter of the NAACP, was clearly irked by the idea of white women pirating a movement originally intended to draw awareness police brutality and racial injustice in America.
The activist continued, “I can’t help but ask where liberal white women were when we were seeking justice for #SandraBland, #CharleenaLyles, #ShukriAli … and so many other Black women. You don’t even know their names!”
The Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ pastor proceeded to slam white feminists for failing to put their “Barbecue Becky’s” and “Permit Patties” in check for calling the police on Black folks for no good reason.
“White women participate in our oppression, yet try to appropriate the language & movements associated with it,” Swan tweeted.
The pastor’s tweets drew what some called “white tears” from the feminists who accused Swan of making broad and offensive generalizations about white women. Others sided with Swan, however, and urged white feminists to stop biting off Black culture and find another way to protest.
“I kneel with ALL who stand or kneels to protest injustice,” one woman wrote. “I’m a white woman who truly believes that ALL injustices must be fought. How dare you make it a color issue, this is an American issue.”
“You don’t get to change the messaging of a movement you didn’t start!” a critic shot back. “Kneeling wasn’t about general injustice. It’s about the specific injustices Black people face at the hands of the police. YOU DO NOT GET TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON AND CHANGE THE MESSAGE.”
A white woman agreed, writing, “This is pretty weak. Find another gesture or symbol. Don’t co opt one you did not support 2 weeks ago. I am a white woman, and this just sits wrong with me.”
When one user questioned why protesting during the anthem wasn’t considered a “victory” now that it’s spread to the white community, Swan broke it down like so: “Why couldn’t kneeling spread into the white community and culture as a protest against the murder of Black people?”
“Why does it have to spread into the white community and culture by being co-opted by white women into a statement against rape culture?”
Talbert was permanently banned from Twitter earlier this year for his “hateful conduct” after tweeting he was on a “no coon diet” when a user suggested he follow Black conservative Candace Owens. The ban was lifted in early September.