by Raveen Johnson
When we all caught wind that Hillary Clinton was an official candidate for the 2016 presidential election, the majority of our community was excited. We were all sold, and we just knew that our vote would go straight to Clinton. But one woman was not so quick to hop on Clinton’s bandwagon.
Jada Pinkett-Smith made a chilling, but painfully true Facebook post a couple of days ago about her feelings towards Hilary Clinton’s campaign, and it gave us something to think about as we consider who to elect for our next president.
“The only question I have been asking myself is if I’m suppose to vote for Hillary because she is a woman; will she take us to the mountaintop with her or will women of color once again be left out and left behind?” Smith asked.
She asked a question that so many women of color kept in the back of their minds, and I am glad that she spoke up about the matter. You see, women of color have always had more strikes against them than any other woman. Women, in general, are already fighting for their equal place in this society through feminism, but women of color? Oh, it is another story.
The feminist movement screams equality for all women, but when it comes time to speak up for the black woman, these loyal feminists are quiet. The struggle for white women and that of black women have always been on different spectrums, even though the cause is similar. Women make less than men, but black women make less than white women. Who will fight to change that? Hillary Clinton?
“Women of color and white women have been taking on the majority of their fights on the political platform on separate lines; can Hillary Clinton change that legacy through her journey to become president?” Smith wrote. “Because if she can…she would not only have my vote…but she would have my heart.”
I think Clinton would have the hearts of many if she makes a conscious effort to acknowledge and make room for our struggle. Most people like to ignore it. The grand question is if Clinton will ignore it as well.
Do you think Clinton will leave us behind? Do you agree with Jada’s thoughts about Clinton’s campaign?
Here is the FULL transcription of Smith’s Thoughts:
Race vs Gender
” Hillary Clinton is running for President. When Hillary made her announcement, I was more confused and anxious than excited. Her announcement conjured many old hurts and scars.
In the past, I have been criticized for suggesting that black women extend our media platforms to white women in the way in which white women are making strides to extend their media platforms to us, but Hillary’s announcement reminded me that the relationship between black and white women on the political platform has been deeply complicated, disappointing and painful. The only question I have been asking myself is if I’m suppose to vote for Hillary because she is a woman; will she take us to the mountaintop with her or will women of color once again be left out and left behind? For example, during the Woman’s Suffrage Movement, black women were specifically excluded because Northern white women feared of losing support of Southern white women if black women were included. What made it even more offensive is that the two women given the credit of pioneering the woman’s movement were at first abolitionists. Those were complicated times, but as time has gone on it seems as if that sentiment of separatism did not let up and permeated through the feminist movement as a place to facilitate and empower white women only. I personally suffered the racism and classism of the feminist movement and now have had to watch my daughter battle even ageism as she journeys to participate in the feminist movement. But she continues to fight the good fight referring to herself as a feminist while her mother refers to herself as a womanist who supports feminism and feminists. You can imagine that Willow and I have had some “spirited” conversations about this topic that’s uneasy for even a mother and daughter to talk about at times which simply illuminates how volatile a subject it could be for a nation of women to explore…but we must.
How will we reconcile the past to move into the future? Can Hillary, whether she becomes President or not, heal the broken political ties of the women of this nation? I know it takes far more than the idea of being the first female President of the United States to run this country, but as a woman, it sure is an exciting idea. Women of color and white women have been taking on the majority of their fights on the political platform on separate lines; can Hillary Clinton change that legacy through her journey to become president? Because if she can…she would not only have my vote…but she would have my heart.
To all my women friends of all colors and creeds, this is a great opportunity for healing and reconciliation… let’s woman up in the spirit of compassion to gain more understanding of one another and the issues we face. Let’s get the conversation started…”