Stop Ignoring Black Women, Elizabeth Warren (And the Rest of Yaw Too)

Recently a group of Black women and men, fathers, grandmothers, and leaders went to “>A part of the coalition, Powerful Parent Network, had the opportunity to confront presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, directly about her stance on Black and Latino parents choosing their children’s schools.

This coalition has traveled to protest at several Democratic debates because many of the presidential candidates’ policies are counter to what many Black & Latino Democrats want for their children…and these policies are opposite of what the candidates themselves enjoyed.

One of my Sisters in the Struggle, Vesia Hawkins, recapped her experience in Atlanta. She, Sarah Carpenter, who Elizabeth Warren attempted to disrespect by lying directly in her face, and other staunch advocates for Black children were able to speak directly to ill-advised millionaire, Elizabeth Warren, about the Black experience.

Politicians who tout the teachers’ union lines about charters with little regard to the current state of the Black experience in all types of schools as well as the history of Black pursuit of a quality education need to read Vesia’s piece a few times.

We need presidential candidates to sincerely, humbly, and deeply juxtapose their very privileged experiences in and with public schools with the experiences of Black and Brown parents and students. These politicians (their policy teams and their supporters) need to acknowledge that they have warped perspectives because many cannot even fathom sending any of their relatives to the schools Black and Brown parents and grandparents are forced to endure on a daily basis.

Vesia raises an important issue: the same so-called (white) progressives will joyfully retweet #ListenToBlackWomen #BlackLivesMatter #RespectBlackWomen and then choose to attack Black women who can speak directly about the harrowing school experiences the progressives wax nostalgia about.

The Tread Reader captured Vesia’s tweets.

Thinking about the Atlanta trip with amazing Black and Brown women who left their families, ate bad food, and endured cold temps to advocate for the right to access to great school choices only to be called mistresses to billionaires.

For sale.

Not mothers and grandmothers.

Not education activists.

Not concerned citizens or passionate voters.

Essentially, prostitutes.

That the only way we could manage such a magnificent exercise is if we are paid. This from the political party in which most of us have spent our lives voting & volunteering.

But I’ve been in this Black body for 48 years and have seen some things so it’s not surprising that our collective Blackness (and Brownness) has no value to the Dem party when we dare question the party line.

The media, all too eager to push the narrative, discounted our voices, cheapened our agency, and disrespected the individual fight of each mother and grandmother in their respective communities.

I sat with a 70 year old on the side of the road because she was cold and in pain but refused to go sit on the bus because she understood the power of our bodies in that space.

I walked by a tearful mother taking a call but whatever was going on at home didn’t stop her from the fight. I think about the racist, sexist narrative promoted on social media about us and while I’m not surprised, my soul is troubled. 

But what I know for sure, and thanks to Warren supporters for the confirmation, NO ONE will fight our children like us. No one. If, when they see us, think dumb and for sale, we would be fools to think they’ll differently about anything/anyone we produce. 6/ 

Thank you #PowerfulParentNetwork for the courage to walk in your truth and power. I am reminded of Malcolm X’s words that, sadly, ring true to this day, Black women are the most disrespected and neglected people in America.

Ain’t I a woman? 

You can donate to the Powerful Parent Network here.

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Vesia Hawkins

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