People Have Asked Why I Haven’t Shared Jesse Williams’ Speech. But I Have – All My Life

“I’m very tired of many of us black men believing that if you aren’t a heterosexual, cisgender, non-disabled male, you’re not allowed to ever say anything about the black condition or black liberation; that you are, somehow, secondary or tertiary unless you occupy those identity categories.” 
– Son of Baldwin

“They’re seeking only to measure their own chains to see if they will fit when they put them around someone else’s throat.”

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“It is no secret that, within the Black community, Black women have consistently been at the forefront of our social, political, and racial justice movements — particularly movements that began as a result of something terrible happening to a Black male. Perhaps the appointed leaders have been Black men, but women have done the bulk of the grassroots groundwork and provided the emotional and spiritual foundations the work has leaned on.

 

Unfortunately, we (Black men) collectively have not been there the same way for them. While they have stood with — and even, at times, in front of — us when White supremacy and racism need to be challenged, they generally do not receive the same support from us when issues specific to the health, well-being, and safety of Black women and girls (street harassment, sexual assault, etc) are brought up. And sometimes the reaction goes past apathy and an empathy void and settles into a sheer resistance. Where the validity and relevance of those concerns are challenged and/or dismissed, and the agenda behind even expressing them is also questioned.

 

Of course, the reason why this happens is obvious. The primary antagonizers in this context also happen to be Black men. And it’s far easier to mobilize against a collective oppressor than it is to look in our barbershops, our happy hours, our locker rooms, our street corners, our homes, and our mirrors.”

 

– Damon Young, “The Best And Blackest Part Of Jesse Williams’ Speech Was An Indictment Of Black Men

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