The placement of a race-baiting billboard in St. Louis city has triggered outrage, disgust, and the sad but typical defense from those who oppose reproductive rights that this appalling ad is somehow necessary to properly “educate” black people about…well, black people.
The billboard in question, located at 25th and Cass, was recently vandalized. Clearly the message on the billboard is appalling. That is why people are calling for the owner to remove the ad. That demand, and the condemnation of Missouri Right to Life for this race-baiting fundraising campaign, is the correct course of action. I do not condone nor have I called for the billboard to be defaced.
I’ll have an update on the formal request to the owner to remove the ad soon (promise).
Now, let’s dive into some realness.
There is little that illustrates privilege more accurately than people asking for a discussion in response to disrespectful intolerant racist behavior.
That’s what some commenters to my posts about the billboard are selling and I ain’t buying.
These folks have a flawed view of social justice – that it is a movement populated by people seeking a dialogue over whether or not they are worthy of rights, respect, and decent treatment.
That’s the lie I’ve encountered my entire life. That if only I could make the case…prove my worthiness…put folks are ease with my blackness…calm their fears, which we’re all supposed to accept are legitimate…win some insane debate…it’s galling to even type this mess.
If only I could win the case for respect…yeah, then those who assume they have the power and authority to grant or withhold justice and equality would see fit to dispense some to me and mine.
Here’s the truth.
I’m not going to “discuss” whether black women are violent and dangerous…so easily confused that we’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled into thinking making we’re capable of making health care decisions without the assistance and guidance of Missouri Right to Life.
I’m not going to engage in a dialogue over whether black women deserve trust…have earned the right to determine our reproductive destiny through blood, sweat and yes tears…and are capable of making health care decisions despite the deplorable health care disparities facing our community.
I’m not going to make the case…plead for respect and dignity…explain and beg and show examples of why we’re worthy of access to the full range of reproductive health care.
I am a black woman.
The price of my dignity is not being forced to engage in a never-ending festival of justification for whether or not I possess the intellectual capacity to manage my life.
Just think about that for a minute.
Ponder how outrageous that expectation is.
To be expected to explain my actions because they are automatically assumed to be wrong, flighty and not well thought out.
To not just suspect, but to have glaring proof in the form of a billboard standing in my home city, that some people think we are violent and dangerous and cruel and selfish and fickle and lazy and over sexed and too uppity to maintain relationships and just plain evil sans the intervention of…wait for it…an organized campaign to educate us on just how horrific we are.
Pause…allow to marinate…continue.
How dare people make this public charge against black women and then attempt to chastise me for responding with disgust, anger and outrage?
How dare they engage in this public display of bigotry and attempt to frame this campaign as anything other than Missouri Right to Life’s attempt to hustle funds off the backs of black women’s integrity and dignity and through an overt race-baiting attack on black women’s humanity?
The only way this campaign works is if people accept that black women are the most wretched of creatures.
Deny that lie and you must then trust black women.
Trust black women and you must then respect our rights.
Respect our rights and you must then honor our ability to make the decision whether to have children, how to parent the children we have, and to raise our families in communities free of violence and want.
The lack of shame from those who support this billboard campaign is demonstrative of just how not post-racial we are.
That isn’t new or revolutionary, welcomed or warranted.
So, let's skip the chat and move straight to the owner of the billboard at 25th and Cass taking this rancid ad down.