Black Women's Empowerment

Lormarie on the ‘Muzzling’ of Black Women

I’ve been on a number of different forums where an interracially married black woman speaks of the hostility she faces from blacks, men in particular, and she’s often met with “white men do it too.” Whether it’s the horrible murder of the military couple at Camp Pendleton or street harassment, people attempt to silence black women when they speak of experiences with racist misogyny. I remember having to read a white person for daring to imply that blacks “forget” about white hate crimes during discussions about racist violence by blacks against black women in interracial relationships. The distraction fails because it is next to impossible to find a black woman who is not aware that white racism exists.  However, not many acknowledge racial/sexist hostility  by blacks, men in particular, against black women. We often hear about “racially disturbed” black women that hate to see black men marrying out. Yet, no one declares that white women do it too. When was the last time you heard anyone tell a white feminist that “black men do it too” when she speaks out against the oppressive white patriarchy?

muzzled black woman

The hostility directed at black women doesn’t begin and end in the IR arena. It also exists all too often in the workplace. I’m sure you’ve heard about Brandi Johnson:

NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — Is it racist for a black boss to call a black employee the N-word?

In an an odd case that has come to a fascinating conclusion, a jury ruled yes. And the lawyer for a black woman whose hostile workplace claim against her boss’s N-word rant produced a $280,000 jury award says she hopes the case teaches society something.

A black woman was called the N-word by her black male boss. Not giving a flip about casting a brotha down, she sued and won six figures. Imagine if she had listened to naysayers who may have blamed her for her manager’s racist outburst or the proverbial “whites do it too.”  Her boss would not only have gotten away with it but would have continued to create a hostile work environment for black female and probably male employees. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he wouldn’t even think about making such degrading comments to white employees. Whatever the case, a jury of six men and two women showed him that there are consequences to disrespecting black women. Whether or not she sees the money, a lesson was learned.

Black women must cease submitting to people that attempt to silence them whenever they speak of humiliating experiences with black people.  Not only should we ignore the silencers but we should take legal action against those that harm us whether physically or professionally. Change will only take place after corrective action.

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