Why White Feminism Infuriates Black People

By Evan F. Moore

White feminism has blind spots when it comes to black life.

In many cases, white feminism will lead the charge when it comes to equality for women and gay people, while stopping short when it comes to black life in America. Many of them will tell you gender trumps (no pun intended) race, and the issues of black people, particularly black women, are put on layaway. “Now isn’t the time” and “We’ll talk about that later” are usually told to these women when a part of who they are is passive-aggressively rejected.

This is the type of behavior by white feminists that infuriates black people.

Along the way, many of you have had cause after cause after cause to align yourselves with: ESPN host Jemele Hill’s political tweets, Black Lives Matter and, most recently, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s sexist comments to the Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigues.

Black people see where your outrage stops short. We have receipts.

Remember the women’s march after President Trump was inaugurated? What got lost in the protest was that some of those same women haven’t stood tall when black people needed them.

When white feminists dismiss the concerns of black people, they fall into the trap of the “let their community handle their own problems” trope.

There’s really only one way to be a solid ally. When you take on someone’s causes, in turn, you have to be front and center when the group you’ve aligned yourself with has some issues that need to be addressed.

I understand why women are outraged when a panel on a sports talk show on sexual assault consists of only men. When that happens in any circumstance, such as an all-white panel discussing black issues, an important part of the conversation is missing. It’s comparable to hearing only a part of the directions and getting mad when you’ve gotten lost.

But, these women need to know when it’s time to stand down when issues they’re not part of are discussed. Let those affected by the issues lead the way.

In closing, I say this to white feminists: We hear a lot of talk about where someone stands on certain issues is how they will be remembered.

Don’t let history remember you as being a group of haters.

Evan F. Moore is a Chicago-based journalist, educator and syndicated columnist who writes about the intersection of sports, race, violence, politics and culture. He survived the Donald Trump Chicago rally and lived to tell about it. Follow him on Twitter @evanfmoore.

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