By DaiJhah Owens
A few weeks ago, Ava Duvernay, award-winning director of movies like “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time” and docu-series “When They See Us,” replied to a tweet from Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. On that same day, Ava also started receiving death threats from Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Now, this is not a surprise to me; it’s actually business as usual. However, I thought I would take this opportunity to reiterate one thing; your political affiliation does not absolve you of upholding racism or any other system of oppression.
One comment under the news article about this incident read, “I thought Ava would support Bernie, she directs a lot of left-leaning movies.” LEFT LEANING MOVIES?! She writes and directs movies that tell stories of the very real history of hate and abuse Black Americans still deal with. This comment reveals so much! Just like the Republican/right political affiliates, white liberals view black pain as simply a political speaking point.
It wasn’t enough to just disagree with Ava’s comment, they had to go as far as to threaten her life. Oh, how easy it is to wish death on a black woman when she doesn’t fall in line with your political narrative. Do our lives really hold that little value to you?
Black women are and have always been politically disposable. Used, abused, and discarded once battles are won. White liberals have the same moral disease as the other side: white privilege. No matter how much you protest climate change, chant “Black Lives Matter,” and wear your rainbow Ally t-shirt, if you still revert back to operating in your privilege when there is conflict, your “liberal” work has been done in vain.
I wish black women had the privilege of monolithic politics. To not have to be concerned with our race, gender, or socioeconomic status. To simply be fans of our favorite politicians and support them no matter what effect they may actually have on our country. We would know that our privilege would protect us. That no matter what politicians were in office, the system would protect us. But that’s just wishful thinking I guess.
This has to be an eye-opener for white liberals who truly desire structural change. You can’t just talk the talk. You have to be active. You can’t just be an ally when it is convenient. Where were the liberal allies when Ava’s life was being threatened? No one came to her defense. Y’all must do better! It’s time to actually live up to those values you claim to hold so dear.
DaiJhah Owens is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. DaiJhah is passionate about shifting political power to oppressed groups through education. She believes there is nothing more powerful than an educated black woman who can smell political BS a mile away! Connect with her on Instagram at @d_nakhole!