The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. — Audre Lorde
You want woke? You want platform? You want us to be more like Tomi Lahren?
I have three names for you: Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour.
You obviously have no idea who these women are because if you did, you’d realize that your tweet about how dope it would be “IF a young Black or Hispanic WOKE woman used social media to create a Platform to be a voice like Tomi Lahren” was obsolete. Because these three women aren’t just spouting a personal diatribe of opinions on a political pundit show, they are using social media (specifically Facebook) to rally, organize, and unify their communities.
These three women, like the two Black men you have on your Twitter header, are not just being vocal, they are creating a movement for the people by the people. They are being the change — not just being a personality. Just like so many others.
And my personal woke mentor, Erykah Badu, who recently took to Instagram and asked the question that all of us activists are wondering, where are your voices now?
The difference that you fail to see between us and Tomi is that we aren’t just spouting rhetoric. We are out in the world creating change because our lives and our rights depend on it. And we know that the only way to fight the power, isn’t to become it, but to unify against it. To combine ALL our voices instead of following and using just one. And that, my brother, is the brilliance your proselytization of Tomi blinds you to.
The threat can’t be real for one in which no real threat lives.
And if you were truly about opportunity and the visibility of your sisters — if you were truly trying to uplift and inspire us women of color to rise and be a voice with your tweet — instead of stabbing us in the heart with a double-edged poisonous white dagger, you could have helped raise your sisters up by using YOUR platform to inform the world of one of the many women of color who are killing it in the social-political game — like Franchesca Ramsey, a podcaster, host, and intersectional activist.
But instead, you chose to silence us with your ‘diplomacy’ and ignite division among your people.
So you reached out to Tomi to fight the narratives, but what about your sister Stacey Dash? Where does she fall in the scope of ‘woke young Black women using social media to be a voice’ besides being on the receiving end of your Twitter rants? Because what it looks like to me, is that you were quick to claim and jump on a White firecracker’s bandwagon before embracing one of your own.
And you can’t have it both ways, Charlamagne. You can’t ask women of color to rise up and then step on our hands as we are trying to build our houses. You can’t say, be more like Tomi — oh, wait, her infrastructure — and then not expect us to use our voices to call bullshit.
But when we do use our voices and speak up and act out, we are called ‘angry Black women’ or ‘hot-tempered Latinas’ or told to ‘go back where we came from’ or to ‘quiet down’ because most people can’t handle strong, ethnic, and highly-opinionated women.
We rise only to find our voices being drowned out by the very stereotypes that chain some to silence to begin with. And that’s the underlying issue, that you as a male — a privilege you admitted to only recently being woke to — will never fully understand. We, the strong and opinionated women of color, are called bitchy to your bossness, bossy to your ballers, and titled hormonal working moms to your business tycoons.
And that infrastructure of Tomi’s that you applaud so much? That was built on gentrified native land with White hands full of wads of cash. And if you’re really so interested in helping us build an infrastructure, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and be the Glenn Bleck to us sisters you so want to see rise up? Because that’s really what Tomi’s infrastructure was built on: White privilege and access to people who have the funds to build media empires.
I won’t hold my breath for your answer. You’ve already bound and gagged my sisters’ voices and accomplishments enough for one day.
But the reality is, my sisters and I are too busy being the change we wish to see, not just tweeting about it.
Because what you fail to see in your lens of privilege is that our lives are our platforms. And we know more than anyone that the personal is political because it is OUR bodies that are a political war zone.
And now you have made our voice one as well.
And if Stacey Dash “is a brilliant idiot,” then that must make you the village idiot.
But then again, maybe that makes me one, too?
Because how idiotic do I have to be to expect our plight of color, equality, and justice for all to be understood by someone who wields the tools the master has given him? Who uses our own words as a weapon against us? Because this is what it sounds like when internalized racism cries: Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It.
And we don’t need your reclamation of the master’s tools to rise.