Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Fears for Black Women Under Trump

I have a lot a fears running through my head and maybe you do too. This post is just me getting those worries out. I know that I do not live in the US but I am concerned for Black women everywhere. I can't just cut off my concern because of geographical borders. Furthermore, the US has so much exposure and influence in the world that I will easily hear about anything affecting Black Americans, and I believe this influence has an effect on Black and non-Black people around the world.

I am a big science fiction fan and I always imagined the future being a place where people didn't care much about race because of increased integration, working, friend, and romantic relationships. Different cultures will not seem so "strange" and we will be able to understand and get along better. I was expecting and looking forward to this. Now for the first time I'm worried that things will not progress in this way but instead we will go backwards! I just didn't imagine that White people would fight so much against this and many of us were shocked by Brexit and this election. Below I will explain some of my worst fears. These things may not happen, but I want to write them down so at least we can be prepared rather than just being scared. Sometimes a bad situation is just a bad situation and there is nothing you can do. I will make some suggestions, they might not work 100%, but they could be better than nothing. The solutions may be extreme but it seems like these are extreme times.

  1. Racism and hate crimes will increase with few repercussions: Racists have been emboldened by the US election and are being openly violent and racist. Hate groups are recruiting and even planning parades. White people seem to be fed up with being respectful and want the right to be racist. When they are called racist they are claiming that is discrimination against them! The new Attorney General has a racist history and is opposed to civil rights organizations. Because of this the legal system will probably go easy on perpetrators of hate crimes. We already know that the police are biased against Black folks so there will be little support from them. Also if you are discriminated against at work there will be little support for you. 
  2. Racism and racists will be normalized: There are even academics and highly influential people arguing for open dialogue about racist statements and that shutting these discussions down is being closed minded! I predict that there will be more and more claims of reverse racism, normalizing of racist views, and pressure on Black folks to "listen" and try to "understand" people who think they are less than human (e.g., A&E even tried to air a KKK reality show that was cancelled!). Many White people believe in White supremacy and will do anything to disavow any responsibility, past or present, for harming people of colour (POC). They will insist on their superiority but then play the victim when their racism is pointed out. Talk about microagressions will be dismissed and only the most overt acts of racism will be validated. Members of Black Lives Matter (BLM) will no longer be tolerated and protests will be quashed. BLM may be labeled a hate group and their mostly female members will suffer. BW will be seen as mean and unfeminine if they stand up to racist WW.  
  3. Affirmative action will be eliminated: White people hate affirmative action because they believe it gives opportunities to less qualified POC. They can not fathom that the POC is just as qualified or that there are ALWAYS more spaces for White people than for POC. White women are also the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action so they are hurting themselves by opposing it (but as this election shows, they are willing to harm their own interests to support racism). Without affirmative action there will be fewer opportunities for Black people. If affirmative action is removed from higher education there will actually be an increase in Asian and international students because they have the highest grades and international students pay more. So White people will actually have fewer spots in schools unless the schools decide to be racist against Asian and international students. 
  4. Diversity initiatives will be quashed: Many Black folks ask for inclusion in the media and in consumer products. These requests could be ignored even more. With affirmative action out, there will be less pressure to include Black faces in anything. We will have less representation. Accusations about lack of diversity will be ignored. Also, because the conservative government hates social programs, many government funded programs for Black people will be cut and that support will be gone. 
  5. Sex education will be abstinence only: Conservative sex education will become the norm again and studies have shown that this actually leads to more teen pregnancies. The conservative government will also try to restrict abortion so there will be many more unwanted pregnancies resulting in more babies being placed in the foster care or adoption system. The government may also cut funding to these social programs when they will be needed more than ever. Single motherhood can often lead to poverty so there will be more poor families and mothers dropping out of school with less government support.
  6. The prison industrial complex will grow: The police will be emboldened to arrest and harass more Black people because Trump supports that. That means more unarmed shootings, more arrests, and more prison time especially for Black men. All of the progress BLM has made may be undone, especially if police reforms required government funding. Private prison funding will be reinstated and they will be profitable again. More BM with criminal records will mean fewer job opportunities, resorting to crime, poverty, or living off women. This will also mean fewer suitable BM for marriage. These men will also be unable to provide for their children. Black women are more likely to be murdered than any other women (Article 1, Article 2). Men commit the most murders, women are most likely murdered by men they know, and BW know more BM. So the conclusion has been drawn that BM kill more of their women than non-Black men (this has been known for years). Poverty, a criminal background, bad role models, anger and frustration, and powerless can make men prone to this violence and BW are they most likely victims. Black women are also treated worse by the police and police are the only thing protecting BW from these violent men and dangerous neighborhoods.
  7. Black women will have fewer dating options: Due to the previous point, more BM will have criminal records and be unsuitable partners. Also if more White men are converted into misogynist racists then many of them will not be options either. That leaves BW with even fewer potential mates. This may mean that BW have to open up their dating options even more. Lack of diversity initiatives and affirmative action will also impact dating. There will be fewer positive BW role models (e.g., Michelle Obama) to combat stereotypes or emulate in the media. White people may have even less exposure to Black people and this will not reduce fears. I don't know if increased racism will make BM appreciate BW more and actually stop chasing non-Black women. They may choose to continue what SOME do by having multiple women and children but never settling down. There will be even more pressure on BW to have sex in order to keep a man, more unwanted pregnancies, and more single mothers. 
  8. The Black mortality rate will increase: If social programs and Obamacare are eliminated then more Black people will die. Black people have worse health indicators than other groups and get worse care. If social programs and Obamacare are reduced then we will die more from diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even infant mortality will increase. 

My Advice
: Keep your head down, avoid groups of White males, carry pepper spray, and be wary of White co-workers. You have to be on your best behaviour right now and I know that may not help 100% of the time, but I think this works most of the time. Don't make racial waves right now or they will be quick to ruin your life. Scapegoating will run rampant so protect yourself, document offenses and your contributions, keep your resume updated, and network for opportunities. Do your best work and decent people will recognize that above race. You can no longer assume that people you come across are not racist or that they agree with you about what's right or wrong. Many White people see themselves as victims because their "superiority" is not being rewarded and they think they "deserve" more than you do. Focus on fostering your self-care, physical, and mental health.

Try to create allies if you can because being the lone BW against the White majority will have you at a disadvantage. Vet White allies very well because they can back-stab easily. Convincing people not to be racist can make you appear as the villain if you cause White girl tears. Plus somehow calling people racists may make them more racist! (Article 2). Let other people be the warriors right now. Let the White feminists fight for women's rights (they dropped the ball for Hillary so they need to make up for it) and let Black men fight for racism. Protect yourself because no one else will do it. You need to be sympathetic to people and appear like a victim if you are victimized so people will feel compelled to help you. You be the one who cries and looks vulnerable so people will see your humanity. The strong warrior BLM stance will not work anymore. I don't know if anything will work other than duck and cover right now. Remember you will no longer have a president you supports you, many of his advisers are White supremacists, and the police support Trump. 

Broaden your dating pool and really put an effort into meeting a partner. You will have to work harder than other women. I know that sounds unfair but if you want what you want, sometimes you have to really work for it. So that means many dates (but hold out on sex until you get a commitment), online dating, singles events, and opening yourself up to interracial relationships. The truth is, Hillary won the popular vote by almost 3 million, so that that means that there are non-Black men who did not chose racism and misogyny. Dating White, Hispanic, or Asian come with the risk of racism, but dating Black is not risk free. A financially secure non-Black man may be the best for you. Just get to know the men to make sure they are not racist or dating you as an experiment. 
that's all I can think of for now.

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