It is the second morning after the Golden Globes, and the white media is having a field day sensationalizing the Oprah Winfrey speech that seemingly brings black female sexual assault to the forefront. Specifically, Winfrey is lauded for speaking of the late Recy Taylor, a black woman who endured decades of mental and physical torment following a viscous sexual attack performed by six white men. The speech performs the pseudo activism that has become customary in contemporary culture. Oprah, a staple in the black community for her fictive ability to consummate whiteness in her acquisition of wealth, and a staple in the white community for her personification of the mammy character, remains a forgotten white affiliate to many within the black collective.
Americanizing the African Struggle
Let us not forget that Oprah Winfrey, a melanatated woman, has proved a bridge for white men Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and Craig Wright, creator of Greenleaf—a show about a black family, to achieve stardom. While brining Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God to the big screen, Winfrey has done a significant amount to accelerate an already privileged demographic despite imbuing consistent praise as a portrait of black excellence. Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech, though seemingly centralizing black female sexual assault, places Winfrey at the front of the #metoo movement illustrating black excellence, as defined by whites, as upholding ideas of white supremacy.
Yes, despite media coverage to the contrary, the #metoo movement is not a stride away from white supremacy, but a veiled stride to strengthen it.
This fact is personified in Winfrey’s feminist speech that places her at the boots of white women in their #metoo march to white female supremacy. The #metoo movement, despite its tireless efforts to recruit the black female form and other beings of color, is rooted in the traditional version of woman defined as a non-male white. The recruited function to aid white women to the throne, believing that white female reign will differ from that of their male counterparts, while the initial erasure the #metoo hashtag garnered Tarana Burke—the black woman who started this phrasing, proves otherwise.
The erasure of the black female form is pervasive in feminism— a pattern epitomized not overturned in Winfrey’s speech. Winfrey’s speech Americanizes the systemic and physical violence subjected to the black female body. To place Recy Taylor’s sexual and systemic assault in the #metoo dialogue suggests that what happened to Recy could happen to any “woman—“ an assertion that is as dangerous as it is untrue. What happened to Recy Taylor, Betty Owens, and Tawana Brawley illustrates what every conscious black female form understands—that to this white society, we are not woman. The sexually and systemically mutilated black female form illustrates the blood shed and sanity sacrificed to ensure the white female form, and the white female form only can encompass the woman label.
It is also imperative to note that what happened to Recy Taylor, Betty Owens, Tawana Brawley and the innumerable amount of black female bodies subject to the inconsequential sexual assault of white men, did not happen to everyone—it happened to black women and this continues to happen to black women in the shadows of a society that only sees black women as Maury guests, welfare queens, or reality stars. Thus, Winfrey’s actions are not ones of acknowledgment, but of assault. Winfrey illustrates the bullet cast to the black collective when folk choose gender over race. Furthermore, Winfrey’s Americanizing of African sexual and systemic assault, depicts anecdotes of African injustice as only valid when ejected from a “black” context. For if acknowledged in a black context stories like Recy Taylor, Betty Owens, Tawana Brawley are dismissed as lies birthed to “divide” the “united” states—oh, the irony.
It is also worth mentioning that this reference to Recy Taylor, also comes after her transition from elder to ancestor, her terror now archived in a romanticism that is approachable since those who would initially question her role in her assault can no longer look Taylor, a symbol of the same terror that birthed the nation to which we reside, in eyes that have seen the height of white evil.
So despite the decision of many attendees to wear black clothing to symbolize “solidarity,” the wearing of black clothing symbolizes the death of the black female form and the rise of woman. The golden globes’ pseudo demonstration of solidarity in black attire proves an insult to black people as the people in black would rather wear black than acknowledge blackness as outside a white framework. The old saying “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” seems fitting here, as The Golden Globes featured a number of anti lacks in black clothing. So while marketed as solidarity, it is more fitting to say that the people in black selected their hue so not to taint whiteness.
#metoo and the Cost of Black Female Recruitment
The #metoo argument is essentially a gender conflict between whites—a battle for the supremacist throne. Black bodies, as seen in Winfrey and countless other black people emerging as tools in enforcing a white agenda, are simply casualties in a war the white woman has launched against the white man. Particularly, #metoo is part of a feminist agenda composed to engender white female supremacy.
Considering this truth makes you wonder if the popularizing of a certain woman-dominated family that starts with the letter “K” was actually foreshadow for the wave of feminism that now dominates contemporary culture. I would be remiss not to point that feminism in in part and whole is a violent mockery of black familial structure. As asserted by Hortense Spillers in “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe” the matriarchal structure reflected in black society—illustrates the influence of white colonialism. Namely, the matriarchy that dominates many black families is birthed from the systemic emasculation of black men. Thus, black matriarchy is not one of choice but one of coercion.
Contemporary feminism seeks to encompass this coerced structure in seeking to render the same fate rendered to the black man for centuries, to the white man– by any means necessary. This of course has not been the result, as black men continue to face outrageous charges for rape like Kaquawn Lane who recently received a 77-year sentence, while white men, though outed, resume the right to roam and rape. There is also a clear demarcation between race and gender as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Matt Lauer fall into the #metoo movement because they are men, but Tavis Smiley falls victim because he is black.
Thus, as a recruited feminist agent, the black female form not only reduces the impact of her own collective suffering, but assumes a role in systemically wounding her own men. Nonetheless, what the masses witnessed at the golden globes—from the black attire to Winfrey’s speech, are the “means” taken to deliver the white female body to the finish line of white female supremacy.
Examining these “means” to almost makes you wonder whether Caitlyn Jenner was a woman trapped in a man’s body, or a man seeking to occupy the direction of societal dominance. As a trans-woman, Jenner has received far more acknowledgement as woman than any black woman. For as Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover hung from newsstands throughout the globe in July 2015, Sandra Bland, a twenty-eight year old black woman, hung from her cell. Almost three years later, Bland’s name has dissolved into the dust as Jenner remains a point of reference.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that black body not choose a side in yet another attempt for the white world to appropriate a tool of black disenfranchisement as a tool of white liberation.
In closing, what makes the Golden Globes “golden” is the same thing that makes Oprah relevant, and deems blacks like Sterling K. Brown noteworthy only when occupying white spaces, or in Brown’s case– functioning to illustrate the good in white people and white society.
So whether a recipient of a golden globe, or a reference in an acceptance speech, the Golden Globes proved that while the world hears “me too,” the conscious community hears “nah, not me though.”
Black Power ❤