Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Black Women In Mississippi AREN'T Committing Genocide!

On Wednesday October 15,  a bunch of men from Operation Save America will descend on my state's last abortion provider Jackson Women's Health Organization. Their main goal as always is to tell women what to do with our bodies. This time they are being specific; sistas they're talking to us. They want to equate abortion to lynchings and the holocaust.

How dare they? How freaking dare they! As if we need a homophobic pastor from Harlem and the guy who has attempted to link gays to the rise of ISIS to bring their asses down here to insult black women in Mississippi by calling us war criminals. After all black women have survived from forced breeding. forced sterilization, being used for medical experimentation to being denied federal welfare benefits. As black women we worry about if our children will survive in a country where our unarmed children may be killed simply for being black. So okay, well maybe I'll believe that they're serious when they take concern about living breathing black lives to the steps of our state capitol or our governor's office. When I see them calling for medicaid expansion so women can be healthy pre pregnancy, real sex education, fully funded schools, fully funded Head Start, child care vouchers, better TANF benefits, better access to housing for low income families, a higher minimum wage, union rights and so on maybe we can chat.

Our state has plenty to work on. Mississippi is the least wired state in the nation. Often leaving people unable to apply for jobs and school online as well as just access information. Did I mention Mississippi has one of the highest maternal death and infant mortality rates in the nation, especially if you're black? In Chicksaw County, Mississippi, the maternal mortality rate for black women is higher than those in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya and Rwanda. Reproductive healthcare access for women of color in the south is so dire that recently a coalition of reproductive justice organizations delivered a report to the United Nations on the topic. The report found the US is in violation of the UN convention on racism. These things are impacting black lives everyday.

Loretta Ross on The Economic and Racial Dynamics for Black Women
They won't show up on any of these issues though. For men like them society's problems begin and end at the intersection of our open brown thighs and scripture. Everything is linked to the outcomes of our perceived moral failings. Oh, "If only more black women were married, if they would stop twerking, being sluts, and would focus on being real Christians (despite us being one of the most religious groups in the country) then things would be great".

The magnificent power of our wayward immoral vaginas has allegedly caused everything from gun crimes to catastrophic storms like hurricanes. (that's right ladies that hook up you had caused Katrina). In OSA's disturbing world view we should all head back to the 50s minus the segregation and racial violence (I hope???).

                                             Are Black Children An Endangered Species?

Black women are the cornerstone of our community.  We don't have to parent to matter even though most women who have abortions are or will be mothers. We raise, uphold and mold our sacred community. How dare ANYONE say WE are destroying it. ONLY the person who is pregnant can be trusted to know when how and IF they want to gestate and parent. OSAs genocide claim means they are accusing us the mothers, sisters, aunties, and nanas in the community of deliberately, systematically destroying and trying to wipe out ourselves. All while we often carry our families and communities on our backs. It's beyond absurd, Oddly it's never called genocide when white women have abortions just sinful ect. this extra shaming is reserved for us,

People like those in OSA are not keen on black women (or any women) having reproductive justice. They will never acknowledge that structural and social factors like poverty, racism (racism that leads to lack of healthcare access NOT a genocide scheme as they suggest), and oppression have to do with the disportionate rate of black women who have abortions each year. Nope let them tell it the "abortion industry" has us poor simple hormonal women duped into having procedures thanks to the evil plans of Margaret Sanger. (This link about Margaret Sanger and the black community is written by a reproductive justice organization funded by and ran by BLACK WOMEN; unlike most forced birth groups with black faces, often men in front with white money and white leadership behind them). All their rhetoric strives to convince people it's a good idea to control women's fertility. Getting groups closer to their goal-controlling the fertility of all women. It is less challenging for them to strip rights black women, other women of color and low income women and use us as the reason why abortion restrictions are needed instead of directly trying to attack white women's human rights.

The most interesting thing about this patriarchal, misogynist, slut shaming, shit show that's about to happen is that they named it "Operation Let My People Go". Whoever named this operation doesn't seem to understand people are exercising their right to an abortion WE ARE FREE TO DO SO! They seem to forget that they are mad that we are free to have abortion as an option. They are going as far as appropriating the language of the civil rights movement, a movement that was non violent while working for equality and human rights. 

In contrast Operation Rescue and OSA are well known for their terror tactics. Operation Rescue even employs someone convicted of planning a clinic bombing. The same woman tracked the whereabouts of Dr. George Tiller for Scott Roeder before he assassinated the doctor in his church. Yet they have the gall to call what they're doing "in the spirit of the freedom rides". All while trying to take away women's freedom to bodily autonomy and in no way uphold human rights of women. Maybe they are thinking of a different civil rights movement? I'll just let their misuse of language set in for a moment.

The best thing these people can do for black women is drink a tall glass of STFU and go home. Unless they want to support women in all their reproductive decisions fully without judgement they aren't useful or needed. I know these few simple truths. I trust myself to parent. I trusted myself when I didn't want to parent. Most of all I know we should TRUST BLACK WOMEN!!

If you are in Mississippi and can come out and counter protest anytime between 11am and 1pm on Wed. Oct. 15, 2014 BE THERE!