Jada, oh Jada. You just gotta love her! Since her days as “Lena James” on the 80’s hit show A Different World, she’s been a constant reminder that big things really do come in small packages. Nearly 30 years later, now a mother, wife, and self proclaimed “womanist,” nothing much has changed.
While Hillary Clinton was out campaigning, hugging babies and shaking old ladies’ hands, Jada Pinkett-Smith sat at home behind her computer screen, giving Hill one of the biggest side-eyes of all time.
It seems that Jada has some..concerns about Hillary potentially becoming the next President of these United States, and she wanted to share them with us. In a Facebook Post titled “Race vs Gender,” the actress talks about her reservations:
Hillary Clinton is running for President. When Hillary made her announcement, I was more confused and anxious than excited. Her announcement conjured many old hurts and scars.
In the past, I have been criticized for suggesting that black women extend our media platforms to white women in the way in which white women are making strides to extend their media platforms to us, but Hillary’s announcement reminded me that the relationship between black and white women on the political platform has been deeply complicated, disappointing and painful.
The only question I have been asking myself is if I’m suppose to vote for Hillary because she is a woman; will she take us to the mountaintop with her or will women of color once again be left out and left behind? For example, during the Woman’s Suffrage Movement, black women were specifically excluded because Northern white women feared of losing support of Southern white women if black women were included. What made it even more offensive is that the two women given the credit of pioneering the woman’s movement were at first abolitionists. Those were complicated times, but as time has gone on it seems as if that sentiment of separatism did not let up and permeated through the feminist movement as a place to facilitate and empower white women only.
I personally suffered the racism and classism of the feminist movement and now have had to watch my daughter battle even ageism as she journeys to participate in the feminist movement. But she continues to fight the good fight referring to herself as a feminist while her mother refers to herself as a womanist who supports feminism and feminists. You can imagine that Willow and I have had some “spirited” conversations about this topic that’s uneasy for even a mother and daughter to talk about at times which simply illuminates how volatile a subject it could be for a nation of women to explore…but we must.
How will we reconcile the past to move into the future?
Can Hillary, whether she becomes President or not, heal the broken political ties of the women of this nation? I know it takes far more than the idea of being the first female President of the United States to run this country, but as a woman, it sure is an exciting idea. Women of color and white women have been taking on the majority of their fights on the political platform on separate lines; can Hillary Clinton change that legacy through her journey to become president? Because if she can…she would not only have my vote…but she would have my heart.
To all my women friends of all colors and creeds, this is a great opportunity for healing and reconciliation… let’s woman up in the spirit of compassion to gain more understanding of one another and the issues we face.
Let’s get the conversation started…J
First things first. Incredibly thought-provoking. I appreciate the fact that Jada doesn’t mind putting these issues on the table. I admire her transparency, and she definitely has very legitimate concerns. I’ve also struggled with the term “feminist.” As a Black woman, it’s hard to know what exactly to call yourself, especially in times of such racial anxiety and tension. I also understand “womanist,” and why some Black women relate to that term more. I get it. I’ve toyed with the idea of referring to myself as such on many occasions. However, at times, I’ve also felt that creating a separate term…just for Black women…has only proved to be divisive. I’m still pondering on that…
Personally, I don’t think Hillary Clinton is a bigot. I don’t think she’s tone deaf, and I certainly don’t think she’s unclear on the importance of inclusion. I think she knows that she HAS to be inclusive to survive this presidency. But, like most things, only time will tell.
With that being said, I’d put my money on Hillary Clinton before ANY one of those buffoons who’ve talked about running against her! Of course, I would love to see Hillary speak out on issues that affect women of color. It would be great to hear what she has to say about intersectionality, classism, and racism. Realistically, she’s probably the ONLY one who would be willing to talk about it!
The truth of the matter is this: Politics is a dirty game. If you’re expecting Hillary to get into office and fulfill all of your needs, then you’re going to be disappointed. That’s never the case with any President. But if you want someone who gets it…even a little bit…I think Hillary is our best bet. I’m still on board. I’m ready for Hillary in 2016, what about you?