Category Archives: Politics

My sister asked, ‘Why are people so focused on black versus white in this Cosby situation?’ This was my text back.

Between Bill Cosby’s sentencing and Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing, social media timelines are full of opinions and perspectives regarding sexual assault and the American justice system. Honestly, instances like these are very triggering for me so I have not said much, and have often elected to ‘sharing’ posts made by others.

But today, my sister texted me and asked, “Why are people so focused on black versus white in this Cosby situation?“, and because she’s my sister I did not mind speaking on the subject with her.

I think that others may have this same question. I also think that many people who are highlighting race in regard to Cosby’s sentencing do not realize the root of their perspective. So, I’m sharing the full text message (yes, I texted a book lol) that I sent to my sister, in hopes that it will provide maybe a different perspective and contribute to the start/continuation of a very important conversation on what it means to be pro-black, pro-women, and pro-justice overall. Please note that this is an unedited, informal text message to my sister so please forgive any typos, incomplete thoughts, etc.

Text message response:

Because of white supremacy and misogyny…we don’t always realize it but whiteness is our measure of everything. What white privilege grants people is what everyone else desires; which makes sense in a way because privilege is what should be everyone’s normal. 

But people struggle to understand intersectionality…how multiple identities intersect with each other. So add gender in with race, and some people fail to acknowledge male privilege along with white privilege. And male privilege is honestly what some black people are actually protecting, but they are doing it through race. So they know that racism exists and can acknowledge that the system often works against black people but when they say “black people” they really mean black men. They aren’t acknowledging how male privilege is at play here and how it causes them to not believe women because “they weren’t there” but in that same breath, believe men even though “they weren’t there.” So that’s the misogyny. 

This is why the struggle for black women is even more complex because black women typically get erased. When people are talking about race and black lives matter, they often are only talking about black men. They don’t say it bluntly and it’s subconscious but situations like this show it…because these people’s arguments are not sympathetic of or considerate of women…even though black women are also women and victims survivors.

This is complex and I’m trying to articulate it but basically these people subconsciously are not for women but they “are against racism”….at least when it comes to black men. This is why you see black people protest when black men are killed or brutalized by police but not black women. We have a limited perspective of what justice would be and it’s basically based on the white male experience and for black people, the black man is the closest to that. So what oppression has subconsciously caused us to do is to measure justice based on the white man and not actually right or wrong. Our definition of justice has become what the white man experiences. Many of us are more committed to being able to do what he does and willing to accept his lifestyle as justice, even if it isn’t actually justice for the victim. Because again, often times, black people don’t acknowledge our bias against all other identities outside of race, even though there are BLACK women, BLACK lgbt people, BLACK Muslims, black disabled people. Our advocacy as a people is rooted in advocacy only for the black man so a situation like this hits us to the core. 

This is a powerful black man that “made it.” In many peoples eyes, he had pretty much gotten to the level of a white man (even though I completely disagree with that perspective)…until this. So people don’t know how to act and can’t see how their support of him in this moment actually shows that they are not pro-black because them not wanting him to be held accountable actually shows that they condone the oppression that he and people like him cause to women, including black women. Because they are misogynist, and don’t know it. 

So I guess that’s the answer to your question. Why is this being made about race? Because misogyny. These people are not pro-women so in this situation they advocate for Cosby based on race and its confusing because no one is actually saying that they are bias against women…they’re all saying they are pro-black…but really the root of their pro-blackness is based on the black man and not inclusive of black women. So their pro-blackness is misogynistic

If these people identified as both pro-black and pro-woman they wouldn’t be able to side with him. Period. But these people (maybe subconsciously) value men more than women so in a situation that involves both race and gender…they lean towards race. They “pick the side” of race. But for those of us who are both pro-black and pro-women, we’re not choosing a side; we’re choosing justice, even if that means someone who we are “for” is found guilty because we’re also “for” women (the victims survivors).  

I’ll just stop there. Lol. 

About the Blogger

Aleidra Allen is the founder/owner of Purpose In Everything (PIE) LLC, a start-up social PIE_IGphotos_TShirt_ActRight_Silverenterprise that sells every day products, adding purpose to the purchases by donating 5% of its net sales to fund social change work. The products are also ethically made, being sweatshop-free, and many of them are environmentally friendly.

PIE is committed to social justice, with the goal of inspiring consumers to contribute to social change through conscious and intentional buying. You can follow PIE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @piemovement, and visit the PIE website at www.piemovement.com to #BuyOnPurpose. If you are interested in having Aleidra facilitate diversity and inclusion trainings/workshops for you school, organization, or corporation, please email info@piemovement.com.

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#EverydayBlackHistory Day 9- Who were the Black Panthers?

bp.jpgSince Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 half time performance, there has been lots of conversation around the Black Panthers. Many (white) Americans seem appalled that Bey would pay tribute to such an organization,  falsely comparing the Black Panthers to the Ku Klux Klan (the Black Panthers were NOT terrorists who bombed, murdered, and lynched innocent people like the KKK). But do we really know who the Black Panthers were? Unfortunately, the American education system has a way of painting historic black leaders and organizations in a negative light, and/or watering down the truth to fit its preferred narrative. So let’s educate ourselves and learn who the Black Panthers truly were.

Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party. The two had worked together for years prior through activism in black politics. Bobby  Seale was involved in RAM (Revolutionary Action Movement) and both of the men were in the Soul Students Advisory Committee, a collegiate organization. The philosophy for the Panthers was developed through these experiences.

But the Panthers were not just about philosophy. They had demands and outlined action to achieve them. Recently, people have talked about the Panthers possession of guns. The Panthers did indeed exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. This was done to implement Malcolm X’s self-defense philosophy and patrol the police. At the time, police brutality was rampant, with officers beating and killing black people randomly. Police departments were even recruiting officers from the racist south to police the northern ghettos.

The Socialist Alternative recalls this instance:

On one occasion, whilst on patrol, they witnessed an officer stop and search a young guy. The Panthers got out of their car and went over to the scene and stood watching their guns on full display. Angrily, the policeman began to question them and tried to intimidate them with threats of arrest. But Huey P. Newton had studied the law intimately and could quote every law and court ruling relevant to their situation.

During these situations, the Panthers made it clear that they did not want to have a shoot-out with the police and that they would only use their guns in self-defense. They would also hand out information, to the crowd that formed, about the Black Panthers philosophy and meeting details.

Outside of their self-defense, we rarely talk about the notable community programs that the Panthers organized. They organized many “revolutionary program,” as they called them, such as free breakfast for children, health clinics, and shoes for children. Bobby Seale explained, “A revolutionary program is onset forth by revolutionaries, by those who want to change the existing system for a better system.”

The Black Panther Party grew to have 5,000 full time employees and 45 chapters throughout America. They sold 250,000 papers a week. At the time, polls showed that the organization had 90 percent support from black people in major cities. The group was largely impactful, with the FBI describing them as “the number one threat to the internal security of the United States.”

Today, we remember the Black Panther Party, for being one of the most widely know black political organizations that protected and met people’s needs through programs that provided food, clothes, medical care and more. We thank them for showing us what we can accomplish through organization. Today, unfortunately,  we still see many of the same issues that they combated. We can learn much from them.

#EverydayBlackHistory

 

 

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 11.24.15

 

Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 4:29, 10:29, and 12:23)

On November 24, 2015, Aleidra Allen was featured on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on Donald Trump’s most recent comments about “roughing up” Black Lives Matter protestors. Aleidra speaks at minutes 4:29, 10:29, and 12:23.

**Unfortunately, Aleidra experienced technical difficulties throughout the segment. We apologize for those instances.

WATCH: Trump Rhetoric Getting Uglier

From HuffPost Live website: After his supporters attacked a #BlackLivesMatter protester at a rally, Donald Trump responded by yelling, “get him the hell out of here.” How is the increasingly vicious rhetoric out of the Trump camp affecting the national political debate?

Hosted by:

Alex Miranda

Guests:

Rebecca Sinderbrand (Washington, DC) Politics Editor, Washington Post @sinderbrand

Michael Calderone (New York, NY) Huffington Post Senior Media Reporter @mlcalderone

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis , MO) Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University @klassy_lei

The Huffington Post Asks Aleidra Allen What Question She Would Ask Candidates at a Democratic Debate

“Both the Democratic and Republican National Committees have agreed to give their blessing to a presidential town hall set up by activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. But organizers within the network have said that gesture isn’t enough. They want the parties to devote one of their official — and more high-profile — debates to racial justice issues.”

Aleidra, along with 5 other black activists and organizers, posed the questions they would ask candidates at a Democratic debate on racial justice issues. Check out the questions and full article!

Article by Philip Lewis, Fellow, The Huffington Post

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 10.22.15

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Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 6:41, 14:27, and 20:37)

On October 22, 2015, Aleidra Allen was featured on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on the discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement during presidential debates, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) promoting a Black Lives Matter town hall meeting, and the recent burning of churches in St. Louis, MO. Check it out below (Aleidra speaks at minutes 6:41, 14:27, and 20:37)!

WATCH: HuffPost Live Segment- DNC Agrees To Promote #BlackLivesMatter Town Hall

From HuffPost Live website: With the Democratic National Committee agreeing to promote a presidential town hall hosted by the Black Lives Matter movement, we discuss how candidates should approach the social justice campaign and how much it will affect the upcoming election.

Hosted by:

Alyona Minkovski

Guests:

Julia Craven (Washington, DC) HuffPost Politics Reporter

Elle Hearns (New York , NY) Central Region Coordinator, GetEQUAL; Strategic Partner, Black Lives Matter

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis , MO) Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University

Martese Johnson  (Charlottesville, VA) Activist

Aleidra Allen on HuffPost Live- 8.11.15

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Watch Aleidra on HuffPost Live (Aleidra speaks at minutes 9:50 and 23:23)

On August 11, 2015, Aleidra Allen was a special guest on a HuffPost Live segment. She shared perspectives on what Dr. King described as the “white moderate,” and the role of empathy in the Black Lives Matter movement. Check it out below (Aleidra speaks at minutes 9:50 and 23:23)!


WATCH: HuffPost Live Segment- Black Lives Matters Protesters Shut Down Bernie

From HuffPost Live website: Senator Bernie Sanders left a speech this weekend after Black Lives Matter protesters took over his campaign event. We discuss the criticism that #blacklivesmatter is alienating potential allies and the role of the movement in 2016 politics.

Hosted by:

Alyona Minkovski

Guests:

Jamil Smith (New York, NY) Senior Editor, The New Republic @JamilSmith

Ben Cohen (Washington, DC) Editor and Founder, TheDailyBanter.com @thedailybanter

Jamie Utt (Tuscon, AZ) Contributing Writer, Everyday Feminism @utt_jamie

Aleidra Allen (St. Louis, MO) Program Coordinator for the Student Involvement Center, Saint Louis University; Student Involvement Center, St. Louis University @klassy_lei

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