We are barely into summer and it is already too hot, too humid, there are too many summer storms, and unfortunately there are far too many attacks directed toward Black women.
American Beltway and sports media, international media, and Olympic media each seems to have collaborated on a group summer project designed to take down Black women.
Your assignment is to find known and unknown Black women from the vice president to Beyonce, to Olympic athletes, to princesses, scholars, historians, and, of course all the Black women on TikTok.
Extra credit: Find a Black woman from the past to drag through the mud.
The bad news is most media, here and abroad, got the memo and got to work.
The Black women who have been attacked this far span the professional, sports, media, intellectual, and entertainment industries, proving again how comprehensive and thorough racism and misogynoir is in America and the world.
Hatred of Black women is a sickness without a cure and a virus without a vaccination.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when the memo to hate on Black women was originally distributed, but the first draft was created sometime around 1619, went through a series of white male rewrites over centuries, stopped for a moment with white women and their suffrage movement, then continued on through the Civil Rights Movement, before reaching a peak around the time First Lady Michelle Obama flexed her biceps and crushed the racist dreams of the Tea Party.
But like Juneteenth, there was a delay before modern Democrats got the hatred memo.
But once former California Attorney General and then-Senator Kamala. D. Harris announced her candidacy for president, all sides got on board the attack train. But even before she announced her candidacy, Russia and their political party – the GOP – had already begun attacking her. And their attacks were so relentless and targeted, that they were able to successfully recruit the far left wing of the Democratic Party to join the anti-Black-woman attacks.
Leading the attacks from the left was old socialist and Russian puppet, Bernard Sanders and his followers. And leading the attacks from the right was American media in general, and Beltway media specifically.
Once candidate Harris became Vice President Harris, the attacks increased so much that she became the most attacked person on the internet, despite also being one of the most beloved and respected Americans around the world.
Unfortunately, people who should have come to MVP Harris’s defense did not, except for the tepid and, frankly, insulting barely-there defense of “This is not an endorsement, but you are being mean to a Kamala Harris.”
The vitriol directed at Madam Vice President Harris foretold the coming of our current anti-Black-woman summer. MVP Harris is the most consequential vice president ever and President Biden recognizes her skill, talent, and get-it-done ability, assigning her the toughest tasks he can, no matter the difficulty, unpopularity, or risk to her future presidential aspirations.
The more tasks MVP was assigned, the more she began delivering, and the more Beltway media began relentlessly attacking her, continuing the Russian plan to damage her ahead of 2022 and 2024 elections.
But hatred is hard to contain and it becomes addictive for those who live in hatred mind-ghettos – think Fox, Politico, CNN, the New York Times, every white male television host and guest and most white women television personalities.
Not satisfied with “only” the highest elected Black woman in American history, the anti-Black- woman brigade extended their reach.
They extended their reach to:
They blocked tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones after wealthy white people paid off the University of North Carolina to change their process so that she would not get tenure because they are mad that Hannah-Jones’ 1619 corrects the lies Americans are taught about enslavement and systemic racism.
TikTok ignored years of complaints and requests for help from Black creators who were fed up with white people (mostly young white women) who steal new dance moves and routines from Black creators (mostly young Black women and gay men) and monetize the dances for fame and fortune. The young white dancers refused to credit the Black creators, thus limiting the reach and monetization of Black creators.
Olympic officials decided that since Simone Biles – the Greatest Gymnast Ever – is so much better than everyone else, they have to limit her scores because no one else can do what she does. They are saying that Simone is too exceptional and because she is, it is unfair to her peers.
They banned Sha’Carri Richardson for legally smoking weed, but didn’t ban anyone for legally drinking beer or wine, or legally popping pills. And to make matters much worse, a writer-dingo from Australia stupidly compared Sha’Carri Richardson with Olympic icon, the late Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner by saying she knows “Both are cheaters because long nails are a symptom of steroid use.” The dumb dingo actually wrote a whole article equating acrylic nails and hair extensions with steroid usage. She couldn’t even identify press-on nails and hair extensions but she had opinions about cheating.
But the Olympics decided to try even harder to be racist when they ruled that swim caps for natural hair will not be allowed at Olympics. Saying that the caps do not “fit the natural form of the head.” the International Olympic committee is really saying, “Black and brown women should straighten their natural hair to conform if they want to compete.”
The long awaited movie, In The Heights, left out darker-skinned women as part of the central cast of singers, actors, and dancers, and thus painting a lighter-than-reality version of the beautiful multicultural neighborhood.
TikTok is full of videos that are manipulated to show that global singing sensation Beyonce is a… demon. You read that right, so I will not add to the nonsense of anti-Black-woman hatred.
The British press and the family they prop up had all their dirty racism exposed by Princess Megan Markle (Princess to them, Queen to many of us) after they led a years-long whisper campaign against her. They lied on her, blamed her for their racism, and protected other racists in the family (we’re looking at cheaters Charles and William, backstabbing liar, Kate, and, of course ugly media man and obsessed stalker Piers Morgan).
And though it is not from this summer, it is worth noting that there still hasn’t been justice for Breonna Taylor.
America has long hated Black women, even though Black women have always been the backbone of the country. It was Black women who birthed, nurtured, and raised two nations in America – their own kids and white people’s kids. They were the first midwives and the glue that held communities together.
They were leaders and originators of emancipation, civil rights, protests, and voting rights, even though historians – white and Black – long ignored their contributions and leadership.
Black women paved the way for white and other non-Black women to work outside the home, attend college, own businesses, fight in wars, protest police brutality, join unions, and get elected vice president.
The anti-Black-woman summer is in full swing and it is disgusting, exhausting, and frustrating.
How long will Americans demonize Black women? Black women are highly educated, have high employment, start many businesses, work as hard and harder than any other demographic but for less money, have never tried to overthrow the government, blow up buildings, shoot up churches, lynch white men, women, or children, and never put anyone to death via the death penalty.
Black women don’t start cults that end in members believing big lies, storming the Capitol, or in drinking deadly kool-aid.
America is in a nonstop cycle of bullying Black women without fear of retribution or even comeuppance.
The old saying, “Strong Black Woman” is too often used as an excuse to abuse, ignore, penalize, and otherwise not fully consider Black women as vulnerable humans.
Black women will gladly tell you they “aren’t your mules,” but far too often, Americans of all demographics saddle Black women with burdens that hold Black women down while allowing others to fly because they are no longer carrying their own burdens.
But summer is just getting started so there remains hope that the country can turn things around and have a truly epic Black Woman Summer.
We know Simone Biles is going to give it her all and win multiple medals at the Olympics. And Black women are expected to win medals in many other sports, including track-and-field, basketball, and perhaps swimming and other water sports.
Hannah-Jones accepted a position at Howard University, after she loudly turned down UNC when the board capitulated to external pressure and offered her tenure.
Black TikTok creators are on strike, refusing to make new content until TikTok fixes their appropriation and monetization policies. TikTok “seems” to be listening, having released a statement on what they are doing to ensure a fair and equitable platform for Black creators.
Beyonce will be Beyonce and will be just fine.
Lin-Manual Miranda apologized and took ownership of not doing enough to ensure darker- skinned women were also central to his story and vowed to do better in future projects.
Michelle Obama is living her best life and she remains one of the most admired women in the world.
And, of course, Vice President Kamala Devi Harris is working for the people and getting results. Whether it is at the border, driving vaccination rates upward, entertaining and impressing international leaders and getting business contracts here and abroad for vaccination distribution, and working with multiple South American countries on critical policy issues that will slow immigration at the southern border.
Anti-Black-woman summer has the potential to be a great summer of Black-woman accomplishments if we all just take a moment and be quiet.
And let Black women be who they will be.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.