Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
By: Lisa M. Hayes
Last week, I spent two hours banging out a post no one will ever see. The topic? How swiftly gun reform would gatecrash our cozy little lives if Black Americans opted to parade their Second Amendment rights as brazenly as those holier-than-thou, racist white nationalists.
I am not the first to fantasize about how quickly the far right would be willing to entertain gun reform if Black folks were parading with firearms at your every day Taco Bell or neighborhood park. Even the whitest, gun-obsessed “freedom” zealots would be scrambling to rewrite the Constitution.
That said, we all know what the price is when Black citizens dare to own their rights as visibly as their white counterparts do. Black men in this country are gunned down by the police, or white supremacist neighborhood watch bros, for carrying skateboards, brandishing cell phones, or committing the unforgivable crime of being alive with their hands held high, screaming, “I’m not a threat.”
Visualize a beautiful young Black woman, in her red, white, and blue Sunday best, mastering an AR-15 at the local shooting range, making the pasty white dude in the next lane squirm with unease.
Imagine the kickass Black entrepreneur peddling chic pink purses designed to subtly holster firearms in a world where permits are surplus to requirements. She’s somewhere out there, and by god, am I cheering for her.
Thinking about scenarios like that brings a smile to my face.
But let’s strip the sugarcoating: This colossal mess? It’s not for Black people to resolve. They didn’t spawn this chaos, so why are they expected to mop it up? When we ask them to dive in and rectify the problem, it’s tantamount to luring them into a shark tank with a trail of blood.
For years on end, Black and brown folks have risked their lives for freedoms that others sip casually with their morning lattes. Now it’s high time the white folks, who can protest without the fear of catching a bullet, roll up their sleeves and get busy.
Consider me, armed, strutting through Walmart’s frozen aisle, scanning for veggie burgers while sporting a glimmering handgun at my hip. If that doesn’t make you question my threat level, then you don’t know me very well. At this point, on any given day, I am a bundle of nerves and shaky rage.
Yet, the bitter irony is this: As stark as it may be to see me, packing heat in a grocery store, most wouldn’t even blink. As a white woman, I am never seen as a threat. Hell, the system is designed to protect my peace of mind. While the system may not actually keep me safe, it was built to use my safety as an excuse to harm others. Our weaponized white woman tears have the power to unleash havoc and get people killed.
Just to clear the air, I don’t own a gun – yet. But maybe I should. After all, it might be suicidal for Black people to flaunt their firearms, but an army of liberal white women marching with sidearms could be the gut punch these good ol’ boys need.
Here’s the rotten core of the issue: White women have nestled into their roles as passive cogs in a social machine that dotes on them. We are the silent majority, a dormant force that could shatter this nation’s foundations if we would just collectively wake the fuck up and hold each other accountable.
We’ve sat on the sidelines, watching affirmative action crumble. We’ve idly observed as Roe v. Wade fell to pieces. And now, our democracy is wilting away, while white women, the so-called numerical powerhouse, prefer to play house and snap Starbucks-filtered selfies rather than lace up their boots and raise some hell.
And this brings us to our greatest sin: As mothers, we’re shaping the next generation, molding the minds that will either reshape the future or perpetuate the vicious cycle of oppression.
We’re rearing children who could be the catalysts for change or the bearers of inherited bias. We can preach equality all we want, but if our actions tell a different tale, what are we really teaching our kids? As white women, we are complicit, not just in the chaos of the present, but in whatever future we’re hurtling towards.
The highway to American fascism is being paved by white women too caught up in their comfort zones. Democracy’s downfall isn’t our brainchild, but we’re puppeteering this performance of apathy.
We have the currency to rewrite this. Our vote holds more power than a sea of men’s, yet we squander it. We may witness the rise and fall of American freedoms in our lifetime, and future generations will recount tales of the self-absorbed white women too cocooned in their comfort to take a stand, too blind to see the perfect storm brewing in their own backyards.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.
Lisa M. Hayes is also the editor and chief of Confluence Daily.
Lisa is also an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is also the founder of The Coaching Guild where the world’s best coaches are trained.