OPINION: Allies, We Don’t Want to Silence You, We Want to Empower You!

By Renee’ Chubb

Renee’ Chubb is an author, political commentator, and co-host of Backwards & In High Heels, The Podcast. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Majority60.com.

As an author, political commentator and free-lance writer, I put myself in the direct line of criticism daily for the well-being of the country and the majority of the people in it that I hold dear to my heart. Let me tell you a bit more about me, beyond what you will read in my Twitter bio.

I have worked from home for the past 10 years, after a nearly fatal car accident left me incapacitated and on bed rest for almost a year. I sold Avon, worked as a telemarketer for Kirby vacuum cleaner, you name it.  Today, I live in the suburbs with my husband and my dog. I drive a Mercedes-Benz and I hate rap music. In case it isn’t obvious, I’m a black woman.

I mention that I’m a black woman because being black and surviving 40 years in America is an accomplishment. I didn’t have a choice. None of us do. It’s unfortunate that the hurtful vitriol and xenophobic rhetoric of not just Donald Trump, but his entire party, have caused people of color, like me, to be on alert, in defense mode, and to wonder why all of our ancestors fought and died to wind up right back here 154 years later in 2019. My life is not much different than most of yours, except maybe that one thing.

In light of Mr. Trump telling members of Congress to “go back where they came from,” his supporters chanting “Send her back,” and most recently calling Baltimore, MD “infested,” I feel it’s necessary to speak up about how things are for a black woman in America today. Ever since Mr. Trump went full-on Nazi, the comments on my Twitter feed have shifted from peaceful discourse and intelligent debate to flat out online bullying, intimidation and threats. Most recently, one commentator expressed their desire to shoot me, in self defense of course, because I made it clear I’m licensed to carry and capable of defending myself from punks. The heated exchange landed me Twitter suspension but nothing for the account that wanted to shoot me.

Every single day, my blackness is on display.  Black this, brown that, white-out, and I’m frightened, I’m exhausted, and I’m really disappointed that after all this time, we still aren’t worth shit to some people. Look at what Attorney General William Barr recently decided in the Eric Garner case. This wasn’t an abstract story. You can hear that man cry out that he can’t breathe over 11 times.

Some of the many unarmed Black men, women, and children killed by police in recent years. For more information, visit Mapping Police Violence. Photo Credit Gawker.com 2014

We have black children, men and yes, women being harassed daily by the police and even murdered. And now ICE is caging people.  I get physically ill when I have to look at those concentration camps on the border. How would you feel about a country that treated you worse than most animals? We will continue to create that which fuels our fears. We are creating future MS-13 gang members.

Photo Credit “Nation of Change” The Odyssey Online (All rights Reserved)

Here’s how we can work together to be more accepting of each other and use our words to build, uplift, and encourage, not tear down and destroy. We also have to get off of social media and go outside our own suburb to the places that matter.  Let’s go! 

“Stop…Look…Listen”

STOP: It’s going to take more than ranting on social media to bring this country together the way it should have been a long time ago. You can start by voting like black women. #VoteLikeBlackWomen

LOOK: See the faces, learn their names, help their families. People in your district that, due to any number of reasons from hardships to apathy, fail to turn out at the polls, talk with them as a voter.

LISTEN: It’s important that you not just nod your head and smile, but open your ears, and your hearts. Try to understand what drives them and give them a reason to cast a vote for policies that will help them.  

Raise your voice

If you haven’t watched the 16 Emmy nominated series, “When They See Us” by Director and filmmaker, Ava Duvernay, I highly encourage you to do so.  You want to talk about speaking up against something wrong, that is as real as it gets, and it’s still happening in our criminal justice system today.  Being an ally is not just about Retweeting my Tweets, it’s about standing beside me on the steps of the courthouse, in the halls of Congress, on the streets, from the rooftops, demanding we do better, that we be better.  We can’t keep clutching our pearls asking, “Is this who we are?”

So we’re going to start a #FactCheckRacism hashtag, and you can join the #FactCheckMaga hashtag already trending by Chris Zullo.  Anytime you see something racist or offensive, or just downright misleading?  Use facts to show how the narrative is false, and follow it up with the appropriate hashtag.  #FactCheckRacism or #FactCheckMaga. Spread the word.  

Have an open mind, open heart and a good pair of running shoes.  If it’s your thing, grab a jar of vaseline and take your earrings out.  We have 1 ½ years to fight and it’s going to continue to get worse.  Our fight is not with each other, it’s not with Pelosi, it’s not even with Trump, it’s about an ideology that has no place here any longer. The division efforts are going to get sneakier and even more sinister and dark,  the atrocities and the deaths will continue to mount, but if we raise our voices, take to the streets and protest and if our activism is louder, we can win. 

I challenge you to volunteer. Learn how to be an advocate. You can join the folks at CodePink, SuperMajority, DemCast, and MoveOn.org or volunteer to be an poll worker, check with your secretary of state and learn how to register voters. We can do this together!

You can catch me weekly as I co-host our political podcast “Backwards & In High Heels, The Podcast,” Wednesdays at 12pm EST with great guests like Tiffany Bond of Maine, Jill Schiller of Ohio and Billie J. Winner-Davis, the mother of Reality Winner the NSA leaker who exposed how the Russians penetrated the American electoral system. We would love to have you on the show.  Dial into the conferencing service: 1-857-232-0159  Enter your conference code: 520080, and join the conversation!  I truly love all my new friends and allies I’ve made on Twitter and in person.  I salute you and I appreciate you.  Stay strong and remember to take care of you too.