I had the rare opportunity of seeing two women (I would have used a more gender appropriate term if I knew one) argue. Both of them self-identified as “woke”. Yes, woke as in the term everyone tosses around to indicate that they’ve had their coming to Jesus moment on social issues. One was a South American immigrant woman, and the other, black and Muslim. The argument from both sides made my jaws hurt as I was grinning from ear to ear, and best believe, I was grinning hard. They seemed to me like they had just watched the Malcolm X documentary, as I had never seen this level of “wokeness”. The argument was interesting, not too educative, but interesting. They seemed to be helping each-other explain their points of view and that’s why I still strongly believed it was not educative. Suddenly, one of them (I will reveal who later) decides to play devil’s advocate, and take a jab at the other’s wokeness. I spat the water from my mouth as I saw the reaction of the other woman and continued scrolling through my Instagram feed as if I was not just eavesdropping on the whole conversation. It was at this point things got messy.
Apparently, the South American woman called out the black woman and by default, the entire community (Yes, an attack on one black person is an attack on all of us) for black peoples conspicuous absence at the DACA march. Her argument: “if it were to be a Black Lives Matter Protest, we would have come to join you guys”, do you know how many of us have tried to break the negative stereotypes some of our older family members have on you guys”? She said it as if to say she was doing black people a favor by calling out stereotypes. As usual, Black women tend to be very classy with their clap backs, and this woman was no exception. She goes “true, just like the Women’s march, we all showed out as women irrespective of our differences, but when black women gathered at the town halls held for our missing black girls, only black women were in attendance”. She goes on to say “the Black Lives Matter protest is a march against police brutality, it could happen to anyone. And to think that as black people, we should return the favor of you coming out by coming to your protest is ridiculous, you are not doing us a favor by doing what is right”. There were many other things said, but for the sake of peace as I do not know the amount of sensitive millenials reading this, I will not make mention of them. As the self-imposed judge of anything woke (I use the race card more than my actual credit card), I thought to myself “these women are calling out each other’s wokeness, I bet many people feel the same way”.
I decided to give my verdict in my mind of course (I don’t ever interfere in a conversation I wasn’t called into). We are all hoping and vying for social change, some of these changes are valid, others, utterly ridiculous, but change is good. We cannot all expect every diversity group to be present at every rally or protest; it is not just human nature. We tend to care for things that are dear to us, and disregard, not completely things that do not affect us. There will never be more white people than blacks at a Black Lives Matter protest, more Blacks than, let’s say Mexicans at a DACA protest, or more men than women at The Women’s March. Not to say that we don’t believe Black Lives Matter, or that Childhood arrivals should be sent back to countries they know nothing of, or that women should not get equal pay, but just like the Igbo man would say “it is only the man that wears the shoe that knows where it pinches”. We should apply the law of Lumumba, a former African politician, who in his address to his people said “we all should fight, make sure to fight, and at some point it is every man for himself, God for us all”. In our sub groups, the struggle continues, other sub groups are fully aware, and just like many politicians in the face of challenges, we send our thoughts and prayers to all of you, hoping you reciprocate the same .I stood up to leave, citing minding my own business as the reason knowing fully well had listened to every word that came out their mouths. Frankly, I cannot even remember where I headed to next, maybe to the library, or to do some of the many weird things I normally do.