Aaminah Hernandez posted over at Problem Chylde a reminder to some on the ways many white feminists continue to discredit women of color.
A la mujer the other nite on 63rd Drive and the team of chicas who stepped up that night.
Porque no soy Rihanna, save a few people the night I was left bruised made a big deal of it.
Some told me I needed to leave, now.
Others told me that yes it was a big deal pero that it didn’t mean the end of the relationship.
Others said, plan mujer plan. Stay quiet and plan.
I knew what it meant to me.
I don’t know why I took a picture of the bruise left on one of my arms when I was thrown to the ground.
Somewhere in the back of my head maybe I was planning to call the police.
Perhaps it was for my own remembering, so that I wouldn’t forget.
I still haven’t forgiven.
The whispers were still there, they questions as to why I stayed for so long
as if I had a world of options available to me and my two children
y porque no me llamo Rihanna
the story isn’t one on the front pages of revistas and on bochinche shows
even though it isn’t just my story.
It’s mine and Rihanna’s and millions, millions of others.
Porque no eres Rihanna
no one took pictures of you mujer that snowy March night
even though I counted a dozen people who noticed the way he pushed you om the sidewalk
and yelled obscenities in your face.
Only three teenage girls and I stayed on the street
slowly moving towards you
figuring out if he was some stranger or someone you knew
not that that should matter.
The teenage girls and I would not leave you.
We asked if you were ok and if we could do anything.
You said yes
to call 911.
That he was drunk.
The two of you moved towards the closing doors of the fast food restaurant
pero did nothing
porque you weren’t Rihanna
no one took a picture.
I stood in between you and him
as he he spit how you were his wifey.
I told him that was no way to treat wifey.
In the end you decided that you didn’t want to wait for the police
that you wanted to go home with him
and you did
and the teenage girls and I watched quietly
motionless in the street
hoping and praying it would all be ok for you.
Pero porque no somos Rihanna
no one talks about the bigger picture
just the tv picture
Yesterday and the night before I had the honor and privilege of opening my humble casita to a dear, beautiful woman of color whom I love something fierce and beautiful. In fact just writing about having her here in a space that I am fighting to maintain as a safe haven for myself and my two hijas makes me all teary eyed. And for the less than 24 hours we spent together we cried, a few times. There were tears of relief at being physically with someone who understands and with someone with whom we can be ourselves and talk about things we dare not say in front of others. Where we make confessions and celebrate our work and worth, talk about our families and ancestors and how we bring them in to where we live now, where we comfort and love and support and take care.
That is radical.
What we need not to do is waste anymore time. We waste so much time and energy breaking down non-apologies that should read I obviously have work to do instead of I’m sorry but… and but I didn’t know that word was offensive.
Must have been a slip, a slip that I have seen and heard and read so many times on the internet from. So much that I was compelled to write a poem about it.
That is radical.
We have work to do.
And porque there is so much to do I move forward, embrace my sisters and do not assume that anyone is an ally until they prove otherwise.
Is that fucked up?
Maybe, pero it’s how I love myself and take care of myself and those close to me.