Safety Pins: White Women and their Support of Imperialism and Fascism

There is no such thing as “women in general”

African National Women’s Organization

The shattering of “women in general”

It is clearer now to African women, who hoped to coax white women into caring about us through intersectional coalitions, that white women are part of the oppressor nation and as such, have a vested interest in the exploitation and oppression of people internationally and inside the U.S., just like their male counterparts.

That’s why we say that “there is no such thing as women in general”—the idea that all women are oppressed by patriarchy—is a false concept that obscures the colonial question by equating the experiences of white women of the oppressor nation to the oppression experienced by African women. There is no commonality.

The oppressor white nation, which includes white women, acquires what they have at the expense of African and other oppressed people.

African women’s primary enemy has always been our colonial oppressor—the white imperialist nation—that has held the power over our lives since it first attacked Africa.

White women’s votes for Trump is indicative of their opportunist relationships with oppressed women. This is mainly expressed through feminism which was never meant to solve the contradictions faced by African women.

While black feminists are doing the “important” work to help white women be less opportunistic through the development of intersectional feminism, white women are using intersectional feminism to shield themselves from criticism for their exploitative behavior.

Feminist, Melissa Harris Perry’s defense of the so-called “transracial” identity of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who led a branch of the NAACP under the false pretense of being an African, is a perfect example.

Safety pins and white women’s march on Washington

Now that white women are confronted with the concrete data of their white nationalism, they are doing everything they can to reassure so-called “women of color” that white people are not the enemy.

In the days following the selection of Donald Trump, liberal white women apologized profusely for their role in electing Trump; writing scathing self-criticisms framed as op-eds, chastising one another, and taking to the streets to protest against the outcome of the election.

They’ve come up with gimmicks to show black people that they are “allies,” such as wearing safety pins in public, as a message to oppressed people that they are safe to be around.

Wearing safety pins, however, does more to keep white people safe, in the center and included, because it is an expression of fear caused by the threat of oppressed people fighting back.

They can only hope that this symbolic gesture of safety keeps them from becoming victims of anti-colonial violence.

White women have even scurried to organize a white women’s march on Washington planned for the day after Trump’s inauguration.

The organizers have described the event as a way to combat “the rhetoric of the past election cycle [which] has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us—women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, black and brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault.”

While, in theory, the premise for the march is righteous, we have to ask where were all these white women when Africans were being murdered in the streets? How about when African women were being raped by the police or when our children were being taken by the State?

We know where.

They were in McKinney, Texas siccing police on black teenagers leaving a pool party. They were in Tulsa, Oklahoma shooting unarmed Terrence Crutcher, and wearing black face at a college Halloween party.

The truth is that all of these upset white women weren’t upset until their freedoms were threatened.

Now they seek to cloak themselves in the issues of the struggling colonized African, Arab, and Indigenous women as a way to win solidarity with the masses of our people through this white women’s march. This is the ultimate show of opportunism.

Trump’s selection exposes white America’s loyalty to white power and has created a groundswell of fear in liberals of the white oppressor nation. There isn’t a dancing Negro or a woman as president to veil the white nationalism of U.S. policy.

We can only deduce that white people’s frantic response is informed by the knowledge that African and other oppressed people are no longer fooled by their claims of being white allies.

If white people were truly here to “protect” the marginalized communities they purport to show solidarity with, then they would just join the African People’s Solidarity Committee or Uhuru Solidarity Movement who are under the leadership of the African poor and working class.

Ultimately, we have data that reflects the opportunism of white women and we shouldn’t be fooled by their attempts to dig their claws into the flesh of our people.

African women must reject this “all-women” rhetoric and organize in our own interests by joining the African National Women’s organization.

The White Women’s March
Ayesha Fleary on the Special Oppression of African Women