A Message to Kelly Loefller, From an Unapologetic Black Woman
We see right through you.
Just like countless other white women in history, you’re center of privilege has rendered you blind to experiences that don’t look, feel, or sound like your own.
Yet, I don’t believe your privilege is thick enough to make you as ignorant as you would like each of us to believe.
Partially because your shady $20 million insider trading sell of stocks that were vulnerable to the imminent Covid-19 crash — the day you were briefed — displays your ability to interpret facts and use them to your personal gain; and partially because after nearly 50 years of walking this earth…you should just know better.
While your privilege is a convenient barricade to hide behind, I believe you do know better.
Yet, you choose to overlook the responsibility to actually do better.
Your call to prevent the WNBA from supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement throughout the upcoming season, and instead wear warm-up jerseys that display the American flag is insulting and ill-mannered.
Quite frankly, your tone-deaf suggestion, for an organization made up of 80-percent African American women to dress themselves in a flag that represents a country ran by a white supremacist…is abusive.
This is racial gaslighting.
You are asking the black and brown bodies that have made you rich to disregard their reality, silence their message, and instead promote the false narrative that the American flag represents equality and justice for all; particularly at a time where anti-black sentiments earn your approval from Trump’s fading, yet vocal base of white supremacists.
I understand that at a time when you are down by 2 points in the Georgia special election and the recipient of a 43% disapproval rating, appealing to white suburban voters who are inconvenienced by the BLM Movement could seem beneficial.
However, I encourage you to find another movement to exploit.
BLM embodies justice, liberation, and peace. Your dusty attempt to criminalize and disregard this message perpetuates the issue at hand.
You consider the decision for players to wear jerseys that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” to be “a message of exclusion,” as you stated in an un-requested letter to WNBA commissioner, Cathy Engelbert.
You also advised, “the truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”
You continued, “I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and destruction across the country. I believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion.”
Your message is faulty, we see through the cracks, and your involvement in the matter is neither necessary or productive.
I’d like to use the rest of this time and space to point out the ironic inconsistencies of your comments.
There also seems to be some confusion on your part about the real mission that Black Lives Matter is accomplishing. Here is a link to the true BLM agenda so that you are no longer ill-informed, and may instead act in accordance to truth, as any politician should.
Your Narrative: BLM promotes “a message of exclusion.”
The Truth: You are threatened by the demand for inclusion, because you have no idea how to make room for another, nor do you want to. The concept of inclusion disrupts what has been disproportionately exclusive to you: life, innocence, justice, and privileged socioeconomic status. Black Lives Matter represents a commitment to dismantle anti-black, oppressive systems while uplifting historically marginalized communities. The only ones inconvenienced by this are those who align with the oppressor, and those who fear losing the system that keeps them in a position of privilege.
Your Narrative: “The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports. In a time when polarizing politics is as divisive as ever, sports has the power to be a unifying antidote. And now more than ever, we should be united in our goal to remove politics from sports.”
The Truth: Your call to remove politics from sports is really a not-so-discrete way of saying, “with the Trump administration amplifying the voices and actions of white supremacists across the nation, division is working in our favor. How dare you believe you have the right to use your platform to push back against a 400-year hate agenda? Silence yourself and dribble the ball.” Black and brown bodies are here for more than their utility in your arenas. Until you can see and honor the whole being, you’ll have to deal with the discomfort of being reminded that Black Lives Matter, in every way; in every space.
Your Narrative: “I am proposing a common-sense recommendation to ensure we reflect the values of freedom and equality for all. I believe we should put an American flag on every jersey. Include it in our licensed apparel for players, coaches and fans.”
The Truth: Somehow, the audacity is still shocking. It is beyond me how the literal cry to breathe — at minimum, is met with a symbol that was never meant to represent us equally. I can’t help but think your irony is actually intentional racism.
I leave you with a quote from Frederick Douglas’ July 5th, 1852 speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
“ I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn…"”
Like yours, attempts to silence the urgent needs of black communities across the U.S. in the name of patriotism are what have kept this 168 year old statement relevant. The only difference is, it’s 2020; not 1852. We won’t be silenced, and we won’t stop until America’s racist history is actually history.