On Mia Love

[Content Note: Racism; misogyny.]


Y’all tripping.

Ok, not everyone, but…

Well, let me back up a little. Mia Love of Utah has been elected the first black woman to represent the GOP in Congress. I read a good bit of online media directed at African American audiences. Since Love’s election, some have asked what it means to/for black people, is her election a milestone, should we be glad, etc.

And I have been surprised at the number of people who have scolded and even excoriated black people who are not excited about her election.

I am here to say, you CANNOT have it both ways.

How many times have black people been accused of supporting a candidate “just because zie’s black?” How many times have we heard that we don’t have any political savvy, we just vote based on what the Democrats tell us and not real issues? How many times do we still hear that race is the only reason the President was elected?

But… when a black woman is elected on a platform that doesn’t speak to many of us, we get fussed at for not celebrating… because she’s black? I’m confused.

No, I am not excited about Mia Love’s election. Love is anti-choice, anti-gay, speaks in the not-so-coded language of “handouts” and “burdens,” and posits herself as living in some sort of post-racial world. I am a pro-choice, pro-equal rights, pro-social safety net woman living in a world that is decidedly not post-racial. Why in the world would I be happy about her election? It makes me wary, at best.

Now, I don’t like the sexist (and perhaps racist) language and ideology that implies that she is a “mindless” token who is just going to be used. But, even then, some of the language that is used to defend her and refute such charges relies on the same mindset—black people don’t like her because we have a monolithic brain and she dares to be outside our plantation-mentality that renders us tokens of the Democrats.*

Look, if Mary Landrieu wins the run-off for the Senate in my home state of Louisiana, no one will expect any of the white Republicans there to be happy just because a white woman got elected. Nor will they expect white Democrats to be happy if her Republican opponent, who is a white man, wins office. But millions of black people and I who identify as more leftist are wrong because we aren’t throwing parties for Mia Love.

Please stop. It’s hurting my brain that, before election day, I was scolded for not seeing beyond race to look at issues and now, I’m being scolded for not seeing beyond issues to look at race.

Some people are logicking all wrong.


*I’ve written before about how I detest the conservative-speak that exceptionalizes black conservatives while demonizing the rest of us.

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